A method is presented for interactively generating finite element meshes for two-dimensional surfaces. The technique is implemented on a graphics display device and will allow the user to create and alter finite element meshes. Given the object shape, the nodes comprising the mesh automatically distribute themselves over the surface as a result of their interaction with neighboring particles and the boundary. They seek equipotential locations, which can be further modified interactively by the user. Based upon these nodal locations, triangular or quadrilateral elements are generated automatically.

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