# Full GUI and CLI Gmsh Mesh Generator Integration with FEATool

# FEATool-Gmsh Mesh Generator Integration

FEATool Multiphysics features full integration with the
*Gmsh* finite element mesh and
grid generator [1][2]. Both 2D and 3D MATLAB
command line interface (CLI) usage is supported with the
gridgen function, as well as the
FEATool GUI operation in *grid mode*.

Advantages of using *Gmsh* compared to the built-in grid generation
function is robustness and mesh generation speed (primarily for 3D
geometries). Moreover, *Gmsh* also supports better and more control
with a selection of different mesh generation algorithms, and
specifying the grid size in different geometry regions, subdomains, as
well as on boundaries, allowing for greater flexibility and better
grids tuned for the specific problems and geometries. In addition Gmsh
also supports generating unstructured 2D quadrilateral grids
automatically.

The gridgen function converts FEATool
geometries to Gmsh *geo* data file format, calls *Gmsh* in
non-interactive mode to generate a corresponding finite element FEM
mesh, and parses and imports it back into FEATool. For reference, as
has been introduced previously Gmsh can also be used to
mesh and import CAD geometries to be used with FEATool.

## Installation

First ensure that the latest FEATool Multiphysics version is installed
with either MATLAB. If *Gmsh* has been selected but not found, FEATool
will try to download, and install the mesh generator binary into the
*userpath/.featool* folder.

Should the *Gmsh* installation fail, please manually download and
install *Gmsh* from the original source reference [1].

## GUI Usage

Once installed, the *Grid Generation Settings* dialog box will in 2D
and 3D feature a *Gmsh* selection option from the **Grid Generation
Algorithm** drop-down box. Moreover, the following options also apply
to the *Gmsh* mesh generation algorithm

The

**Subdomain Grid Size**,*hmax*, indicates the target grid cell diameter, and can either be a single scalar prescribing the grid size for the entire geometry, or a space separated string of numbers (array) where the*hmax*values correspond to the generated subdomains.**Boundary Grid Size**,*hmaxb*, is analogous to*hmax*but related to boundaries (edges).*hmaxb*can consist of a single scalar applicable to all boundaries, for example`0.1`

prescribing a mean cell edge length of

*0.1*on every boundary.*hmaxb*can also be a numeric array with entries corresponding to individual boundaries, for example`[ 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 ]`

specifying cell edge length

*0.1*for boundary 1,*0.2*for boundary 2 etc.The

**Smoothing**parameter specifies the number of post grid smoothing steps to perform (default 3).In 2D one can also choose between

*Triangular*and*Quadrilateral***Cell Types**.

The **Generate** grid button effectively calls the
gridgen function from the GUI, which in turn
makes a system call to*Gmsh*, after which the generated grid is
automatically imported and displayed.

## CLI Usage

On the MATLAB command line the
gridgen function is used to call
*Gmsh* to generate an unstructured 2D or 3D triangular grid. The
following syntax is used

```
grid = gridgen( SIN, VARARGIN, 'gridgen', 'gmsh' )
```

where SIN is a valid FEATool fea problem struct, geometry struct, or
cell array of geometry
objects. gridgen also accepts the
following property/value pairs (*VARARGIN*).

```
Property Value/{Default} Description
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
hmax scal/arr {0.1} Target grid size for geometry/subdomains
hmaxb scal/arr {[]} Target grid size for boundaries
nsm scalar {3} Number of grid smoothing steps
nref scalar {0} Number of uniform grid refinements
algo2 scalar {2} 2D mesh algorithm (1=MeshAdapt, 2=Automatic,
5=Delaunay, 6=Frontal, 7=BAMG, 8=DelQuad)
algo3 scalar {1} 3D mesh algorithm (1=Del, 2=New Del, 4=Front
5=Front Del, 6=Front Hex, 7=MMG3D, 9=R-tree)
quad boolean {false} Use quad meshing (for 2D)
mshopt cell {} Cell array of Gmsh options
syscmd string {'default'} Gmsh system call command
(default 'gmsh fdir/fname.geo -')
fname string {'fea_gmsh_UID'} Gmsh imp/exp file name (root)
fdir string {tempdir} Directory to write help files
clean boolean {true} Delete (clean) Gmsh help files
instdir string {userpath/.featool} Gmsh binary installation directory
```

Among the properties *hmax* indicates target grid cell diameters, and
is either a numeric scalar valid for the entire geometry or an array
with *hmax* values corresponding to the subdomains. *hmaxb* is similar
to *hmax* but a numeric array with a *hmaxb* values corresponding to
the boundaries (including internal boundaries).

NSM (default 3) the number of post smoothing steps to perform. NREF (default 0) the number of post uniform grid refinement steps. ALGO2 and ALGO3 the Gmsh 2D and 3D mesh generation algorithms. QUAD (default 0) toggles Blossom-Quad conversion for 2D geometries.

