Define a Simple 3D Element


  • This example explains Continuity’s convention for interpreting element definitions and then guides the user through a simple exercise to check understanding.
  • The cont6 file contains all data and parameters for this problem.3delem.cont6

Understanding the Continuity Element Definition Convention

  • An element definition tells Continuity how to connect nodes to one another to form elements

  • The element definition is entered into the Elements Form as global node numbers separated by commas

    • A 1D element consists of 2 nodes, so an example of a 1D element definition is: 11,14

    • A 2D element consists of 4 nodes, so an example of a 2D element definition is: 11,14,18,19

    • A 3D element consists of 8 nodes, so an example of a 3D element definition is: 11,14,18,19,21,23,27,29

  • The order in which the global node numbers are listed determines how nodes are connected

  • The significance of this order is explained by the convention below, which is specific to Continuity and has no particular meaning outside of it.

  • Study the following example:

Try it for yourself

  • Now that you’ve seen a few examples, try it for yourself in Continuity. A set of eight nodes has already been set up for you with GLOBAL element numbering that looks like this:

  • Follow the step-by-step instructions below to load the nodes into Continuity, then try your hand at defining an element

Start Continuity

Create Mesh

Render the Result

  • If the element lines look jumbled or wrong, you’ve made a mistake in your ordering. Re-open the elements form and try it again.
    • Once you’ve clicked OK in the elements form, you’ll have to repeat the steps under Render Results to see the change.