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A Detailed Guide on SolidWorks Flow Simulation Meshing

A Detailed Guide on SolidWorks Flow Simulation Meshing


SolidWorks Flow Simulation Meshing:

There are a few questions that arise with every SolidWorks Flow Simulation user such as how to create an accurate mesh with a limited cell count? How do I know the mesh I have created is good enough for my analysis? However, SolidWorks Flow simulation meshing will help you to achieve maximum output efficiency.

Let's check out the various applications of meshing


    • Major improvement in accuracy with only a modest increase in the mesh size
    • Place the fine cells only in the most needed areas.
    • Enable solution-adaptive meshing on any of your existing simulations and continue the calculation immediately without restarting.

SolidWorks Flow Simulation Meshing basics:

Unlike the more common approach of Finite Element Analysis (FEA), where a model is broken up into a fixed number of elements (like tetrahedrons or triangles), SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation uses a technique called the Finite Volume approach.

The Finite volume method enables the technology called solution-adaptive meshing, where the user can refine and improve the mesh during the calculation stage itself unless starting from scratch.

There are 3 stages of meshing in CFD. They are

    1. Basic Mesh
    2. Global Mesh- Automatic, & Manual
    3. Local Mesh

1. Basic Mesh:

The basic mesh is constructed by dividing the computational domain into slices by mesh planes.

By default, the basic mesh planes are arranged so that the computational domain is divided uniformly.

Basic Mesh in SolidWorks flow simulation


2. Global Mesh:

In order to create a Global mesh, first right-click on the mesh and click global mesh. Then select “edit definition” to open the settings property manager to further refine the basic mesh.

By default, the slider's initial position is in Level - 3 for any project.

Global Mesh in SolidWorks flow simulation

A higher level of refining will result in higher accuracy and an increase in the total number of cells and time.

Check the results summary in the below image for levels 3 and level 5.

Total No of Cells for Level 3:

Global Mesh level 3

Total No of Cells for Level 5:

Global Mesh level 5

The minimum gap size option is available in the Global mesh property manager. Enabling this option will resolve the gap and provide more refinement in all locations that may not be ideal.

3. Local Mesh:

If you want more refinement in a particular area, specify a local mesh.

Right-click on the mesh Insert local mesh and specify the component, face, or edge where you want to apply a local mesh.

Local Mesh setup

You can also provide the number of cells across each channel and their level of refinement by enabling the channel box and then clicking ok

Right click Mesh > create mesh > Run. Refer to the local mesh results below. 

Local Mesh in SolidWorks flow simulation

It is clear that the component we specified refines more when compared to other areas and this will also provide less number of cells with more accuracy.

Applying appropriate mesh settings to the hotspot areas of the fluid model provides reliable, accurate results.

4. Global Mesh-Manual:

When activating the manual mode in global mesh, the refinement option will be the same as in local mesh additionally we can find the number of cells in X, Y, and Z directions across the computational domain

Enter the number of cells manually to generate the mesh as shown below.

Global Mesh manual setup

Global Mesh manual in SolidWorks flow simulation


The basic mesh result has been obtained in the above image based on the number of cells we have provided. Observe the effect that might result from a sharp increase in the number of cells.

On the whole, experiment with what you’ve learned here about the mesh settings to improve your SolidWorks Flow Simulation meshes.


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