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Netgen Mesh Generator
1. Introduction

What is Netgen?[edit]

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Netgen Screenshot

Netgen is a multi-platform automatic mesh generation tool written in C++ capable of generating meshes in two and three dimensions. The program is open source, and is distributed under the conditions of the LGPL. Netgen is available for the Unix/Linux, Windows NT/XP/Vista as well as the MacOS platforms for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, and comes in two primary forms:

  • A Stand-alone Program with its own Graphical User Interface (GUI) implemented using Tcl/Tk.
  • A C++ library (Nglib) which can be linked into other applications functioning as the backend mesh generation kernel.

Netgen generates triangular or quadrilateral meshes in 2D, and tetrahedral meshes in 3D. The input for 2D is described by spline curves, and the input for 3D problems can be defined by Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG), the standard STL file format, or via Boundary Representations (BRep/IGES/STEP) when compiled with OpenCascade support. NETGEN provides modules for automated mesh optimization and hierarchical mesh refinement. Curved elements or arbitrary order are supported.

Main Features of Netgen[edit]

  • Two and three dimensional surface meshing - Triangular and Quadrilateral elements
  • Three dimensional volume meshing - Tetrahedral elements
  • Geometry sources
    • Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG)
    • Triangulated Surfaces (STL)
    • Boundary Representation (BRep/IGES/STEP) - When compiled with OpenCascade support
  • Mesh Generation algorithms
    • Delaunay
    • Advancing Front
  • Automated topology based mesh size control - With user controllable constraints
  • Mesh refinement algorithms
  • Curved (higher order) elements - For both 2D and 3D mesh elements
  • 22 May 2010: Netgen-4.9.13 now available. For information regarding the most significant changes in this version, refer to the Change log

  • 21 May 2010: Added a Wink Screen-cast to demonstrate the application / modification of boundary condition numbers on a Mesh within the Netgen GUI

  • 04 Mar 2010: Netgen-4.9.12 is now available for download. For more information regarding the most significant changes in this version, refer to the Change log

[News Archive...]

Quick Links
2. Netgen End-users

This part of the Wiki focuses on the Stand-alone GUI version of the Netgen Mesher. It is targeted at end users who utilise the Netgen Mesher primarily as part of an "off the shelf" tool-chain for Finite Element Analysis (FEA) or Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) applications.

User Documentation
Tips and How-Tos


(Work in Progress)

3. Netgen Developers

This part of the Wiki focuses on Netgen Development and the Library (Nglib) version of the Netgen Mesher. It primarily caters to the following categories of Netgen users:

  • Developers of third-party software who wish to use the Netgen Mesh Generation system as the meshing core of their software
  • Users of Netgen who wish to customise / modify / improve Netgen
  • All those brave people who insist on compiling the source code themselves (if for nothing else - just for kicks!!!)

(Work in Progress)