Published in Comput. Methods Appl. Mech. Engrg., Vol. 195, pp. 4681–4696, 1996
In the last decade a family of methods called meshless methods has been developed both for structural and fluid mechanics problems. After these ideas, a possible classification for numerical formulations may be to separate the methods that make use of a standard finite element mesh (such as those made of tetrahedra or hexahedra), from those that do not need a standard mesh, namely the meshless methods. For solving a partial different equation by a numerical method, a possible alternative may be either to use a mesh method or a meshless method. This paper discusses this issue to show that this choice is not, in the large majorities of the cases, the right question.