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CUBIT 13.2 Release Notes

CUBIT 13.2 Logo

Product Description

New Features CUBIT 13.2

CUBIT 13.2 Documentation

Product Highlights

Limitations CUBIT 13.2

CUBIT 13.2 Contents of Release

Contact Information

Defects Fixed CUBIT 13.2

Platforms Supported


Known Defects CUBIT 13.2



Product Description

CUBIT is a full-featured software toolkit for robust generation of two- and three-dimensional finite element meshes (grids) and geometry preparation. Its main goal is to reduce the time to generate meshes, particularly large hex meshes of complicated, interlocking assemblies.


Product Highlights

Meshing: CUBIT is a solid-modeler based preprocessor that meshes volumes and surfaces for finite element analysis. Mesh generation algorithms include quadrilateral and triangular paving, 2D and 3D mapping, hex sweeping and multi-sweeping, tet meshing, and various special purpose primitives. CUBIT contains many algorithms for controlling and automating much of the meshing process, such as automatic scheme selection, interval matching, sweep grouping and sweep verification, and also includes state-of-the-art smoothing algorithms.

Geometry Preparation: One of CUBIT's strengths is its ability to import and mesh geometry from a variety of CAD packages. CUBIT currently integrates the ACIS and Catia geometry kernels directly within its code base, allowing direct manipulation of the native CAD geometry format within CUBIT. This reduces the errors and anomalies so often associated with geometry translation. CGM also boasts a facet-based geometry kernel developed at Sandia that can be used for remeshing or editing old mesh files or models defined by triangle facets. In addition, CUBIT has developed a comprehensive virtual geometry capability that permits local composites and partitions to geometry without modifying the underlying native geometry representation. The user can choose to ignore, clean-up or add features to the model allowing greater flexibility to meshing algorithms to generate better quality elements.

CUBIT Environment: CUBIT has developed both a convenient command line interface with an extensive command language as well as a polished graphical user interface environment. The GUI is based upon the cross-platform standard QT, which allows the same look and feel on all supported platforms. Also included is a graphical environment based upon the VTK graphics standard which has been optimized for display and manipulation of finite element data and geometry. Fast, interactive manipulation of the model is a tremendous advantage for models with thousands of parts or millions of elements.

For more information on CUBIT, including licensing arrangements and terms see the CUBIT website


New Features in CUBIT 13.2

Meshing Geometry Import/Export


Remesh Tet Command

    The new remesh tet command can replace a localized set of deformed or poor quality tetrahedra. This command may be useful following an analysis where some portion of the mesh is deformed, or even within an automated script. Although introduced in a previous release, version 13.2 provides the new capability to locally remesh curve and surface features within the remesh region. Several new options have also been added to automatically identify poor quality elements based upon cubit's mesh quality metrics. The inflate command, provided as both a separate command and as an option on the remesh command, will expand the remesh region to include additional layers of tets surrounding the poor elements. This affords greater flexibility in improving the local element quality. Also included in version 13.2 is a new user interface command panel that provides a convenient way to preview and experiment with different quality and inflate criteria prior to remeshing.

    before remeshing after remeshing

    These images illustrate the effect of the remesh tet command. Left is the initial mesh and right is the mesh after applying the command.

Parallel Refinement

    For those who have access to the Sierra stk_adapt module, Cubit 13.2 supports parallel refinement. Parallel mesh refinement allows refinement to go beyond the memory limits of a single processor. The resulting mesh size is only limited by the number of processors you have available to perform the refinement. To use this feature, first create a course mesh for your model.  Then using the command below, two files will be created that can be used in an external stk_adapt process.

       	Refine Parallel [Fileroot <'root filename'>] [Overwrite][No_geom] 
      		[No_execute] [Processors <int>] [Numsplit <int>] [Version <'Sierra version'>] 

    Stk_adapt can also be run directly from Cubit if the executable is in the correct path. When running stk_adapt, a series of mesh files, one for each processor, will be generated on disk that have been refined or subdivided based on the numsplit option. The ability to refine to the precise smooth geometry definition is also available in this release.

    Before refinementAfter refinement

    The first image shows an initial hex mesh generated in Cubit with 2365 hexes. The next image displays a uniformly refined mesh using stk_adapt with 20 processors. The result is about 1.35 million hexes where the colors represent the different processors used in the refinement.

64-Bit Tet Mesher

    Cubit 13.2 contains an upgrade to its third-party tet mesher. On 64-bit platforms, the new tet mesher is fully 64-bit and will allow for much larger meshes than the previous versions of Cubit.



    Defeaturing Power Tool

      A new power tool has been introduced in Cubit 13.2 for defeaturing solid models where the defeaturing process is reduced to a single button click or command. This tool is available from the tabs in the tree view window. Selecting the analyze button will automaticaly detect and display small features in the model that can be automatically removed. The list can be edited to add or remove features to be defeatured. Individual entities can be graphically interrogated as in other power tools by right-clicking and selecting the desired visualization command. Selecting the execute button will create a new defeatured mesh-based geometry model with the original volume ids retained. Meshing can then be performed on the resulting defeatured model.

      defeature tool gui

      The defeaturing power tool, shown at the left detects and displays features that will be eliminated when the execute button is selected and a new MBG model is generated

      Before defeaturing After defeaturing

      The image on the left shows a close up of the model above where a small fillet has been detected. The image on the right shows the same region of the MBG model that has been defeatured.

