Mesh and Grid Generation Software for CFD


Meshing impacts accuracy, convergence, and simulation process efficiency.

That’s why so many people choose to generate their meshes with Pointwise.

  • Pointwise integrates with your design and analysis processes.
  • Pointwise interfaces with all the other components of your simulation toolchain.
  • Pointwise gives you control over the mesh to ensure converged and accurate results.
  • Pointwise delivers flexibility to support all your CFD solvers.
  • Pointwise enables automation and customization.

The Right Mesh for Your Application

Unstructured and Hybrid Meshes:

T-Rex, Pointwise’s advancing layer technique for rapid generation of hybrid meshes, generates layers of near-wall, boundary layer resolving prisms and hexahedra.

Refinement and Adaptation:

Clustering sources provide control of mesh resolution away from walls and near wakes, vortices, and other flow features. Point cloud sources provide the opportunity to adapt the mesh to your flow solution.

Block Structured Grids:

Pointwise’s block structured quadrilateral and hexahedral methods have been honed over decades to provide a broad suite of elliptical and hyperbolic PDE-based methods that generate grids with smoothness, clustering, and orthogonality.

Overset and High-Order Meshes:

Whether your mesh is structured, unstructured, or hybrid, you can generate it for use with an overset flow solver using the built-in interfaces to overset grid assemblers. If you use a high-order flow solver, you can utilize Pointwise’s degree elevation and mesh curving capabilities.

Compatible With Your CFD Workflow

Pointwise is the workhorse that moves you confidently from repairing less-than-perfect geometry models to preparing the grid and boundary conditions for your flow solvers. You can work with the prevalent types of geometry models in use today.

  • B-Rep NURBS from the popular MCAD systems
  • Digital geometry from design software, 3D scans, and other sources

Most importantly, Pointwise gives you access to tools that ensure your geometry model is watertight and ready for meshing.

Once your mesh is complete, you export it and its boundary conditions to the CFD solver format of your choice. Interfaces are available to more than 50 open-source, proprietary, and standard formats. If your solver format is not included, you can use Pointwise’s CAE Export Plugin capability to add it easily.

Tailored to Your Environment

Any or all of your mesh generation process can be automated with Pointwise’s Glyph scripting language. You can write fully-automated, top-down meshing templates. You can encapsulate your best practices in convenient macros for frequently used operations.

Focused on Your Success

Pointwise’s commitment to your success goes beyond just the software. Led by our industry-tested engineers, our technical support team is ready to provide assistance and software training to help you come up to speed fast. Pointwise generates more than just grids – we build long-term, collaborative relationships. Robust

Robust and Reliable Meshing Techniques

What you need from a mesh is both simple (complete coverage of the wetted surface and fluid volume with positive volume cells) and complex (balancing resolution and cell shape metrics). Add to those general needs the specific requirements of your flow solver, and you need meshing software that provides both flexibility and control so that the meshing process is robust and reliable.

That’s why Pointwise includes a variety of meshing techniques from automated to manual, from structured to unstructured to hybrid, from 1D to 2D to 3D, from Delaunay to advancing layer to elliptic PDE to overset and high-order, all implemented in a multi-block or multi-zone strategy.

Hybrid Meshing with T-Rex and More

Pointwise’s T-Rex (anisotropic tetrahedral extrusion) is an advancing layer technique for extruding regular layers of high-quality (right angle included) tetrahedra from boundaries. The algorithm adjusts to convex and concave regions and colliding extrusion fronts. These anisotropic tetrahedra in the near-wall and near-wake regions are then combined into stacks of prisms or hexahedra. Away from the geometry model, you can use either isotropic tetrahedra or Cartesian hexahedra called Voxels.

Prism and hexahedral layers can also be generated via traditional extrusion methods that follow normal, linear, rotational, or user-defined paths. Tunable controls let you adjust step size, mesh quality, and smoothing of the extruded layers.

Quality Meshes for Converged and Accurate CFD

Your verification and validation activities have resulted in best practices for the type of mesh needed to get a converged and accurate CFD solution. Those best practices included thresholds on various mesh metrics. That is why Pointwise includes tools that provide both global and local views of mesh quality. Cutting planes can be used to dissect the mesh to see the interior, and graphical tools can be used to zoom in on the cells with the minimum and maximum metric values.

