At-Most-Hexa Meshes

Dennis R. Bukenberger1, Marco Tarini2 and Hendrik P. A. Lensch1

1(Department of Computer Graphics, Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen, Germany)

2(Dipartimento di Informatica, Universitá degli Studi di Milano, Italy)

Published in: Computer Graphics Forum
DOI: 10.1111/cgf.14393


Volumetric polyhedral meshes are required in many applications, especially for solving partial differential equations on finite element simulations. Still, their construction bears several additional challenges compared to boundary-based representations. Tetrahedral meshes and (pure) hex-meshes are two popular formats in scenarios like CAD applications, offering opposite advantages and disadvantages. Hex-meshes are more intricate to construct due to the global structure of the meshing, but feature much better regularity, alignment, are more expressive, and offer the same simulation accuracy with fewer elements. Hex-dominant meshes, where most but not all cell elements have a hexahedral structure, constitute an attractive compromise, potentially unlocking benefits from both structures, but their generality makes their employment in downstream applications difficult. In this work, we introduce a strict subset of general hex-dominant meshes, which we term ‘at-most-hexa meshes’, in which most cells are still hexahedral, but no cell has more than six boundary faces, and no face has more than four sides. We exemplify the ease of construction of at-most-hexa meshes by proposing a frugal and straightforward method to generate high-quality meshes of this kind, starting directly from hulls or point clouds, for example, from a 3D scan. In contrast to existing methods for (pure) hexahedral meshing, ours does not require an intermediate parameterization of other costly pre-computations and can start directly from surfaces or samples. We leverage a Lloyd relaxation process to exploit the synergistic effects of aligning an orientation field in a modified 3D Voronoi diagram using the urn:x-wiley:01677055:media:cgf14393:cgf14393-math-0001 norm for cubical cells. The extracted geometry incorporates regularity as well as feature alignment, following sharp edges and curved boundary surfaces. We introduce specialized operations on the three-dimensional graph structure to enforce consistency during the relaxation. The resulting algorithm allows for an efficient evaluation with parallel algorithms on GPU hardware and completes even large reconstructions within minutes.