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3D Suite

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New features in PLAXIS 3D 2016 Basic


Easy definition of rockbolts (VIP)

In the Tunnel Designer, it is now possible to add rockbolts to tunnel segments. Users can assign multiple rockbolt configurations to the same segment or assign the configuration across multiple segments. An offset, length, as well as the number of bolts and their spacing along the tunnel perimeter and along the trajectory, can be given to each configuration.

Define excavation sequence in the Tunnel Designer (VIP)

After defining the tunnel cross-section properties, users can from now on proceed with defining the tunnel excavation sequence from within the Tunnel Designer. This includes deactivating side-wall drifts, benches or inverts, and (de)activating temporary or permanent support like rockbolts, jack forces, grout pressure and liner segments. The excavation sequence needs to be defined only once, and will be used later on in Staged Construction mode to generate the full excavation along the tunnel's trajectory.

Define excavation sequence in the Tunnel Designer

Automatic generation of staged construction phases for Tunnels (VIP)

In the Staged Construction mode users can use the advance command, or right click on a tunnel in the model explorer to generate the staged construction settings based on the phasing defined in the Tunnel designer. An enormous reduction of modelling time is realized, leaving more time to analyse the results. The funcionality even works for projects involving simultaneous or subsequent excavation of multiple tunnels, or shafts. The user remains in control of when to advance the tunnel(s) and so can for example in intermediate phases perform other model actions before continuing with the tunnel excavation. This way projects involving multiple geotechnical aspects can be defined with PLAXIS 3D, easier than ever before.

Automatic generation of staged construction phases for Tunnels

Field Stress (VIP)

The new initial stress calculation called field stress, allows users to directly input the in-situ stress magnitudes and the orientation. This allows users to more easily perform analysis for deep tunnelling and other applications where the initial stress field cannot be modelled with the K0-procedure.


Polar array

Polar Array (VIP)

The polar array allows users to effortlessly copy objects in circular patterns to for example easily create vertical shafts modelled by secant piles or to model forepoling in tunnelling projects. The user can input the number of copies, the center of rotation and the angle of rotation for the to be arrayed object.

Automatic centerline extraction for volume piles (VIP)

When modelling piles by means of volume elements, the Output program can now automatically extract the centerlines of these objects to create various forces plot. The centerline tool also allows users to select model boundary symmetry conditions, in order to properly generate the forces for an arbitrary combination of quarter or half volumes piles on the model boundaries.

Structural Forces from Volumes

Improved Import

Improved Import (VIP)

In PLAXIS 3D 2016 the CAD import functionality has been improved, supporting *.DXF, *.STEP and *.brep formats. NURBS surfaces, solids, splines can now be imported easily. Native Autocad solids can be imported without the need of discretizing them into triangulated objects first. This does not only save you time in Autocad, it has benefits for PLAXIS as well. Because of the absence of triangulation, the PLAXIS 3D mesher can more easily create better meshes with less elements for both simple and complex projects, by using the mathematical representations of the imported objects.

Full 64-bit release with performance improvements

In addition to the switch to full 64-bit, our development department has realized performance and speed improvements across the whole program. The graph below shows the improved performance of a tunnelling project containing 400 soil volumes and 350 phases in PLAXIS 3D 2016, compared to PLAXIS 3D AE, where lower is better. These changes make PLAXIS 3D suitable to tackle even more complex and challenging engineering problems. 

Performance improvement in PLAXIS 3D 2016

Full parametric geometry

In PLAXIS 3D 2016 the entire geometry is solely based on parametric geometry. This will lead to better meshes with less elements in less time, improving performance in  normal projects but it will also enable PLAXIS 3D to mesh the most complex projects.  For more information on parametric geometry,  please refer to our knowledge base here.

Other new features

  • Python integration in Expert Menu: Interpreter, Editor, Command prompt and run scripts (VIP)
  • Remote scripting: display and save plot types (VIP)
  • Use the Output command line to display plots, or save plots with user defined resolution
  • Convert imported Borehole top & bottom surface to NURBS Surface (VIP)
  • Cuboid and (Truncated) Cone commands (VIP)
  • New Embedded beam behaviour type: Grout Body
  • New Soiltest type: Cyclic direct shear test
  • Trim and Extend functionality
  • More control over visualization of local axes
  • Select number of significant digits displayed
  • Reduce required project disk space by changing the saved step interval
  • PLAXIS 3D 2016 Viewer included in the release
PLAXIS 3D is a finite element package intended for three-dimensional analysis of deformation and stability in geotechnical engineering. It is equipped with features to deal with various aspects of complex geotechnical structures and construction processes using robust and theoretically sound computational procedures.

With PLAXIS 3D, complex geometry of soil and structures can be defined in two different modes. These modes are specifically defined for Soil or Structural modelling. Independent solid models can automatically be intersected and meshed.

The staged constructions mode enables a realistic simulation of construction and excavation processes by activating and deactivating soil volume clusters and structural objects, application of loads, changing of water tables, etc.

The output consists of a full suite of visualization tools to check details of the complex inner structure of a full 3D underground soil-structure model.

PLAXIS 3D is a user friendly 3d geotechnical program offering flexible and interoperable geometry, realistic simulation of construction stages, a robust and reliable calculation kernel, and comprehensive and detailed post-processing, making it a complete solution for your daily geotechnical design and analysis.

Upgrade to PLAXIS 3D 2016

Please contact our sales department for information and prices for an upgrade. 
PLAXIS VIP subscriber? Then contact us for your free upgrade from PLAXIS 3D AE!

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