TRmesh for Rhino3D

A native opennurbs-based tetrahedral meshing engine, for cloud and desktop
Performant simulation feedback in early-stage design
by Mathias Fuchs and, last updated: November 2023
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What is TRmesh?

The usual topology optimization loop

Rhino Ansys, Comsol, etc. Export non-manifold mesh + metadata Remove excess unused material Design Manufacturing Constraints Tet meshing Finite element analysis The usual topopt loop is extremely cumbersome due to: • long running times • the necessity to encode materials as nonmanifold mesh triangle metadata • difficult error handling across programs • etc.

The topology optimization loop with TRmesh

Rhino Ansys, Comsol, etc. Export tet mesh Remove excess unused material Design Manufacturing Constraints Tet meshing Finite element analysis The topopt loop with TRmesh in Rhino is faster and more well-behaved because: • Every program does just what it's good at. • The tet mesh can be exported in a well-established file format such as gmsh, meshb, paraview etc. • TRmesh offers great performance due to its opennurbs-plus distance queries. • TRmesh is robust since it works on on uncleaned breps/meshes, even point clouds. • The triangle meshing step is skipped entirely!

In the past few years, two key factors have driven the need for more complex topology optimization in the digital product development lifecycle:

At the same time, tetrahedral meshing has failed to shed its dreaded aura and its reputation for being extremely laborious, error-prone and sluggish. One of the reasons for this was that it is not traditionally seen as part of the design and geometry, but is carried out together with the FEA.
TRmesh is here to change that, running tetrahedral meshing where it belongs: as part of the geometry, directly in Rhino3D. This has countless benefits.

TRmesh is a dedicated tetrahedral mesher designed for Rhino3D 7 users on Windows 10 and 11. Built directly on top of the opennurbs C++ API, TRmesh has an advancing-front algorithm that benefits directly from the distance-to-brep APIs of Rhino 7. This ensures a speed directly proportional to the meshing volume versus the volume of the tetrahedra. This results in a predictable and robust meshing process that functions almost linearly with the tetrahedra count.

Unlike traditional mesher, TRmesh is based on a fuzzy philosophy, emphasizing speed.


Main benefits of an opennurbs-based tet mesher

Key Applications



Select one or multiple adjacent, non-overlapping input solids for meshing and press the "OK - start" button. Ensure you set the appropriate edge length, with guidance from the displayed recommended target edge length interval. Most tet meshing tasks complete within a 5 to 20-second window.

Post-meshing Options

Version and Licensing

This is a free trial version with a variable expiry duration. Its lifespan reduces if used offline. While encompassing most features of the full version, it's not suitable for automated environments outside of Grasshopper. For Rhino3D.compute or Linux server versions, please contact us via email.

The trial license, obtained by downloading TRmesh, is free.

After it expires, a 6 months license including full updates is available. Please drop me an email.

Additional Resources

Food4rhino webinar on TRmesh and TRfem

Latest how-to video (for versions >= 2.99)


Please direct all questions and feedback to discourse.


See the example site for basic usage examples of TRfem.

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Terms and Usage Agreement

By using TRmesh, you agree to the Detailed terms and conditions for using TRmesh

Open Source Licenses


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