In this paper, a three dimensional transient heat transfer model for predicting the 3D geometry of crater and its cross sectional profile on grinding wheel surface ablated by a single pulsed Nd: YAG laser is covered. The model considers the heterogeneity of wheel structure, the variation of energy in a pulsed laser input to the wheel, heat transfer by conduction, convection, radiation and the thermo-physical and optical properties of bond and grit while predicting the temperature distribution in the irradiated region using COMSOL Multiphysics® 5.2 package. From this temperature distribution, the shape of crater was predicted. Crater depth predicted was validated with the published results confirming the suitability of this model for predicting the shape of crater in single pulsed laser ablation of wheel surface. Post modeling analysis gives insights of the process mechanism of laser dressing and the parameters affecting the crater geometry. Future scope and implementation of this model is discussed in detail. © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V.