Comparing Mesh Generation Software

Published by rupole1185 on


Mesh generation is a critical step in the simulation and modeling process for various engineering and scientific applications. Open source mesh generation software has gained significant popularity due to its accessibility and flexibility. In this blog post, we will compare four prominent open source mesh generation tools: SnappyHexMesh, Salome, Gmsh, and Netgen. Each of these software packages has its unique features and advantages, catering to different user requirements.

1. SnappyHexMesh

SnappyHexMesh is a powerful mesh generation tool provided by the OpenFOAM® framework. It is widely used in computational fluid dynamics simulations. SnappyHexMesh is known for its ability to create high-quality hexahedral and polyhedral meshes around complex geometries. It offers automatic boundary layer generation, making it suitable for simulations requiring boundary layer resolution.

2. Salome

Salome is an open-source software suite that provides a user-friendly environment for pre- and post-processing tasks in numerical simulations. It offers a comprehensive set of tools for CAD modeling, mesh generation, and result visualization. Salome supports various meshing algorithms, including tetrahedral, hexahedral, and hybrid meshing techniques. Its modular architecture allows users to customize workflows based on their specific needs.

3. Gmsh

Gmsh is a versatile 3D finite element mesh generator with a built-in CAD engine. It supports parametric input, allowing users to create complex geometries through scripting. Gmsh provides a simple and intuitive interface, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced users. It supports multiple mesh element types, including triangles, quadrilaterals, tetrahedra, and hexahedra.

4. Netgen

Netgen is an automatic 3D tetrahedral mesh generator, primarily focused on finite element analysis. It is known for its robustness and efficiency in generating high-quality tetrahedral meshes. Netgen offers surface mesh refinement, adaptive meshing, and volume mesh optimization features. It provides an easy-to-use graphical interface, making it accessible to users with limited meshing experience.

Comparison and Conclusion

  • Complexity and Flexibility: SnappyHexMesh excels in generating high-quality hexahedral and polyhedral meshes for fluid dynamics simulations, especially around complex geometries. Salome offers a wide range of features for CAD modeling and mesh generation, making it suitable for multidisciplinary simulations. Gmsh is highly versatile and easy to use, making it an excellent choice for quick prototyping. Netgen specializes in generating high-quality tetrahedral meshes for finite element analysis.
  • User Interface: Salome and Gmsh provide user-friendly graphical interfaces, making them accessible to users with various levels of expertise. SnappyHexMesh, integrated into the OpenFOAM® framework, requires users to have a basic understanding of OpenFOAM®. Netgen offers a straightforward interface but might require scripting for advanced operations.
  • Community and Support: All four software packages benefit from active user communities and regular updates. Users can find extensive documentation, tutorials, and forums to seek help and share experiences.

In conclusion, the choice of open source mesh generation software depends on the specific requirements of the simulation project, the user’s expertise, and the complexity of the geometry. Users are encouraged to explore these tools, considering their individual needs, and leverage the supportive communities for successful mesh generation and simulation endeavors.

CloudHPC is a HPC provider to run engineering simulations on the cloud. CloudHPC provides from 1 to 224 vCPUs for each process in several configuration of HPC infrastructure - both multi-thread and multi-core. Current software ranges includes several CAE, CFD, FEA, FEM software among which OpenFOAM, FDS, Blender and several others.

New users benefit of a FREE trial of 300 vCPU/Hours to be used on the platform in order to test the platform, all each features and verify if it is suitable for their needs

Categories: cloudHPCsnappyHexMesh


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *