I'm trying to mesh a model of a morphing wing in Abaqus and have been running into issues. It was recommended that I partition the model into smaller parts, but it seems that the more I try to partition, the longer it takes. After partitioning into about 5 or more (small) pieces, it takes about 5 minutes or longer for each additional part. Is there a better way to go about this? I've posted a screenshot of my model so far.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Are you trying to mesh with 3D elements or with shells? $\endgroup$
    – user190081
    Oct 15, 2018 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ We are trying to mesh with 3D elements $\endgroup$
    – Tanner
    Oct 15, 2018 at 20:15
  • $\begingroup$ Is it really mandatory to mesh with 3D elemetns? Given that you have thin walls it seems to me that shells would be ok (but it really depends on the analysis). That being said, I would assume that you are trying to mesh with tetrahedral elements, is that correct? If that's the case, i dont see much you can do to help the automatic mesher, maybe help it by creating a 2d mesh on the surface for it to follow. For tetrahedral elements there's no need to partition your geometry. $\endgroup$
    – user190081
    Oct 15, 2018 at 20:24

1 Answer 1


An efficient way of dealing with the issue is to break the analysis into two parts:

  1. Do an analysis for the major parts of the structure without considering the details of the geometries of the attachment mechanisms, e.g., hook/hole at the left-bottom of the image you have provided.

  2. Take the boundary conditions from the first simulation and apply them for a second substructure analysis that considers the details.

For thin structures, if the geometry is too complex for shell approximations, you should try to use as many hexahedral elements as you can with a few tetrahedral/pyramidal elements in regions where hex meshing becomes impossible.

Also the partitioning of the geometry, if needed, should be carried out such that each region is simply connected (i.e., no holes). That can be done by creating partitioning surfaces through the middle of the holes.

There are several other possibilities depending on exactly what you want out of the analysis, e.g., just static, transient/modal analysis,explicit dynamics, linear elastic-plastic fracture/X-FEM/cohesive fracture, multiphysics, etc.


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