9.1  Guiding the user through the workflow.

In software of any complexity where usage may be occasional or infrequent, the overhead of learning the new tool to a point of proficiency may be daunting. Given a solid model that may have been designed for manufacturing purposes, the analysts may be faced with generating a mesh. They may not be working with Cubit on a daily basis, but would like to take advantage of the powerful tools provided by the software.

To address this, ITEM provides a wizard-like environment that steps the user through the geometry and meshing process. For someone unfamiliar with the software, it provides an interactive, step-by-step set of tools for accomplishing the major tasks in the process. For those more familiar with the tools, it serves as a reminder of the major tasks, but is flexible enough to accommodate a more iterative approach, allowing them to jump between major tasks easily. Currently restricting the workflow to models requiring three-dimensional, solid elements, ITEM uses the following steps:

  1. Define the Geometric Model: Import a CAD model or create geometry within the Cubit environment.

  2. Set up the model: Define basic information such as element shape, volumes to be meshed and element sizes or budgets.

  3. Clean up the geometry: Detect common issues and simplify geometric features on the CAD model.

  4. Meshing: Perform operations to make the model meshable, such as imprint/merge, scheme selection, decomposition and performing the meshing.

  5. Validate the Mesh: Check element quality and perform mesh improvement operations

  6. Apply boundary conditions regions: Define regions where boundary conditions may be applied using nodeset, sideset and block definitions.

  7. Export the mesh: Define a target analysis code format and export the mesh.