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 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.

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