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I often find in the literature some numerical tests use CAD and mesh models. I also want to reproduce their results or test my algorithms on those models. But I am not trained to use CAD or mesh tools. I tried to get cad models from CAD website such as `grabcad'. But I often found it difficult to generate a mesh for a CAD model: sometimes gmsh says the model is incorrect. Do you know some good website providing such models ready for FEM simulation?

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  • $\begingroup$ If you're planning to reproduce other people results you can ask them for the CAD-files/meshes. Some people is not going to take this request that serious, but I think that this is part of the "Reproducible research" movement nowadays. $\endgroup$ – nicoguaro Oct 17 '14 at 18:44
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    $\begingroup$ On the other hand, doing (good) meshes for (some) FEM simulations is not as straightforward as one would like it to be. My suggestion is that you develop some CAD capabilities in order to be able of generate your own geometries, for the meshes... gmsh will suffice (I think). $\endgroup$ – nicoguaro Oct 17 '14 at 18:45
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I've used examples from:

  • INRIA: huge number of meshes in many file formats
  • Large Geometric Models archive: handful of very big meshes in .ply format
  • Stellar: a program for improving tetrahedral meshes; has a few examples on its website

Purely a matter of preference, but I like Tetgen for 3D tetrahedral mesh generation more than gmsh. While gmsh has more features, I find that I don't need most of them and I'd rather use a file format that's easier to parse / write.

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