Model and analyze geo-engineering projects with finite element analysis in 3D

PLAXIS is a user-friendly, finite element package with trusted computation that is used by geotechnical engineers globally. PLAXIS 3D offers CAD-like drawing capabilities to help with the analysis of subsurface environments for geoengineering projects. From excavations, embankments, foundations, tunneling, and mining, to reservoir geomechanics, users can determine the deformation and stability of geotechnical engineering and rock mechanics to assess the geotechnical risk.

Because every firm has different needs, there are multiple variations of PLAXIS 3D.

PLAXIS 3D

PLAXIS 3D includes the most essential functionality to perform everyday deformation and safety analysis for soil and rock, which do not require the consideration of creep, steady state groundwater, consolidation analysis, or any time-dependent effects.

PLAXIS 3D Advanced

PLAXIS 3D Advanced includes everything that is included in PLAXIS 3D, plus enhances your geotechnical design capabilities with more advanced features and material models to consider creep or flow-deformation coupling through consolidation analysis. It also solves your problems faster than PLAXIS 3D with the multicore solver.

PLAXIS 3D Ultimate

Extend the capabilities of PLAXIS 3D Advanced to deal with the most challenging geotechnical projects. With PLAXIS 3D Ultimate you can analyze the effects of vibrations in the soil, like earthquakes and moving traffic loads. You can also simulate complex hydrological conditions through time-dependent variations of water levels or flow functions on flow functions on model boundaries, as well as soil boundaries.

PLAXIS 3D WorkSuite

PLAXIS 3D WorkSuite includes PLAXIS 3D Ultimate, PLAXIS 3D LE, and PLAXIS Designer.

Testimonial_Quote_Marks
“The power to collaborate with design, construction, and the owner is where PLAXIS really shines. During meetings, I can quickly respond to stakeholder requests by adjusting geometry and sharing multiple scenarios. Being able to model “on the fly” helps us avoid wasting time going back and forth on emails and phone calls.”

Product Tiers

PLAXIS 3D

Reliably solve infrastructure challenges

Easily generate and scale construction sequences for excavations of any complexity. Facilitate steady-state groundwater flow calculations, including flow-related material parameters, boundary conditions, drains, and wells. Use interfaces and embedded pile elements to model movement between soil and foundation, such as slipping and gapping. Get trustworthy results with realistic soil models and a complete portfolio of visualization abilities.

Create FE models quickly and efficiently

This comprehensive solution for the design and analysis of soils, rocks, and associated structures makes it easy to model in full 3D. Drawing tools, such as extrude, intersect, combine, and array operations facilitate finite element modeling, while multicore calculations and a 64-bit kernel can handle simple and complex models. Create safer infrastructures with fully-optimized designs.

Get realistic assessments of stresses and displacements

To meet the unique geotechnical challenges of soil structure interactions, PLAXIS 3D offers different calculation types, such as plastic, consolidation, and safety analysis. A range of material models for predicting the behavior of various soils and rock types, combined with robust calculations, helps ensure reliable results. Display these forces in various ways, and use cross-section applications to inspect certain areas in greater detail.

Drive efficiency with multidiscipline workflows

Create logical geotechnical digital workflows that take projects from subsurface imports through design and analysis to various outputs.

PLAXIS 3D Advanced

PLAXIS 3D Advanced includes everything that is in PLAXIS 3D plus enhances your geotechnical design capabilities with more advanced features and material models to consider creep or flow-deformation coupling through consolidation analysis. It also solves your problems faster than PLAXIS 3D with the multicore solver.

To learn the differences between the various versions of PLAXIS 3D, view the capability comparison matrix below.

PLAXIS 3D Ultimate

PLAXIS 3D Dynamics: 3D Geotechnical Dynamic Modeling Software

Analyze the effects of man-made or natural seismic vibrations in soil with PLAXIS 3D Dynamics. Perform analyses on the effects of vibrations in the soil from earthquakes, pile driving, vehicle movement, heavy machinery, or train travel. PLAXIS 3D Dynamics is an easy-to-use, add-on module to PLAXIS 3D; so, when you need something that goes beyond the low-frequency vibrations, this is the choice for you. PLAXIS 3D Dynamics module can handle more advanced seismic analysis than what is available by default in PLAXIS and can accurately calculate the effects of vibrations with a dynamics analysis when the frequency of the dynamic load is higher than the natural frequency of the medium.

