Understanding the Importance of 3D Element Shapes and Order — Lesson 2

A geometry can be meshed with elements of various shapes and orders. Hexahedral and tetrahedral elements are the most widely used element types. A common notion is that hexahedral elements are better than the tetrahedral elements. In this video, we discover whether this statement is always true by understanding the behavior of different element shapes and orders. We note that meshing a body with hexahedral elements is not always possible for a complex geometry, and a good quality higher-order tetrahedral mesh performs better and provides more accurate results compared to a distorted hexahedral mesh. We also discuss why Ansys Mechanical chooses the default elements that it does and why those defaults need not be changed.

Video Highlights

15:59 - Finding Sweepable Bodies in the Mesh

16:26 - Edge Sizing

16:43 - Inserting Mesh Method to Get a Tetrahedral or Hexahedral Mesh

17:11 - Contact Sizing

18:03 - Creating and Editing Section Planes

20:32 - Node and Element Count for Each Part

Simulation Files

Download the accompanying geometry and archived project file used in the video lesson here. Download Ansys Student for free here.