Certain geotechnical design challenges can only be analysed effectively in 3D. PLAXIS 3D provides accurate and robust soil and soil-structure interaction simulation capabilities through an efficient workflow, ideal as an integral design tool. Optional dynamic and transient ground water flow capabilities are available.

PLAXIS 3D/Advanced

PLAXIS 3D is a complete solution for 3D deformation and stability analysis of non-linear soil/rock behaviour and complex structures, It supports 3D geometry import and creation while including tools for rapid soil layer definition and tunnel design.  

Whether you are working on projects that are simple or complex, or you are working on excavations, embankments, and foundations or tunneling, mining, and reservoir geomechanics, PLAXIS 3D enables you to analyse deformation and stability in geotechnical engineering and rock mechanics with ease.


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Automatic Swept Meshing

Speed up mesh generation with PLAXIS 3D. Our latest release offers the new swept meshing option in the mesh mode. Automation determines usable volumes and sweeping direction in mesh generation to develop more efficient meshes, especially for geometry featuring linear objects like tunnels, road embankments, and levees.

Analyse results with post-processing

Leverage powerful and versatile post-processing and display forces, displacements, stresses, and flow data in contour, vector, and iso-surface plots in various ways. Cross-section capabilities allow for a more detailed analysis of the results. Data can be copied from tables or via Python-based scripting for further processing purposes outside of PLAXIS. The Curve manager enables graph creation, plotting various types of results from available calculation data.

Assess stresses and displacements

Accurately model the construction process by activating and deactivating soil clusters and structural elements in each calculation phase with staged construction. With plastic, consolidation and safety analysis calculation types, a broad range of geotechnical problems can be analyzed. Constitutive models range from simple linear to advanced highly nonlinear models through which soil and rock behavior can be simulated. Well proven and robust calculation procedures ensure converging calculations and accurate results.

Dynamic with consolidation calculation type

Simulate the coupling between soil deformations and transient seepage in the dynamic loading phase. Using this new, advanced calculation type offers generally improved stress predictions and accounts for both eventualities of accumulation and dissipation of excess pore pressures during earthquakes.

Field stress per cluster

The field stress initial calculation type allows for direct specification of in situ stress conditions on a volume of soil. It is now possible to assign a different field stress property to individual soil volumes and borehole layers, allowing you to independently input the initial stress state by magnitude and orientation for each of those clusters. The cluster-based field stress complements the global field stress and makes it easier to define the in-situ stress for geological models. This allows easily modeling non-uniform deepground conditions, such as those encountered in deep tunneling or reservoir geomechanics.

Girder definition in tunnel designer

Tunnels are often reinforced with transverse ribs, which can now be modeled as curved beam elements located at specific intervals in the 3D tunnel designer. The option to add transverse girders, together with plate and volume lining, rockbolts, and umbrella arches, enables modeling complex tunnel reinforcement systems. Girders are a natural component in the slicing and sequencing features of the tunnel designer, enabling you to define the entire construction sequence.

Line pass / Cross section curves

Create cross-section curveplots from any arbitrary line cross section, structural element, or centerline generated from the structural forces in volume piles capability. It allows you to create a single curveplot to compare how the settlements at the surface level evolve for multiple phases, or to compare the bending moment along the length of a diaphragm wall or tunnel lining (either modeled as plates or volume elements) across multiple phases simultaneously.

Loft polycurves and blend surfaces

Both these features can be used to provide smooth transitions between non-homogeneous sections. The blend surfaces feature generates a continuous surface that joins a set of other surfaces by filling the voids between them. The loft polycurves command fits a surface to a set of polycurves, such as turning a series of spatially located 2D cross-sections into a consistent 3D geometry.

NURBS curves

Use NURBS curves to model arbitrary shapes in 3D. NURBS curves are automatically generated from a series of successive points. These curves and polycurves can be combined to generate almost any geometry. NURBS curves can also be specified as extrusion paths, which enables the generation of curved linear elements with uniform cross section. For example, a cross section that is defined by a polygon or polycurve can be extruded along the trajectory defined by a NURBS curve.

Scripting reference manual as a Jupyter notebook

Easily learn Python-based remote scripting in PLAXIS with the new scripting reference manual. Sample scripts for each of the commands in PLAXIS are offered in a Jupyter notebook. These samples can be run live in the software to see and understand what happens. You can also edit and rerun the samples and see the effect of your changes, offering a great way of learning-by-doing.

