Is there a way to “preview” a meshed volume without actually meshing the volume? I am meshing a volume that is taking a long time. For this volume, I would like to know in advance the number of tetrahedral elements and their quality. I assume that this is not possible without actually executing the meshing command, right?

The closest thing to a “preview” for tetmeshing is to assign your tetrahedral mesh scheme and then only mesh the surfaces. For example,

## Import geometry
reset
import acis "gear.sat" nofreesurfaces heal attributes_on separate_bodies
## Assign tet volume mesh scheme
volume 1 scheme tetmesh geometry approximation angle 5
set tetmesher optimize level 6 # Note, this is "extreme" optimization
set tetmesher optimize overconstrained tetrahedra on
set tetmesher optimize overconstrained edges on
set tetmesher optimize sliver on
## Mesh the volume's surfaces -- takes ~ 70 seconds, generates 1.6M triangles
mesh surface in volume 1
## Proceed with meshing the volume -- takes 730 seconds, generates 23M tetrahedra
mesh volume 1

I used the “extreme” optimization value (which is overkill) to exaggerate the differences in time between the surface and volume meshing portions. There is, to my knowledge, no way to accurately predict the element qualities prior to generating the mesh.