CUBIT™ is a two- and three-dimensional finite element mesh generation toolkit for solid models. CUBIT's goal is robust and unattended mesh generation of complex geometries, scalable to millions of elements and thousands of parts. CUBIT™ is best known for its pioneering work on automated quadrilateral and hexahedral mesh generation, but also maintains robust triangle and tetrahedral meshing technologies. CUBIT™ follows a toolkit approach, offering a variety of meshing techniques, and infrastructure and algorithms for interoperability. The software is used for both production mesh generation and as a research testbed.

Geometry | Mesh Generation | User Interface | I/O | Boundary Conditions | Availability

Geometry Creation and Modification

  • Geometric Primitives: Brick, cylinder, cone, sphere, prism, torus.
  • Boolean Operations: Unite, subtract, intersect, imprint.
  • Web-cutting: Tools for cutting and shaping geometry designed to facilitate complex mesh generation algorithms.
  • Geometry Operators: Remove, extend, replace curves and surfaces, midsurface. Imprinting and merging.
  • Healing: Automatically cleans many cases of invalid geometric entities and topology resulting from translation or model creation artifacts (with ACIS kernel).
  • Non-Manifold Topology: Curves and surfaces merged to form shared entities. Allows conformal meshing of complex assemblies.
  • Virtual Geometry: Does not modify geometry representation. Composite and partition of curves and surfaces. Collapse curve, surface and angle operators.
  • Solid Model: ACIS solid modeling engine from Spatial Technology. Facet-based geometry kernel developed by Sandia.
  • Geometry Power Tool: Diagnose problem geometry. Provides interactive tools for clean-up and repair.

Mesh Generation

  • Mapped Meshing: 2D and 3D.
  • Sub-mapping: 2D and 3D.
  • Sweeping: one-to-one, many-to-one. Varying cross sections using weighted smoothing.
  • Paving: Advancing front quad meshing.
  • Trimesh: Advancing front surface triangulation.
  • Hex Mesh Primitives: Circle, tetrahedron, pentagon, sphere, triangle.
  • T-Hex: All hex mesh from subdivided tetrahedra.
  • Tetmesh: Delaunay tetrahedral meshing (MeshGems by DISTENE).
  • Mesh Operations: Copy, morph, mirror.
  • Auto Scheme Selection: Chooses best quad or hex algorithm for geometry
  • Auto Sweep Grouping: Chooses order to mesh volumes.
  • Auto Interval Assignment: Chooses best number of nodes on curves for conformal meshing.
  • Sizing Control: Curvature, bias, feature size, prescribed function from analysis results.
  • Skew Control: Improves orthogonality of quad meshes.
  • Smoothing: Laplacian, centroid-area pull, equipotential, Jacobian optimization, condition number optimization, Winslow, untangling.
  • Mesh Quality: Jacobian, skew, taper, warp, aspect ratio, max/min angle, condition number, Oddy.
  • Mesh Refinement: conformal hex, tet, quad and triangle. Global and local refinement options.
  • Free Mesh: import and creation of mesh elements without geometry associativity
  • Tet mesh cleanup: cleanup and improve existing tet meshes
  • Mesh Editing: interactive mesh editing on free mesh, including deletion, merging, equivalence, transformations, etc.



Control arm mesh showing sweeping after decomposition

Example of sweeping after decomposition

User Interface

  • Graphical User Interface: Point and click graphical selection and viewing. Cross-platform Qt-based environment.
  • Power Tools: Provide interactive diagnostics and tools for cleaning up, meshing and verifying quality of a finite element model
  • Immersive Topology Environment for Meshing (ITEM): Geometry preparation and meshing wizard
  • Text Input/Output: All features available via command line.
  • On-line Help: Browsable, HTML
  • Journal Files: Echo, playback and batch mode.
  • APREPRO: Cubit's scripting language.
  • Python: Scripting language can be used to access internal Cubit functionality through API.



  • ACIS sat, sab: Geometry import/export
  • Neutral formats: STEP, IGES
  • Facet formats: STL, AVS, facet
  • Exodus II: native mesh format
  • Abaqus, Patran : mesh and boundary condition export.
  • NASTRAN BDF, IDEAS Universal, Dyna3D, Fluent: mesh format export only
  • Translators: Patran, Abaqus, IDEAS and others.

Boundary Conditions

  • Exodus II: SideSets, nodesets and element blocks define generic loads and boundary conditions.
  • ABAQUS, NASTRAN/PATRAN: interactive boundary condition definition and visualization

Availability/ Platforms