If I use the mesh refinement button to refine the mesh in a particular area, and select a face SW will refine the mesh on that face. You can see on adjacent faces that the mesh slowly gets larger until it reaches the global mesh size. But I have come to realize that it is only the surfaces that have the refined mesh. In other words the finer mesh only travels across the surface and not down through the body.
Here is a quick way to recreate my issue/question:
1. start a new part
2. make a flat plate 4" x 4" x .125"
3. start a static study
4. apply a mesh control to the top face and set the element size to .125"
5. Create a mesh
a. under mesh parameters select "standard mesh"
b. set the global size to 1"
6. look at the mesh
The elements on the top surface are about .125" by .125" (as we would expect). But on the other side of that .125" thick plate, the elements are 1" by 1".
This results in some elements that are very poorly shaped and will yield inaccurate results.
Is there a way to get SolidWorks to refine the mesh under the surface instead of just on the surface?
I have made separate bodies and refined the mesh on those bodies, but this takes a long time and I am hoping that someone has a better way.
Hows about putting the mesh control on the top and bottom face? Because the part is so thin, only having room to put one layer of mesh elements when you only control one surface, you can expect some weird looking mesh elements. Why not just use a global mesh sizez of .125"? If you use an incresed thickness you can begin to see a transition from refined mesh to global mesh size.