      In addition to the power tool, a new command has been added to support this new capability:

        	Defeature volume <id_range> [auto_identify] curve_length <value> [Curve <ids>] 
        	curve_curvature <value> [Curve <ids>] surface_curvature <value> [Surface <ids> ]                                  
        	surface_prox2d <value> [Surface <ids> ] [group <id>] [keep] 


    IDEAS Import/Export Improvements

      IDEAS importer now supports type 121 "rigid bar" elements.

      IDEAS import/export now has support for the physical property index. The physical property index is interpreted in CUBIT to be blocks. On import, Each mesh element is placed into a block based upon the physical property index and mesh element type. When exporting an IDEAS file, Cubit assigns the same IDEAS physical property index to all elements of the same element type in the same block.

      Back to New Features

Limitations in CUBIT 13.2

  • As of Cubit 13.0, the Granite Geometry Kernel is no longer supported. 

  • The Mac OS X port does not support the changing mouse cursors on pre-selection. It is recommended that a 3-button mouse be used for the Mac OS X version since interactive transformation utilizes all three buttons.

Fixed Defects in CUBIT 13.2

The following items are the user-reported bugs fixed since last release of CUBIT (October 2011). For more information contact Byron Hanks (

Ref #

Resolved Defect*


Swept mesh is ugly


Fine/coarse size bias does not propagate correctly


Hex Refinement Fails

*The defects listed above are only those user-reported issues deemed "critical" or "blocker". For information on other resolved defects contact Byron Hanks.


Known Defects in CUBIT 13.2

The following items are bugs or limitations that may be encountered in the current release of CUBIT. For more information on these defects or to report additional defects contact Byron Hanks (

Ref #

Known Defects in CUBIT 13.2*


Suggested Work-around


Cubit crashes in polyhedral meshing scheme with specific customer-supplied model  

*The defects listed above are only those user-reported issues deemed "critical" or "blocker". For information on other known defects contact Byron Hanks.


Documentation Updates

The CUBIT 13.2 online documentation may be found here: Cubit 13.2 User Documentation A PDF version is also available for download. The CUBIT GUI installation also includes the full user documentation included with the program. The user's manual may be accessed from the Help menu.

CUBIT 13.2 Contents of Release

Cubit Program
: The installation package includes executables and libraries, packaged in tar.gz files for Linux machines. For Windows, the package is in a self-installing executable, and for Mac OS X a .dmg file is provided. Both a command line and GUI version of CUBIT are included with the installation package for all platforms.

: Linux, Windows and Mac versions include full online documentation. Windows also includes a .chm (Windows Help File), of the complete documentation that can be run separately from CUBIT.


Platforms Supported


CUBIT 13.2 supports the following Platforms

  • Linux RedHat Enterprise 5, 32- and 64-bit
  • Windows 7, XP, Vista, 32- and 64-bit
  • Mac OS X Intel based (10.4-7)

Non-Sandia Users

CUBIT is freely available for United States government use. For more information on licensing CUBIT, including academic, commercial, and all other use, go to our licensing page. For current CUBIT users, CUBIT 13.2 may be downloaded from the CUBIT download page.

Sandia Personnel Only


Download a Windows installation file from the dropzone. Go to the following directory \\dropzone\public\cubit\Windows. Copy the file Cubit.WindowsGUI.13.2.exe to your windows hard drive. Double click on the file and follow the installation instructions.


Download a Mac OS X disk image file from the dropzone. Go to the following directory \\dropzone\public\cubit\MAC_OS_X. Copy the file Cubit_GUI_13.2.dmg.gz to your Mac harddrive. Use gunzip to unpack the disk image file.


Check with your local LAN administrator for instructions on how to access CUBIT on your local LAN. In most cases typing one of the following commands at the UNIX prompt should allow you to execute CUBIT.  In some cases, the full path will need to be specified:



64-bit Version 13.2 with GUI. The latest released version of CUBIT deployed to the LAN


32-bit Version 13.2 with GUI. The latest released version of CUBIT deployed to the LAN

cubit -nogui

64-bit Version 13.2 Command Line only with graphics window

cubit -nogui -nographics

64-bit Version 13.2 Command Line only without graphics window


64-bit Version 13.2 with GUI


32-bit Version 13.2 with GUI


Version 14.0 beta. The latest beta version still in development


Contact Information


For general technical questions including download, installation and CUBIT technical assistance.

CUBIT Licensing and Passwords

Charis Hoier
Cubit Licensing
Phone: 505-284-6464

CUBIT Support Lead

Bob Kerr
Cubit Support Lead
Phone: 505-844-8606


CUBIT Project Lead

Byron Hanks
Sandia National Laboratories
Computational Simulation Infrastructure (org. 1543)
Phone: 505-845-0500

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