Work flow suggestion for STL -> Geometry x3 -> merged but partitioned mesh -> Abaqus

I am new to Cubit and am hoping someone could suggest a workflow. I have .stl files of 3 parts (a growth plate sandwiched between 2 bones) that have complex geometry where the surface interfaces are matched (like an imprint). I would like to create volume geometries with the .stl files, mesh the volume geometries such that they are a single merged part, but partitioned such that I can assign material properties to each section independently, then export the meshed part to Abaqus where I can assign loads to each section independently. I would be grateful for any suggestions. Here is my current workflow up to this point…

import .stl files
Setup FEA Model under ITEM tab
Tetrahedral elements slider set to the middle
Magic mesh button

I don’t know if this creates a meshed volume geometry that I am looking to create, but when I clip it, it shows elements through the geometry (Cubit>draw tet all)



Welcome @rperronejr!

Your workflow looks pretty good. If you want the three volumes to be joined via a conforming mesh, you’ll want to merge the imprinted surfaces, as you mention. After merging you can still have three separate regions (for material assignment) via block assignment. Here’s some pseudocode that expands a bit on your workflow:

1. import stl files
2. block 1 vol 1, block 2 vol 2, block 3 vol 3  ## Sets regions for material assignment
3. imprint all, merge all  ## Get a conforming mesh [OPTIONAL]
4. volume all scheme tetmesh, volume <id> size <size> ## Set the mesh scheme
5. mesh volume all ## Mesh the volumes

If you instead want non-conforming interfaces between the volumes, but want to apply a contact interaction between them, you can create sidesets for each of the interacting surfaces.

Hi gvernon, thank you very much for the suggested workflow. I have been working my way through your suggested workflow and have had a couple of rising issues. When I “imprint all, merge all” I get: ERROR: Tile error in FacetBoolean: premature end of list.

I am also not clear on the syntax of your workflow for #4. volume all scheme tetmesh, volume size . I have not had much luck finding relatable syntax in the user documentation that advises clearly what I should put after volume or size and if these values go inside of the < >, or if this just denotes a value should be entered. I am still trying to learn and understand the syntax.

Lastly, when I just omit "volume size " and just use the command "volume all scheme tetmesh, then mesh with “mesh volume all”, I get a mesh but I have overlapping surfaces. I was under the assumption that when you do the imprint, it was equivalent of a Boolean operation from one surface to the other, such that the two surfaces would them be perfectly matched, but if that was the case then I shouldn’t have any surfaces overlapping. The error I get is:
"Meshgems does not mesh overlapping surfaces in the same meshing operation. Consider doing a ‘find overlap’ check and meshing these surfaces separately.

I do not want any overlap of the surface interface, just for them to have matching topography. Do I need to do a Boolean operation first, then imprint all, merge all?

I am not able to attach an image of what I am seeing as I am a new user to this forum otherwise I would. Any suggestions? Thank you again for your help with getting my model to a useable state to be solved in Abaqus.