PLAXIS 3D Dynamics also allows for performing a ground response analysis, and liquefaction analysis using the UBCSand model.

PLAXIS 3D PlaxFlow: 3D Geotechnical Groundwater Flow Software

Go beyond the default options of steady-state groundwater flow analysis of PLAXIS with the PLAXIS 3D PlaxFlow add-on module. Simulate the unsaturated, time-dependent, and anisotropic behavior of soil with PLAXIS 3D PlaxFlow. Simultaneously calculate changes in pore pressures and deformation by performing a fully-coupled flow-deformation analysis. Plus, the Flow-only mode excludes displacements and stresses from the calculation if you are only interested in groundwater flow, making this application easier to use.

PLAXIS 3D WorkSuite

PLAXIS 3D Dynamics: 3D Geotechnical Dynamic Modeling Software

Analyze the effects of man-made or natural seismic vibrations in soil with PLAXIS 3D Dynamics. Perform analyses on the effects of vibrations in the soil from earthquakes, pile driving, vehicle movement, heavy machinery, or train travel. PLAXIS 3D Dynamics is an easy-to-use, add-on module to PLAXIS 3D; so, when you need something that goes beyond the low-frequency vibrations, this is the choice for you. PLAXIS 3D Dynamics module can handle more advanced seismic analysis than what is available by default in PLAXIS and can accurately calculate the effects of vibrations with a dynamics analysis when the frequency of the dynamic load is higher than the natural frequency of the medium.

PLAXIS 3D Dynamics also allows for performing a ground response analysis, and liquefaction analysis using the UBCSand model.

PLAXIS  3D PlaxFlow: 3D Geotechnical Groundwater Flow Software

Go beyond the default options of steady-state groundwater flow analysis of PLAXIS with the PLAXIS 3D PlaxFlow add-on module. Simulate the unsaturated, time-dependent, and anisotropic behavior of soil with PLAXIS 3D PlaxFlow. Simultaneously calculate changes in pore pressures and deformation by performing a fully-coupled flow-deformation analysis. Plus, the Flow-only mode excludes displacements and stresses from the calculation if you are only interested in groundwater flow, making this application easier to use.

PLAXIS  Designer

PLAXIS Designer is easy-to-use for building 3D conceptual models that can help you overcome the challenges of merging and analyzing data. With Bentley’s open modeling environment, PLAXIS Designer enables you to visualize and manipulate geotechnical site data such as topology, boreholes, piezometers, and other field instrumentation data, as well as engineering staged construction and design.

PLAXIS 3D

PLAXIS 3D

Reliably solve infrastructure challenges

Easily generate and scale construction sequences for excavations of any complexity. Facilitate steady-state groundwater flow calculations, including flow-related material parameters, boundary conditions, drains, and wells. Use interfaces and embedded pile elements to model movement between soil and foundation, such as slipping and gapping. Get trustworthy results with realistic soil models and a complete portfolio of visualization abilities.

Create FE models quickly and efficiently

This comprehensive solution for the design and analysis of soils, rocks, and associated structures makes it easy to model in full 3D. Drawing tools, such as extrude, intersect, combine, and array operations facilitate finite element modeling, while multicore calculations and a 64-bit kernel can handle simple and complex models. Create safer infrastructures with fully-optimized designs.

Get realistic assessments of stresses and displacements

To meet the unique geotechnical challenges of soil structure interactions, PLAXIS 3D offers different calculation types, such as plastic, consolidation, and safety analysis. A range of material models for predicting the behavior of various soils and rock types, combined with robust calculations, helps ensure reliable results. Display these forces in various ways, and use cross-section applications to inspect certain areas in greater detail.

Drive efficiency with multidiscipline workflows

Create logical geotechnical digital workflows that take projects from subsurface imports through design and analysis to various outputs.

PLAXIS 3D Advanced

PLAXIS 3D Advanced

PLAXIS 3D Advanced includes everything that is in PLAXIS 3D plus enhances your geotechnical design capabilities with more advanced features and material models to consider creep or flow-deformation coupling through consolidation analysis. It also solves your problems faster than PLAXIS 3D with the multicore solver.

To learn the differences between the various versions of PLAXIS 3D, view the capability comparison matrix below.

