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Closest Link, but search only along a vector


I'm looking to create gap elements between two curved surfaces, but I want them to be oriented along a particular direction. If I use Closest Link it searches for nearest node, so many of the elements are not aligned as I want. I have the nodes from the upper surface copied and projected along the desired vector onto the lower surface for the gap elements, so I know there are elements in the desired search vector, I just need to link them.


The long form way is to do closest link, group the ones that align correctly, and make other groups for dispersed pairs of nodes so the closest node on in the target group is the desired node. Then delete all elements and go through eah pair of groups with the 'Adjust Length' checked in Closest Link. I feel like there has to be a better way to do it. I know the feMeshClosestLink command exists in the API, though that appears to be the same command, not one aligned in a particular search direction.


Thank you.


Re: Closest Link, but search only along a vector

Solution Partner Phenom Solution Partner Phenom
Solution Partner Phenom


Draw lines automatically from all the nodes of one surface in the direction you want and intersect with the top surface. Use the curve end points as hardpoints to mesh the top surface. Then mesh the lines with CGAP elements and merge nodes between curve lines, top & bottom surfaces, and you are done!.

Best regards,


Blas Molero Hidalgo, Ingeniero Industrial, Director
Blog Femap-NX Nastran:

Re: Closest Link, but search only along a vector


Thank you Blas! I figured there would be an easy way to do it with lines. 

A couple of questions on that though - how do you automatically draw the lines? The closest I could find was draw vertical, but that is in the workplane only. Everything else requires 2 locations it looks like.  Did you make an API for that or am I missing a command somewhere?
I have done the Mesh Points on Surface command, but there is a limit of 150 points. That means I have to cut the surface into smaller segments, which then add additional constraints on the mesh since it has to follow the curve. The end result last time I tried that was a very ugly surface mesh that would not even create Tets, let alone a hex solid.