This Is How I Glyph – Airfoil Generator


It was 2008 when I began as a summer intern at Pointwise. One of the first grids I generated was an O-Grid for an airfoil. The process was so repeatable that once I had learned Glyph I immediately began scripting the airfoil meshing process, the first step of which, was to generate the airfoil geometry. The very first script I wrote eventually became AirfoilGenerator.glf, the topic of this article.

While it’s relatively easy to dig up airfoil coordinates online, it’s much easier to have a script that can generate the geometry. This script creates the popular NACA 4-Series geometries right within Pointwise. No more downloading coordinates and converting them to our segment file format prior to import.

For those unfamiliar with NACA 4-Series airfoils, they are created from a mean camber line and thickness distribution defined using four digits. The first number represents the maximum camber of the airfoil in percent chord. The second digit represents the maximum camber location. And the last two digits represent the maximum thickness at 30% chord. For example, a NACA 2412 has a maximum camber of 2% of the chord located at 40% of the chord with a maximum thickness of 12% of the chord located at 30% of the chord. NACA airfoils were meant for scripting!

Upon executing the script, a Tk GUI opens and prompts the user to specify the 4-Series designation and select from either sharp or blunt trailing edge options. With the airfoil designation and trailing edge type defined, click CREATE to generate the geometry in Pointwise.

To download this script directly, you can use this link. If you would like to visit the repository on GitHub, then please visit

Do you have an idea or a Glyph script you’ve written that you would like to share with us? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @Pointwise.

Happy scripting!

About Travis Carrigan

A Pointwise engineer helping other engineers solve their meshing problems.
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1 Response to This Is How I Glyph – Airfoil Generator

  1. Pingback: This is How I Glyph – Aircraft Mesher | Another Fine Mesh

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