Everything New in Pointwise V18.2

voxelBlock_Current3The marquee feature in Pointwise Version 18.2 is the ability to generate high-order meshes but the new features don’t stop there. The hybrid meshing technique T-Rex now includes several features that more robustly and more flexibly generate boundary layer resolving meshes. New users (and even experienced users) will appreciate the new radial-style context menu, the on-screen view manipulator, and much more. 

Generating High-Order, Curved Meshes

Any mesh can now be elevated up to polynomial degree four (aka Q4). In addition to simply adding nodes to each cell to increase the mesh’s order, the near-wall cells are curved to match the geometry model’s shape. That curvature is blended smoothly onto the mesh’s interior in a way that eliminates cell inversions often encountered when elevating high aspect ratio cells.


This seemingly simple test case demonstrates the ability to elevate a linear mesh to polynomial degree four and curve the high aspect ratio, near wall cells to conform to a highly curved geometry model.

Hybrid Meshing with T-Rex

The capabilities in T-Rex (anisotropic tetrahedral extrusion) for handling the near-wall, extruded layers of anisotropic cells have been enhanced to improve the quality of the resulting mesh.

  • T-Rex can now identify situations where a growth domain and a symmetry (match) domain are nearly coplanar and invoke multiple normals if Full Layers is set equal to zero.
  • Tetrahedra formed immediately off growth domains from multiple normals in a T-Rex extrusion can now be combined into prisms and hexahedra.

An example of how the mesh off two nearly coplanar domains is improved by the automatic application of Multiple Normals (top) versus single normal (bottom).

Two enhancements impact the quality of the transition region from the extruded layers to the isotropic mesh.

  • In 2-D, T-Rex domains now use edge lengths from the final T-Rex layers to establish the minimum and maximum edge lengths to be applied on the isotropic region.
  • In 3-D, the T-Rex algorithm now includes several options for the cell topologies to be applied in the transition from layers to isotropic.

Use of the T-Rex method has been streamlined with the following additions.

  • A new preview option gives you the ability to evaluate the effects on a block’s boundary faces of applying T-Rex with clustering sources.
  • Preparing surface grids for the T-Rex algorithm has been made much simpler with the addition of a command that lets you select the connectors (bounding curves on a surface mesh) and apply the attributes directly.

User Interface Updates

Context Menu

The number of commands available in the context menu (also known as the right-click menu) has been vastly expanded. Where possible, the command you invoke from the context menu will act right there at the cursor location (for example, typing in a new connector dimension). In addition, the menu has been implemented in a new radial (or pie menu) style for very quick access to the most commonly used commands and a drop-down menu for every other command that you can apply to the selected entities.


The context menu includes the most frequently used commands arrayed radially around the cursor.

View Manipulator

The View Manipulator is an on-screen tool for panning and rotating the Display window view. It’s a great learning tool for new users (because it’s tool tips reveal the corresponding mouse controls) but also provides handy visual cues for those of you with more experience. Once you customize it, you won’t want to turn it off.


The on-screen View Manipulator provides panning and rotating controls.

Keyboard Shortcuts

If you find it hard to remember all the keyboard shortcuts (formerly known as accelerators), pressing and holding the question mark key will display all of them. Or you can invoke this display via the Help menu.


A convenient, on-screen display of all the keyboard shortcuts is now available just by pressing and holding the ? key.

Other UI Updates

  • If you frequently apply the same colors to your entities, the most recently used colors will now be remembered and shown in the pull-down for the Select Color toolbar command.
  • The default grid type can be specified within Edit, Preferences.

Connectors and Spacing Constraints

The new Sync Spacings command helps you ensure that all of the spacing constraints at a node are identical. This leads to higher quality surface meshes which in turn leads to higher quality volume meshes. You can apply this across your entire mesh or only on regions you select.


A simple unstructured mesh with four domains before (left) and after (right) using Sync Spacings at the center node. In the “after” mesh, the spacings at the shared node have been set to the average of those from the “before” mesh.

Other new commands for your connectors include

  • Connectors can now be projected onto database curves.
  • Connectors and database curves can now be split into a specified number of equally-sized pieces.
  • Spacings can now be operated on as a group in the Grid, Named Spacings command.

All the Rest


Plasma colormap

  • Entities from a geometry model file can be automatically assigned to specific layers when imported into an existing Pointwise project file.
  • Support for CGNS has been upgraded to version 3.3.1 for both grid import and export.
  • GMSH grid import is now supported.
  • STL database and grid import now supports quadrilateral elements.
  • Selected domains can now be examined for intersecting elements.
  • Viridis and Plasma (shown here) colormaps have been added as options for the Examine color bar.
  • Structured blocks can be joined into an unstructured hexahedral block.
  • When joining two structured domains that share more than one edge, you can now choose which edge across which to join the domains.
  • Grid, Solve will automatically use the projection method you previously set Edit, Project.
  • The Create, Group command now allows grouping of Sources.

Request a Demo Today

Stay tuned for more articles that delve into the details of some of these features. If you’d like to learn more about how you can apply them to your next CFD mesh, request a demo today.


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