PLAXIS 3D Ultimate

PLAXIS 3D Ultimate

PLAXIS 3D Dynamics: 3D Geotechnical Dynamic Modeling Software

Analyze the effects of man-made or natural seismic vibrations in soil with PLAXIS 3D Dynamics. Perform analyses on the effects of vibrations in the soil from earthquakes, pile driving, vehicle movement, heavy machinery, or train travel. PLAXIS 3D Dynamics is an easy-to-use, add-on module to PLAXIS 3D; so, when you need something that goes beyond the low-frequency vibrations, this is the choice for you. PLAXIS 3D Dynamics module can handle more advanced seismic analysis than what is available by default in PLAXIS and can accurately calculate the effects of vibrations with a dynamics analysis when the frequency of the dynamic load is higher than the natural frequency of the medium.

PLAXIS 3D Dynamics also allows for performing a ground response analysis, and liquefaction analysis using the UBCSand model.

PLAXIS 3D PlaxFlow: 3D Geotechnical Groundwater Flow Software

Go beyond the default options of steady-state groundwater flow analysis of PLAXIS with the PLAXIS 3D PlaxFlow add-on module. Simulate the unsaturated, time-dependent, and anisotropic behavior of soil with PLAXIS 3D PlaxFlow. Simultaneously calculate changes in pore pressures and deformation by performing a fully-coupled flow-deformation analysis. Plus, the Flow-only mode excludes displacements and stresses from the calculation if you are only interested in groundwater flow, making this application easier to use.

PLAXIS 3D WorkSuite

PLAXIS 3D WorkSuite

PLAXIS 3D Dynamics: 3D Geotechnical Dynamic Modeling Software

Analyze the effects of man-made or natural seismic vibrations in soil with PLAXIS 3D Dynamics. Perform analyses on the effects of vibrations in the soil from earthquakes, pile driving, vehicle movement, heavy machinery, or train travel. PLAXIS 3D Dynamics is an easy-to-use, add-on module to PLAXIS 3D; so, when you need something that goes beyond the low-frequency vibrations, this is the choice for you. PLAXIS 3D Dynamics module can handle more advanced seismic analysis than what is available by default in PLAXIS and can accurately calculate the effects of vibrations with a dynamics analysis when the frequency of the dynamic load is higher than the natural frequency of the medium.

PLAXIS 3D Dynamics also allows for performing a ground response analysis, and liquefaction analysis using the UBCSand model.

PLAXIS  3D PlaxFlow: 3D Geotechnical Groundwater Flow Software

Go beyond the default options of steady-state groundwater flow analysis of PLAXIS with the PLAXIS 3D PlaxFlow add-on module. Simulate the unsaturated, time-dependent, and anisotropic behavior of soil with PLAXIS 3D PlaxFlow. Simultaneously calculate changes in pore pressures and deformation by performing a fully-coupled flow-deformation analysis. Plus, the Flow-only mode excludes displacements and stresses from the calculation if you are only interested in groundwater flow, making this application easier to use.

PLAXIS  Designer

PLAXIS Designer is easy-to-use for building 3D conceptual models that can help you overcome the challenges of merging and analyzing data. With Bentley’s open modeling environment, PLAXIS Designer enables you to visualize and manipulate geotechnical site data such as topology, boreholes, piezometers, and other field instrumentation data, as well as engineering staged construction and design.

Technical Capabilities

Modeling

  • Automatic Swept Meshing for more efficient meshes
  • Elastoplasticity for beams and plates
  • Revolve around axis tool
  • CAD import and export
  • Nonlinear geogrids: Elastoplastic (N-ε) and Viscoelastic (time-dependent)
  • Cross and parallel permeability in interfaces
  • Polar and rectangular array
  • Easy definition of rock bolts and girders in Tunnel Designer
  • Define excavation sequence in the Tunnel Designer
  • Automatic generation of staged construction phases for tunnels
  • Design arbitrary geometries combining NURBS curves and polycurves
  • Automate processes with full command line support and remote scripting API

