In this paper, we discuss a way to extend a geometric surface feature framework known as Direct Surface Manipulation (DSM) into a volumetric mesh modeling paradigm that can be directly adopted by large-scale CAE applications involving models made of volumetric elements, multiple layers of surface elements or both. By introducing a polynomial-based depth-blending function, we extend the classic DSM mathematics into a volumetric form. The depth-blending function possesses similar user-friendly features as DSM basis functions permitting ease-of-control of the continuity and magnitude of deformation along the depth of deformation. Practical issues concerning the implementation of this technique are discussed in details and implementation results are shown demonstrating the versatility of this volumetric paradigm for direct modeling of complex CAE mesh models. In addition, the notion of a model-independent, volumetric-geometric feature is introduced. Motivated by modeling clay with sweeps and templates, a model-independent, catalog-able volumetric feature can be created. Deformation created by such a feature can be relocated, reoriented, duplicated, mirrored, pasted, and stored independent of the model to which it was originally applied. It can serve as a design template, thereby saving the time and effort to recreate it for repeated uses on different models (frequently seen in CAE-based Design of Experiments study).

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