We describe extensions and improvements to the advancing front grid generation technique that have proven useful over the years. The following areas are treated in detail: situations with thin or crossing surfaces, meshing of surfaces defined by triangulations, and ease of user input to define the desired element size in space. The first extension is important if one considers the generation of volumetric grids around shells, membranes, fabrics, or CAD-data that exhibit cusps. Traditional advancing front generators are likely to fail in these situations. We propose the introduction of a crossing environment variable attached to faces and points in order to filter out undesired or incorrect information during the grid generation process. The second extension is required for situations where the surfaces to be gridded are not defined analytically, but via a triangulation. Typical cases where such triangulations are used to define the domain are geophysical problems, climate modelling and medical problems. The third topic deals with the reduction of manual labour to specify element size in space. Sources, element size attached directly to CAD-data, and adaptive background grids are discussed. Adaptive background grids, in combination with surface deviation tolerances, are used to obtain surface triangulations that represent the geometry faithfully, and at the same time enable a smooth transition to volumetric meshes.