Modules:IA FEMesh-Documentation-3.6

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Gallery of New Features



User Interface

General Information

Module Type & Category

Type: Interactive

Category: Wizard

Authors, Collaborators & Contact

  • Nicole Grosland: The University of Iowa - Affiliation & logo, if desired
  • Vincent Magnotta: The University of Iowa - Affiliation & logo, if desired
  • Kiran Shivanna: The University of Iowa - Affiliation & logo, if desired
  • Steve Pieper: Isomics - Affiliation & logo, if desired
  • Curt Lisle: KnowledgeViz
  • Contact: Nicole Grosland ( or Vincent Magnotta (

Module Description

This module allows the creation and editing of volumetric meshes. Polygonal surfaces in VTK or STL format are imported to begin the process. Then a unique and intuitive bounding surface (called Building Blocks) are created interactively by the user and used to guide automated meshing algorithms. The module includes visualization and analysis reports of the quality of mesh elements. Meshes can be written out in Abaqus or VTK format for later processing.


Use Cases, Examples

The user interface for IA_FEMesh is organized as a set of tabs, with each tab corresponding to a group of related activities. Often the user will move back and forth between the tabs during the meshing process. The tabs organize related operations yet allow free movement, depending on the users needs. The tabs and associated operations are listed below:

  • Surface: This tab allows input and saving of surface files used to define the object which will be meshed.
  • Building Block: After a 3D object surface is input, the user interactively creates, modifies, and views a control surface used to guide meshing algorithms. Under this tab, operations for editing, copying, deleting, and splitting building blocks provide the tools for rapid building block creation. The operations can be applied to all or a selected subset of building blocks.
  • Mesh Creation:This tab contains the algorithms for projecting points along the building block walls down onto the selected surface mesh. A solid mesh is created using transfinite or elliptical interploation.
  • Mesh Quality: After a mesh is created, tools inside this tab allow for interactive viewing, exploration, and mesh improvement algorithms to be run if desired.
  • Material Properties: Meshes are composed of multiple surface and/or volume elements. Individual elements or groups of elements are selected and given material properties with the tools inside this tab. Material properties stay with the mesh and are output when the mesh is saved as an external file.
  • Boundary Conditions: Multi-step boundary conditions, including external forces, can be defined by the GUI tools defined under this tab. A user can create an Abaqus input file and visually preview if conditions have been specified correctly before beginning an external finite element simulation.


Links to tutorials explaining how to use this module:

Quick Tour of Features and Use

A list panels in the interface, their features, what they mean, and how to use them. For instance:

  • Input panel:
    • First input
    • Second input
  • Parameters panel:
    • First parameter
    • Second parameter
  • Output panel:
    • First output
    • Second output
  • Viewing panel:
User Interface


Notes from the Developer(s)

Algorithms used, library classes depended upon, use cases, etc.



On the Dashboard, these tests verify that the module is working on various platforms:

Known bugs

Links to known bugs in the Slicer3 bug tracker

Usability issues

Follow this link to the Slicer3 bug tracker. Please select the usability issue category when browsing or contributing.

Source code & documentation

Links to the module's source code:

Source code:

Doxygen documentation:

More Information


Include funding and other support here.


Publications related to this module go here. Links to pdfs would be useful.