Resolving Mesh Failures and Errors in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated October 21, 2021

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Meshing is a crucial step for SOLIDWORKS Simulation. When working with assemblies or complex parts you may experience SOLIDWORKS mesh failures or errors with messages like “mesh terminated” or “failure to mesh part” for certain features, or components.

The first step in debugging SOLIDWORKS mesh failures is looking at your geometry. Based on your analysis objectives, you can suppress certain features that do not contribute to the results and are there for cosmetic reasons only. In this article, I will demonstrate how to suppress cosmetic features and suppress fillets and chamfers if they are not relevant to your analysis. Let’s take look in the video below:

Import Diagnostics

Starting with an imported model, we can run the diagnostic tool before setting up a static study. As I try to mesh this part using the default mesh size, we can see that the SOLIDWORKS mesh error “failure to mesh part” has appeared. I will go to “Mesh Failure Diagnostics” and attempt to apply mesh control, but since it’s an imported part, I want to first run a Geometry Check.

Imported Part with features

Imported Part with features

We can use the Check tool under Evaluate that checks the model for geometry errors such as invalid faces, open faces, the minimum radius of curvature and maximum edge gap. We can also run a more stringent test with Geometry Analysis to identify any sliver faces, short edges, small faces, knife edges or knife vertices. When I run the Geometry Analysis on this imported part, I can see that SOLIDWORKS has detected a sliver face and two knife edges.

Mesh created from imported part

Mesh created from imported part

What we can do is try to fix the fault by using the Delete Face command. Next, I will select the faces that I want to delete and patch. From here, I will try to go back and create the mesh, and we can now see that we have a successful mesh. I like to use the curvature-based mesh because it automatically resizes the element size based on the geometry.

Simplify Model for Meshing

In another example, if we take an up-close look at the logo, we can see that we have Cut-Extrude features that are very small compared to the rest of the model. Meshing will be a challenge even if we apply mesh control. What I want to do in this case is to identify small features and suppress them right before meshing.

Simplify Geometry

Simplify Model for Meshing

If I right-click on the mesh, I have an option to “Simplify Model for Meshing”. Here we can specify a simplification factor in the Simplify panel by selecting the features that we need to suppress. We can do this by feature-based or volume-based, and we can certainly deselect the features that we need to keep. From here, we can also add a derived configuration before suppressing the features. Now we have a simple model that can be meshed easily.

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TriMech Solutions, LLC

TriMech provides thousands of engineering teams with 3D design and rapid prototyping solutions that work hand-in-hand, from sketch to manufacturing. Javelin became a subsidiary of TriMech Solutions LLC in 2021.