Material Models

  • Masonry
  • Mohr-Coulomb (Linear Elastic Perfectly Plastic)
  • N2PC-Salt
  • Hardening soil
  • Hardening Soil (Isotropic hardening)
  • Hardening Soil with small-strain stiffness (HSSmall)
  • Hoek-Brown (rock behavior)
  • Soft soil (with and without creep)
  • NGI-ADP model
  • Jointed rock
  • Hoek-Brown with parameter guide
  • Hoek & Brown model with softening
  • Sekiguchi-Ohta, viscid and inviscid
  • User-defined soil models
  • Joined Rock (anisotropy)
  • UBC3D-PLM (based on UBCSAND)
  • Soft Soil
  • Soft Soil Creep (time dependent behavior)
  • Modified Cam-Clay
  • Sekiguchi-Ohta
  • NGI-ADP (anisotropic undrained shear strength)
  • UDCAM-S
  • Concrete
  • Creep-SCLAY1S
  • Generalized Hardening Soil
  • Isotropic Jointed Rock with Mohr-Coulomb Failure Criterion
  • OC-Clay
  • SHANSEP MC
  • SHANSEP NGI-ADP
  • Visco-elastic perfectly plastic
  • NorSand
  • Fluid
2

Calculations

  • Field stress initial calculation type
  • Full 64-bit software
  • Multicore computing
  • Well-proven and robust calculation procedures
  • Plastic calculation, consolidation analysis, and safety analysis
  • Pseudo-static and dynamic analysis, including dynamics with consolidation
  • Facilities for steady-state groundwater flow calculations, including flow-related material parameters, boundary conditions, drains, and wells
  • Fully coupled flow-deformation analysis
  • Convenient and intuitive Phase explorer
  • Automatic regeneration of construction stages for geometric changes

Results

  • Structural forces from cylindrical and square volume piles
  • Realistic assessment of stresses and displacements
  • Output Model Explorer
  • Movable cross-sections
  • Extensive report and movie generator
  • Contour, shading, iso-surface, and vectors plots
  • Advanced data slicing 

Usage

  • Rock-mass response and surface settlements due to tunneling, mining, or reservoir depletion
  • Slope stability and seepage analysis for earth and tailing dams, embankments, and open pit mines
  • Predicting differential settlements of buildings adjacent to excavation pits
  • Stability of and seepage into excavation pits, lateral displacements of diaphragm walls
  • Bearing capacity analysis of suction anchors
  • Calculate consolidation time for pore pressure dissipation in undrained loading problems 
Modeling

Modeling

  • Automatic Swept Meshing for more efficient meshes
  • Elastoplasticity for beams and plates
  • Revolve around axis tool
  • CAD import and export
  • Nonlinear geogrids: Elastoplastic (N-ε) and Viscoelastic (time-dependent)
  • Cross and parallel permeability in interfaces
  • Polar and rectangular array
  • Easy definition of rock bolts and girders in Tunnel Designer
  • Define excavation sequence in the Tunnel Designer
  • Automatic generation of staged construction phases for tunnels
  • Design arbitrary geometries combining NURBS curves and polycurves
  • Automate processes with full command line support and remote scripting API
Material Models

Material Models

  • Masonry
  • Mohr-Coulomb (Linear Elastic Perfectly Plastic)
  • N2PC-Salt
  • Hardening soil
  • Hardening Soil (Isotropic hardening)
  • Hardening Soil with small-strain stiffness (HSSmall)
  • Hoek-Brown (rock behavior)
  • Soft soil (with and without creep)
  • NGI-ADP model
  • Jointed rock
  • Hoek-Brown with parameter guide
  • Hoek & Brown model with softening
  • Sekiguchi-Ohta, viscid and inviscid
  • User-defined soil models
  • Joined Rock (anisotropy)
  • UBC3D-PLM (based on UBCSAND)
  • Soft Soil
  • Soft Soil Creep (time dependent behavior)
  • Modified Cam-Clay
  • Sekiguchi-Ohta
  • NGI-ADP (anisotropic undrained shear strength)
  • UDCAM-S
  • Concrete
  • Creep-SCLAY1S
  • Generalized Hardening Soil
  • Isotropic Jointed Rock with Mohr-Coulomb Failure Criterion
  • OC-Clay
  • SHANSEP MC
  • SHANSEP NGI-ADP
  • Visco-elastic perfectly plastic
  • NorSand
  • Fluid
2
Calculations

