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My mesh fails with a certain error code, but what does it mean? How can I fix it?
When the PLAXIS 3D mesher cannot successfully generate the 3D mesh, it will return an error code. Usually this error code refers to the location in the internal process of the PLAXIS 3D Mesher where the iterative process could not succeed in creating a 3D mesh.
Whenever possible, the PLAXIS 3D program tries to offer a hint where you might be able to optimize the geometry or the local mesh coarseness in order to successfully generate the 3D mesh.
Sometimes some simple optimization can do the trick:
This command checks if objects overlap or are adjacent, and gives a list of items with their distance. In some cases, this command does not give any feedback. This command, by default, takes a distance tolerance related to the model's size. If the command does not give this info, then a parameter can be added to this command, e.g. 0.1 to check all geometry that is located within 0.1 m:
tabulate Surfaces "Area" "Area<1"
This will list all areas with a calculated surface area smaller than 0.1 m2 (when the meter is set to be the unit of length). Sometimes these small areas are leftovers from the used commands in the Structures mode (especially when importing geometries and when using the intersect and combine tools), or some very inconvenient intersection results by combining the soil and the defined structures (e.g. when a part of a plate sticks 0.01 m into the next soil layer). Reducing the number of small elements will usually improve the mesh generation process. This is available since PLAXIS 3D 2011.01.
tabulate Volumes "volume" "volume<1"
tabulate Lines "Length" "Length<0.1"
We encourage the users who still encounter a failing 3D mesh generation to send the project to our support department so the Plaxis development team can improve the stability and quality of the PLAXIS 3D Mesher.
Generating a mesh
Improving a mesh