Rules are a global technique for proactively monitoring mesh quality. You can define the acceptable values of any metric. Then, as you are creating the mesh, pressing one button at the top level of the interface will immediately display all grids that violate the rule.

Automating Mesh Generation: Glyph Scripting

Your CFD process is unique: your product, a specific suite of software, a unique set of best practices, and a proprietary set of performance goals. In order to best support your use of CFD, you need software, including your mesh generator, to include robust tools that can be tailored to your process.

Macros and Templates

Pointwise’s scripting language, Glyph, covers the entire range of functionality in the user interface. This allows you to capture the unique manner in which you generate meshes and make it part of your organization’s intellectual property.

  • You can write a template that meshes your product from start to finish based solely on design parameters and deploy the script throughout the enterprise.  Frequently used command sequences can be captured in a script and deployed as a macro.
  • You can write scripts that string together various meshing functions and custom code that will do things that cannot be accomplished in the user interface.

Share Scripts on The Glyph Script Exchange

Pointwise maintains the Glyph Script Exchange on GitHub, an online repository of scripts developed by ourselves, our partners, and our customers. These freely available scripts not only immediately provide you with new capabilities, but can form the basis for new scripts through your editing and updating. They are a great starting point for your own script development. Once you start writing your own scripts, be sure to contribute some of them to the Exchange.

CFD Flow Solver Compatibility

Pointwise supports neutral, native, and de facto standard interfaces to CFD solvers and other popular CFD formats to ensure a seamless fit with your CFD process.

Apply Boundary and Volume Conditions

In addition to generating the mesh, support for your flow solver extends to boundary conditions, volume conditions, and other solver data. You can apply BCs and VCs throughout the mesh to setup your computation, which will be used to properly export the mesh file or files for your solver.

Add Your Own CFD Solver Exporter

Using Pointwise’s CAE Plugin SDK, you can write your own custom exporter. Instead of using a neutral format like CGNS or borrowing another solver’s file format, you can use the SDK to write your unique file format. Once written, you simply place the plugin in a folder in Pointwise’s installation location, and your solver will appear in the user interface the next time you run Pointwise. A plugin is perfect for new codes, research codes that change frequently, or proprietary formats for which you want to limit use.

We invite you to share the plugin for your CAE plugin on Pointwise’s GitHub Repository. This will give you the ability to share updates with your research collaborators around the globe, so they are always using the latest version of your plugin. We have already published the source code for several plugins on GitHub for you to use as a learning tool.

Add Your Own Mesh Exporter and Importer

Plugins are not limited to writing the final mesh and its boundary conditions to a CFD solver format. Sometimes you need to export the mesh or a portion of it to a specific file type. Conversely, sometimes you have old meshes that you want to import into Pointwise. Rather than translating those meshes to and from file formats for which Pointwise has built-in compatibility, you can use Pointwise’s Grid Import Plugin SDK to write a reader for your mesh’s file type. Just like for CAE plugins, you are invited to share your grid import plugins on Pointwise’s GitHub repository.

Supported Hardware Platforms

Pointwise supports the most popular desktop workstations in use today by CFD practitioners: Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS. It supports each platform’s native look-and-feel and provides 3D graphics through the OpenGL industry standard. And Pointwise’s native project file is portable across all supported platforms.

Requirements for All Platforms

It is recommended that the computer on which you plan to run Pointwise has the following characteristics.

  • At least 16 GB RAM (64 GB recommended)
  • At least 2 GB disk space (512 GB recommended)
  • Ethernet card
  • OpenGL compatible monitor with at least 1280×1024 screen resolution (up to 4K)
  • Dedicated professional graphics card supporting 3D hardware-accelerated OpenGL and 24-bit RGB double-buffering
  • Up-to-date graphics card drivers

It is important to note the following.

  • Pointwise is only delivered for 64-bit platforms.
  • Pointwise does not support remote execution. However, a FAQ with remote execution workarounds is available.