Purpose: The main aim of the present study was to analyze the influence of the algorithmic theories of generation and control of triangular, quadrilateral, hexahedral and tetrahedral meshing, i.e. which are the most common types of meshes used in the software of finite elements for large plastic deformation. The importance of these methods is due to the fact that they are the spine of Finite Element Methods (FEM). Design/methodology/approach: It was numerically evaluated the parameters influencing mapped (structured) and free meshing on sheet forming simulation (stretching). For the tests a stretching tool with geometry proposed by Nakazima was used. The study presents the results in terms of the major true strains (ε1, ε2, ε3) and a comparison with experimental data was carried out (validation). Findings: The analysis showed that Shell-type elements are dependent of the element format choice and the way of application in the geometry. Objects built with Shell type elements, i.e. components that will suffer large plastic deformation are extremely sensitive to the mesh format, refinement and way that it was applied. A relationship was also shown among equivalent meshes for elements in the format Tri and Quad. Research limitations/implications: To describe the complete influence of the type of meshing are beyond the scope of this study as it was used only one commercial software and one method of forming. Practical implications: The correct choice of the meshing parameters can provide more accurate results during the simulations of sheet stretching process. Originality/value: The paper shows the differences and implications of the correct choice of meshing during finite element analysis.