Monitor Mesh Quality with Persistent Cuts – New in Pointwise V18.1

front-viewWhen generating a complex mesh it is important to ensure that the mesh quality meets the needs of your application. Successful monitoring of mesh quality requires access to metrics at all stages of the meshing process versus confining those metrics to one particular feature of the software. Pointwise V18.1 addresses this with the addition of “persistent cuts” –  slices through a volume mesh can be monitored throughout the entire meshing process. 

Up until recently, if you wanted to assess your mesh’s quality you had to use the Examine command. That limitation has been lifted with the addition to Version 18.1 of persistent cut planes through a volume mesh. As the name implies, persistent cuts will remain on the screen after you exit Examine. Furthermore, they are updated as you update your mesh.

Examining a Volume Mesh

The geometry model used to demonstrate this feature is a “4 to 1 collector with T3 flange” that I found on GrabCAD. Thank you Chris Tziros.


Geometry model of a 4 to 1 collector with T3 flange. See source information above.

The mesh itself is a relatively coarse hybrid mesh with prisms and tetrahedra. In the process of inspecting the volume mesh with the Examine command I created a cut plane that I positioned at the location where the 4 runners blend into one. (Cutting planes can now be positioned precisely using the new Select Point option in Examine. See this checkbox in the Examine panel image below.)


Cut through the volume mesh with cells colored by cell volume.

Creating a Persistent Cut Plane

Nothing shown so far differs from V18.0. But I knew I wanted to change some of the T-Rex parameters for how the prisms grew off the walls and monitor how the mesh changed so I used Make Persistent Cut to save the cutting plane so I could see it outside of Examine.


The Examine panel in Pointwise V18.1 includes two methods for creating a persistent cut: the Make Persistent Cut button below the cut position tools and the Make Persistent button for saved cuts at the bottom of the panel.

Monitoring a Persistent Cut Plane

With my persistent cut created I opened the block in the Solve command, changed the T-Rex attributes, and pressed Initialize. The mesh was regenerated and the cut plane immediately updated as shown below. It’s important to emphasize this image is from within the Solve command; I did not have to re-enter Examine. In fact, any operation that updates the mesh (for example, distributing grid points along a connector, running the domain solver) will update the cut plane.


The cut plane automatically updated in the Solve command after regenerating the mesh with new wall layer attributes.

More Options for Persistent Cuts

The use of persistent cuts shown above is relatively simple – there’s only one. But you can probably imagine that when you create many persistent cuts their display and management can get a bit more complex. That’s where the Cuts Panel comes in.


The Cuts Panel provides several visibility and display controls to manage multiple cuts.

The Cuts Panel isn’t on by default. You enable it via the menu using View, Panels. Once enabled, it too persists like other permanent panels such as the entity list, layer manager, and defaults.

In the case shown above, I’ve created two other cuts through the mesh – one near the front and one in the rear. They are listed in the selection table in the middle of the panel along with the blocks they cut. With a cut selected (the rear one in the image above), you can turn its display off, change how it’s displayed, change the quality metric it shows, delete it, etc.

Now I can enter the block solver panel and adjust my T-Rex or isotropic parameters, reinitialize or refine the block iteratively, and see the effects to the cells in the persistent cut planes without ever leaving the solver, and I can either accept or cancel all modifications to the block volume and solver attributes.

Be Persistent About Mesh Quality

If you’re a current customer, head directly to the downloads page on our website to start using Pointwise V18.1 and its new persistent cut planes feature.

If you’re new to Pointwise and mesh quality is important to you, now is the time to request your no-cost trial license to apply persistent cut planes and all the other new (and old) features in Pointwise to your meshes.



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