Export mesh data for FEA applications


I am trying to figure out if it is possible to export Rhino mesh data so that I can use the mesh for finite element analysis (FEA) applications. Really I need a list of the nodes and their coordinates and a list of the nodes that define each of the elements in the mesh. With that data I can do the rest in the FEA program. Is it possible to get such data?


One option would be to export the mesh as a vtk file, I can’t remember if there is one built in or if you need to find an external one.
The other option would be to write a python or VB script that uses Rhinoscriptsyntax to read the mesh and then export it in the format you want.

Thank you for the ideas! I will look into the vtk file option. I definitely want to develop a script to attach element attributes to the mesh longer term but was hoping there was a command at the ready now.

Hi Ben -

I’m not sure of your definition of nodes and elements but, apart from that, Grasshopper has a Deconstruct Mesh component that might do what you want.

I can confirm that Deconstruct Mesh is a good way to go. It will export the Vertices of the mesh as 3d points, where you can then get the XYZ coordinates.

The second parts, which is the topology of the nodes you can get from the Faces. Deconstruct Mesh spits out the Faces of the mesh, and you can Deconstruct Faces to get the topology / node connectivity, which should set you well on your way!