Additional Gmsh options can be provided with the cell array MSHOPT.
For example MSHOPT could be given as ```
{{‘Mesh’,
‘CharacteristicLengthMax’, ‘1’}, {‘Mesh’, ‘AnisoMax’, ‘10’}}
```

More detailed information regarding the mesh generation options can be
found in the documentation for *Gmsh* [1]. Also, for more
information about CLI usage access the function help by entering

```
>> help gridgen
```

in the MATLAB command line interface.

### Grid Generation Examples

Unit square with uniform global grid size set to

*0.1*.`grid = gridgen( {gobj_rectangle()}, 'hmax', 0.1, 'gridgen', 'gmsh' ); plotgrid( grid )`

Unit square with fine grid along the top boundary.

`grid = gridgen( {gobj_rectangle()}, 'hmax', 0.5, ... 'hmaxb', [0.5 0.5 0.01 0.5], 'gridgen', 'gmsh' ); plotgrid( grid )`

Domain with curved boundaries meshed with quadrilaterals.

`geom.objects = {gobj_rectangle() gobj_circle([0 0],.6) gobj_circle([1 1],.3,'C2')}; geom = geom_apply_formula( geom, 'R1-C1-C2' ); grid = gridgen( geom, 'hmax', 0.1, 'quad', true, 'gridgen', 'gmsh' ); plotgrid( grid )`

Two connected subdomains with refined grid along the shared boundary (9)

`geom.objects = { gobj_polygon([-2e-3 -8e-3;0 -8e-3;0 -6e-3;0 6e-3;0 8e-3;-2e-3 8e-3]), ... gobj_polygon([0 -6e-3;2e-3 -5e-3;2e-3 4e-3;0 6e-3]) }; hmax = 5e-4; hmaxb = hmax*ones(1,4); hmaxb(9) = hmax/5; grid = gridgen( geom, 'hmax', hmax, 'hmaxb', hmaxb, 'gridgen', 'gmsh' ); plotgrid( grid )`

Composite component with several subdomains.

`r1 = gobj_rectangle( 0, 0.11, 0, 0.12, 'R1' ); c1 = gobj_circle( [ 0.065 0 ], 0.015, 'C1' ); c2 = gobj_circle( [ 0.11 0.12 ], 0.035, 'C2' ); c3 = gobj_circle( [ 0 0.06 ], 0.025, 'C3' ); r2 = gobj_rectangle( 0.065, 0.16, 0.05, 0.07, 'R2' ); c4 = gobj_circle( [ 0.065 0.06 ], 0.01, 'C4' ); geom.objects = { r1 c1 c2 c3 r2 c4 }; geom = geom_apply_formula( geom, 'R1-C1-C2-C3' ); geom = geom_apply_formula( geom, 'R2+C4' ); grid = gridgen( geom, 'hmax', [0.0025 0.05 0.0025], 'gridgen', 'gmsh' ); plotgrid( grid )`

Complex geometry with several holes and subdomains.

`w = 10e-4; L = 3*w; H = 5*w; p1 = gobj_polygon( [w/10 0;(L-w/4)/2 0;(L-w/4)/2 H;0 H;0 H/3], 'P1' ); p2 = gobj_polygon( [(L+w/4)/2 0;L 0;L H-H/3;L H;(L+w/4)/2 H], 'P2' ); r1 = gobj_rectangle( (L-w/4)/2, (L+w/4)/2, 0, H, 'R1' ); c1 = gobj_circle( [2*w/3 3*w], w/3, 'C1' ); c2 = gobj_circle( [2*w/3 2*w], w/3, 'C2' ); c3 = gobj_circle( [2*w/3 1*w], w/3, 'C3' ); c4 = gobj_circle( [L-w/2 4.5*w], w/8, 'C4' ); c5 = gobj_circle( [L-w 4.5*w], w/8, 'C5' ); c6 = gobj_circle( [L-w/2 4*w], w/8, 'C6' ); c7 = gobj_circle( [L-w 4*w], w/8, 'C7' ); c8 = gobj_circle( [L-w/2 3.5*w], w/8, 'C8' ); c9 = gobj_circle( [L-w 3.5*w], w/8, 'C9' ); c10 = gobj_circle( [L-w/2 3*w], w/8, 'C10' ); c11 = gobj_circle( [L-w 3*w], w/8, 'C11' ); geom.objects = { p1 p2 r1 c1 c2 c3 c4 c5 c6 c7 c8 c9 c10 c11 }; geom = geom_apply_formula( geom, 'P1-C1-C2-C3' ); geom = geom_apply_formula( geom, 'P2-C4-C5-C6-C7-C8-C9-C10-C11' ); hmaxb = zeros(1,21); hmaxb([6 20]) = w/50; grid = gridgen( geom, 'hmax', w./[5 20 5], 'hmaxb', hmaxb, 'gridgen', 'gmsh' ); plotgrid( grid )`

## Usage Notes

For geometries with multiple and overlapping geometry objects the
actual subdomain numbering will generally not correspond to the
geometry object numbering (two intersecting geometry objects will for
example create three or more subdomains and several internal
boundaries). In this case the actual subdomain and boundary numbering
for vector valued *hmax* and *hmaxb* arrays can easiest be visualized
and determined by first creating a coarse grid and switching to
*Equation/Subdomain* and *Boundary* modes, respectively.

*Gmsh* propagates the *hmax* and *hmaxb* values down to the specific
nodes in the mesh which means that it is currently not possible to
exactly define mesh sizes for subdomains and boundaries.

The temporary *Gmsh* generated *geo* and *msh* data files can be found
in the specified *fdir* directory (default given by the MATLAB *tempdir* function).

## References

[1] Gmsh home page - A three-dimensional finite element mesh generator with built-in pre- and post-processing facilities.

[2] C. Geuzaine and J.-F. Remacle. Gmsh: a three-dimensional finite element mesh generator with built-in pre- and post-processing facilities. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering 79 (11), pp. 1309-1331, 2009.