Sharing dimensions of Mesh setups

My consulting projects involve beam optics studies for a variety of devices: electron guns, transport solenoids, beam collectors,….. Typically, I develop optimal shapes for cathodes and internal electrodes and then send the information to the customer’s engineers who worry about external matters (power supplies, vacuum seals, high-voltage insulation, cooling,…). This process involves communicating dimensions.

In principle, all dimensions for calculations with EStat, PerMag and Trak are contained in the Mesh input script (MIN). On the other hand, it’s an imposition to expect the engineers to figure out the format. You could create a mechanical drawing, but there’s a quicker way to send full dimensional information: the DXF export function in the Mesh Drawing Editor. It’s documented in the Mesh manual, but people (including myself) tend to forget about it.

For more information on Mesh, please see

To create a DXF file, first load your MIN file into Mesh. Next, choose the Edit script (graphics) command to open the Drawing Editor. Then use the Export DXF command. It produces a standard DXF file that can be opened with the engineer’s favorite CAD program (AutoCAD, DraftSight,…). In a familiar environment, it’s easy to find dimensions.

The vectors for mesh regions are organized in layers with the names “0″, “1″, “2″,…. The “0″ layer is for reference lines. You can omit writing information from the region (or any other region) to the DXF file. Before exporting the file, click on Settings/Region properties and turn off the visibility of the regions to be excluded.

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