9.2  Providing the user with smart options.

Solid models used for analysis may have a huge variety of different characteristics that may prevent them from being easily meshed. Questions such as, What are the problems associated with my model? What are the current roadblocks to generating a mesh on this model? and What should I do to resolve the problems, are constantly being asked by the analysts. Without an extensive knowledge of the tools and algorithms, it may be difficult to answer these questions effectively.

ITEM addresses this issue by providing smart options to the user. Based on the current state of the model, it will automatically run diagnostics and determine potential solutions that the user may consider. For example, where unwanted small features may exist in the model, ITEM will direct the user to these features and provide a range of geometric solutions to the problem. Scrolling through the solutions provides a preview of the expected result. The user can then select the solution that seems most appropriate and execute the solution to change or simplify the geometry. This diagnostic-solution approach is the basis for the ITEM design and is the common mode of user interaction while in this environment. This contrasts with the more traditional hunt-and-guess approach of providing the user with an array of buttons and icons that they may choose from and guessing what may result. ITEM, on the other hand, serves in effect, as an expert providing guidance to the user as they proceed through the geometry and meshing process.