Mesh Parameters in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated December 6, 2022


SOLIDWORKS Simulation still meshes the solid and surface models with triangular and tetrahedral meshes, but how the models are auto-meshed can be accomplished with three different schemes. They have been updated to use multiple cores on the CPU with all the available meshing schemes. Each of the schemes has differing mesh parameter options: Standard mesh, Blended curavature-based mesh, and curvature-based mesh which will affect how it is constructed.

Standard Mesh

This method uses the Voronoi-Delaunay meshing scheme for subsequent meshing operations. The Standard mesh supports only multi-threaded volume meshing.

Global Size

Sets the global average element size. The software suggests a default value based on the model volume and surface area.


Sets the tolerance value. The program calculates the mesh tolerance value as the minimum of the following:

  • 5% of the global element size which is used as the default value
  • 30% of the smallest mesh element size defined for mesh control definitions in the Mesh Control
  • The user-defined mesh tolerance if the value is smaller than the default mesh tolerance value is used for in the mesh controls

If the distance between two nodes is smaller than this value, the nodes are merged unless it is a boundary for contact. Adjusting the tolerance can help resolve some meshing problems. For example, if meshing fails because of free edges, increasing the tolerance can solve the problem.

Curvature-based mesh

The mesher creates more elements in higher-curvature areas automatically without need for mesh control. The Curvature-based mesher supports multi-threaded surface and volume meshing for assembly and multibody parts. The options are similar to the blended curvature-based mesh and are described below.

Blended curvature-based mesh


This mesher automatically adapts the element size to the local curvature of the geometry to create a smooth mesh pattern. The Blended curvature-based mesher is the default mesher for new Simulation studies. One uses the Blended curvature-based mesher for models that failed to mesh with the Standard or Curvature-based mesher. There are cases where the Blended curvature-based mesher can overcome mesh failure, generating a solid mesh with higher-quality elements with respect to lower Jacobian values and Aspect ratios compared to the Standard or the Curvature-based meshers.

Maximum Element Size

The maximum element size is used for boundaries with lowest curvature.

Minimum Element Size

The minimum element size is used for boundaries with the highest curvature.

Minimum Number of elements in a circle

Determines the element size by the minimum number of elements that fit in a hypothetical circle.

For the Blended curvature-based mesher, the computed element size must be between the Maximum element size and Minimum element size. For the Curvature-based mesher, this setting is enforced even if the computed element size is outside the range defined by the Maximum element size and Minimum element size.

Element Size Growth Ratio

Specifies the global element size growth ratio starting from regions of high curvatures in all directions. Can increase or decrease element size while meshing.

Above outline the options for the three meshing schemes available inside of SOLIDWORKS Simulation. If there are additional questions, please reach out to a TriMech representative.

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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.