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PLAXIS 3D Ultimate

Plaxis 3D Ultimate extends the capabilities of PLAXIS 3D Advanced with additional Dynamics and PlaxFlow capabilities for analyzing the effects of vibrations in the soil, such as earthquake and traffic loads, and simulating complex hydrological, time-dependent variations of water levels, or flow functions on model or soil boundaries.

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Dynamics Capabilities

Accurately calculate the effects of vibrations within a dynamics analysis when the frequency of the dynamic load is higher than the natural frequency of the medium. Applications include the effects of man-made or natural seismic vibrations in the soil from earthquakes, pile driving, vehicle movement, heavy machinery, or train travel.

Apply advanced model boundary conditions

Apply advanced model boundary conditions when dynamic analysis requires special boundary conditions. In addition to viscous boundaries, free-field and compliant base boundaries can also be selected to reduce spurious reflections of waves reaching the model boundaries.

Apply simple and advanced constitutive models

All material models contain extra parameters, which take into account damping due to material and/or geometry. Calculate excess pore pressure build-up during dynamic excitation with liquefaction models. For soils other than liquefaction susceptible sand, the (Generalized) Hardening soil model with small strain stiffness generally offers a good choice.

Perform dynamic loading with earthquake data

In modeling the dynamic response of a soil structure, the inertia of the subsoil and the time dependency of the load are considered. The time dependent behavior of the load can be assigned through harmonic, linear, or table multipliers. Via table input, users can import real earthquakes signals to perform meaningful seismic design of jetties or foundations. Dynamic multipliers can be assigned independently in the x- and y-directions in PLAXIS 2D Dynamics and x-, y-, and z-directions in PLAXIS 3D Dynamics.

PlaxFlow Transient Groundwater Capabilities

Simulate the unsaturated, time-dependent, and anisotropic behavior of soil, simultaneously calculate changes in pore pressures and deformation by performing a fully-coupled flow-deformation analysis. Alternatively, you can use the flow-only mode to set up the model quickly and easily when focusing soley on groundwater flow. Access predefined properties for unsaturated soil behavior

Take advantage of various predefined properties to define the unsaturated soil behavior, according to common soil classification systems such as Hypres, USDA, and Staring. Predefined data sets for the Van Genuchten and Approximate Van Genuchten model are available for all types of soil. For experts on groundwater flow modeling, Van Genuchten model parameters can be entered manually, or user-defined relationships between groundwater head, permeability, and saturation can be entered.

Assign time dependent flow boundary conditions

Assign time dependent variation or fluxes to water levels, model boundaries, or soil boundaries to simulate various complex hydrological conditions. The input of the time dependant properties is based on harmonic, linear, or table functions. This allows seasonal variations of river water levels behind embankments and their effect on the overall slope stability to be modeled. Precipitation, wells, and drains can be included in the model, allowing pumping tests or other hydrological applications to be modeled.

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PLAXIS 3D WorkSuite

As a complete 3D geotechnical analysis software package, PLAXIS 3D WorkSuite integrates the powerful and user-friendly finite element and limit equilibrium analysis capabilities of PLAXIS 3D applications for the design and analysis of soil, rock, and associated structures.

PLAXIS 3D WorkSuite comprises PLAXIS 3D Ultimate, PLAXIS 3D LE (includes 2D LE) and PLAXIS Designer.

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Bentley Practitioner Licenses

Pair practitioner-named software licenses with expert services to ensure you are getting the most value from your software investment. Benefits include:

  • Training Tailored to Individual Needs: Choose from customized instruction to on-demand learning and mentoring.
  • Accelerate Workflows: Boost design, analysis, and modeling skills team-wide while reducing rework.
  • Affordable Lower Upfront Costs: plus access to expert training ensures a faster return on investment.

Virtuoso Subscription

We recognise infrastructure professionals are constantly seeking ways to work more efficiently by improving their knowledge and increasing their productivity. A Virtuoso Subscription is included with your software purchase, providing access to:

  • Online Live Workshops
  • OnDemand Training
  • Quick Tutorials
  • Expert Advice
  • All of Bentley’s Virtual Events

Virtuosity Keys

Each license includes a number of Virtuosity Keys or tokens which can be used to help pay for the expert services and training you need to take your project to the next level. The number of Keys received with each subscription varies based on the software purchased.  Further Keys can be purchased separately. Keys provide add-on value to subscribers with exclusive rights to the tailored training materials built specifically to help you work more efficiently. Choose from tailor-made training, on-demand learning, and mentoring services to build the support program needed for your engineers and designers. Expert services will help improve your design, analysis, and modeling skills to help increase productivity and reduce time away from project work.

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