Calculations

  • Field stress initial calculation type
  • Full 64-bit software
  • Multicore computing
  • Well-proven and robust calculation procedures
  • Plastic calculation, consolidation analysis, and safety analysis
  • Pseudo-static and dynamic analysis, including dynamics with consolidation
  • Facilities for steady-state groundwater flow calculations, including flow-related material parameters, boundary conditions, drains, and wells
  • Fully coupled flow-deformation analysis
  • Convenient and intuitive Phase explorer
  • Automatic regeneration of construction stages for geometric changes
Results

Results

  • Structural forces from cylindrical and square volume piles
  • Realistic assessment of stresses and displacements
  • Output Model Explorer
  • Movable cross-sections
  • Extensive report and movie generator
  • Contour, shading, iso-surface, and vectors plots
  • Advanced data slicing 
Usage

Usage

  • Rock-mass response and surface settlements due to tunneling, mining, or reservoir depletion
  • Slope stability and seepage analysis for earth and tailing dams, embankments, and open pit mines
  • Predicting differential settlements of buildings adjacent to excavation pits
  • Stability of and seepage into excavation pits, lateral displacements of diaphragm walls
  • Bearing capacity analysis of suction anchors
  • Calculate consolidation time for pore pressure dissipation in undrained loading problems 
Features
PLAXIS 3D
PLAXIS 3D Advanced
PLAXIS 3D Ultimate
Selection of imperial and SI units for length, force, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is PLAXIS 3D?

PLAXIS is an easy-to-use, finite element software application that helps with the analysis of subsurface environments for geoengineering projects.

What does PLAXIS mean? What is PLAXIS used for?

Plaxis is a computer application that performs finite element analyses (FEA) within the realm of geotechnical engineering, including deformation, stability and water flow. The name PLAXIS comes from Plastic and AXISymmetry, indicating the geometric types handled in the original code of the software application.

Where can I find PLAXIS 3D tutorial?

Whilst lots of PLAXIS 3D tutorials can be found on Bentley Communities, here are some FREE PLAXIS 3D learning resources available at Virtuosity, a Bentley Company.

What is the interface in PLAXIS?

By applying interface elements PLAXIS users can simulate the interaction between a structure and soil. While without an interface no relative displacement (slipping/gapping) will be possible between structure and soil.

When interface applied, node pairs will be created at the interface of structure and soil. Each node pair consists of two nodes – one belongs to the structure and the other belongs to the soil. The interaction between these two nodes consists of two elastic-perfectly plastic springs. One elastic-perfectly plastic spring to model the gap displacement and one elastic-perfectly plastic spring to model slip displacement.

Where can I get PLAXIS 3D training or PLAXIS course?

If you want to receive tailored training or attend a PLAXIS 3D course that is specific to your project requirement, Virtuosity offers extra training and mentoring services. You can choose from tailor-made training, on-demand learning, consulting services, mentoring and more.

What is the price of PLAXIS 3D? How much does PLAXIS 3D cost?

A practitioner license of PLAXIS 3D costs $8,400 USD, PLAXIS 3D Advanced costs $11,240, PLAXIS 3D Ultimate costs $13,780 and PLAXIS 3D WorkSuite costs $18,060 USD at Virtuosity.com. Prices vary per region. While there are various types of licensing available, a common choice is the 12-month practitioner license offered through Virtuosity, Bentley’s eCommerce store. When you purchase through Virtuosity you get a Virtuoso Subscription which means you get both the software AND the training, expert services, and custom mentoring you need to get started quickly.

System Requirements

Processor

Required: Dual Core CPU
Recommended: Quad Core CPU

Operating System

Supported: Windows 8 Professional 64-bit, Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Recommended: Windows 10 Professional 64-bit (all with latest service packs applied)

Memory

Recommended: minimum 8 GB
Large projects may require more

Disk Space

Minimum 2 GB free space on the partition where the WindowsTEMP directory resides, and 2 GB free space on the partition where projects are saved. Large projects may require significantly more space on both partitions.

For best performance, ensure that the TEMP directory and the project directory reside on the same partition.

Display

Graphics Card
Required: GPU with 256 MB OpenGL 3.3
Bentley strongly recommends avoiding simple onboard graphics chips in favor of a discrete GPU from the nVidia GeForce or Quadro range with at least 128-bit bus and 1 GB of RAM, or equivalent solution from ATI/AMD.

Video
Required: 1024 x 768 pixels 32-bit color palette, Recommended: 1920 x 1080 pixels 32-bit color palette

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