SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2021 Enhanced Blended Curvature-Based Mesher

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE updated October 21, 2020


SOLIDWORKS Simulation provides three different types of meshers.  The Standard and Curvature-Based meshers have been available for a long time.  The Blended Curvature-Based mesher was introduced in Simulation 2016 with improved algorithms that can assist where the other two meshers may fail.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2021 has optimized the code to improve performance where the Blended mesher could be considered for any model.  The effects are especially noticeable with a Simulation Professional or Simulation Premium license as these provide support for multicores with the Blended mesher.

In general, the Blended Curvature-Based mesher will give a higher quality mesh.  Here is a simple example of a part with a fillet using each mesher with the default settings.

  • Standard mesher [Standard] has a fairly uniform element size across the model including the fillet
  • Curvature-Based mesher [Curvature] is able to locate the small features and highly curved locations automatically as we can see refined elements in the fillet.  However due to the more freeform algorithms, we see that the elements on the flat faces are not as consistent.  The results will still be accurate, provided the mesh size has been sufficiently refined.
  • Blended Curvature-Based mesher [Blended] is still able to automatically refine the mesh in the fillet, yet provides a higher quality consistent mesh in other locations

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Mesher Types

NOTE: The following meshing times are based on using a SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium license

Part Mesh

The following part has a very fine mesh applied for a simple test.  This took about  37s to mesh with Blended in Simulation 2020.  The exact same settings in Simulation 2021 took 22s to mesh.

As a comparison, using the Curvature mesher took 29s so the improvements actually made the Blender mesher a better choice.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2020 Blended Curvature-Based Mesh Time

SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2021 Blended Curvature-Based Mesh Time

Assembly Mesh

In this assembly with 12 components, using the Blended mesher took 1min 11s in Simulation 2020.  The mesh time was reduced to 22s in Simulation 2021.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2020 Blended Curvature-Based Mesh Time

SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2021 Blended Curvature-Based Mesh Time

These performance improvements are significant, especially in complex parts and large assemblies.

For reference, this assembly took about 21 seconds to generate the mesh using the Curvature mesher.  This may cause you to consider using Blended as the default since it can be on par or faster then the others.  New in Simulation 2021 is the ability to set this as the default mesher.  Previously only Standard and Curvature-Based was available for default.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2021 Default Options

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Scott Durksen, CSWE

Scott is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.