Using virtual topology operations to generate analysis topology

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Virtual topology operations have been utilized to generate an analysis topology definition suitable for downstream mesh generation. Detailed descriptions are provided for virtual topology merge and split operations for all topological entities. Current virtual topology technology is extended to allow the virtual partitioning of volume cells and the topological queries required to carry out each operation are provided. Virtual representations are robustly linked to the underlying geometric definition through an analysis topology. The analysis topology and all associated virtual and topological dependencies are automatically updated after each virtual operation, providing the link to the underlying CAD geometry. Therefore, a valid description of the analysis topology, including relative orientations, is maintained. This enables downstream operations, such as the merging or partitioning of virtual entities, and interrogations, such as determining if a specific meshing strategy can be applied to the virtual volume cells, to be performed on the analysis topology description. As the virtual representation is a non-manifold description of the sub-divided domain the interfaces between cells are recorded automatically. This enables the advantages of non-manifold modelling to be exploited within the manifold modelling environment of a major commercial CAD system, without any adaptation of the underlying CAD model. A hierarchical virtual structure is maintained where virtual entities are merged or partitioned. This has a major benefit over existing solutions as the virtual dependencies are stored in an open and accessible manner, providing the analyst with the freedom to create, modify and edit the analysis topology in any preferred sequence, whilst the original CAD geometry is not disturbed. Robust definitions of the topological and virtual dependencies enable the same virtual topology definitions to be accessed, interrogated and manipulated within multiple different CAD packages and linked to the underlying geometry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154
JournalComputer-Aided Design
Issue numberApr 2017
Early online date12 Aug 2016
Publication statusEarly online date - 12 Aug 2016


  • Virtual Topology
  • geometry clean-up
  • decomposition
  • hex meshing
  • hex meshing schemes


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