Plaxis 3D


PLAXIS 3D is a powerful and user friendly finite element package intended for three-dimensional analysis of deformation and stability in geotechnical engineering and rock mechanics. PLAXIS is used worldwide by top engineering companies and institutions in the civil and geotechnical engineering industry. Applications range from excavations, embankments and foundations to tunnelling, mining and reservoir geomechanics.

The most advanced tool on the market

PLAXIS 3D has advanced features to tackle modelling challenges in the most complex geotechnical projects, that cannot be solved with PLAXIS 2D.

Complex modelling made easy

Finite element modelling in full 3D has never been easier with a range of CAD-like drawing tools and extrude, intersect, combine and array operations. It’s almost like sculpting.

Fast and efficient finite element model creation

The user-friendly interface guides the user to efficiently create models with a logical geotechnical workflow. Via Boreholes users can define complex soil profiles or geological cross-sections. In the Structures mode, structural elements, like piles, anchors, geotextiles, and prescribed loads and displacements can be defined. Geometry can also be imported from CAD-files. The automatic meshing procedure creates a finite element mesh almost immediately.

Realistic assessment of stresses and displacements

With Staged Construction users can accurately model the construction process, by activating and deactivating soil clusters and structural elements in each calculation phase. With plastic, consolidation and safety analysis calculation type,  a broad range of geotechnical problems can be analyzed. Constitutive models range from simple linear to advanced highly non-linear models  wide range of soil and rock behaviour can be simulated. Well proven and robust calculation procedures ensure converging calculations and accurate results. With multi-core calculations and 64-bit architecture PLAXIS can deal with the largest and most complex models.

Powerful and versatile post processing

The versatile Output program offers various ways to display forces, displacements, stresses, and flow data in contour, vector and iso-surface plots. Cross-section tools allow more detailed analysis of 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 results types from available calculation data.


Operating System requirements

Windows 7 Professional, Windows 8 Professional, Windows 10 Pro
Recommended: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (all with latest service packs applied)

PLAXIS 3D 2016 requires a 64-bit operating system at the minimum

USB Port

1 port required for USB licence

Graphics card

Required: GPU with 256 MB OpenGL 1.3
Plaxis strongly recommends avoiding simple onboard graphics chips in favour 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.


Required: dual core CPU
Recommended: quad core CPU

Hard Disk

At least 2 GB free space on the partition where the Windows TEMP 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.

Random Access Memory (RAM)

Recommended for 2D: at least 4 GB. Large projects may require more.
Recommended for 3D: at least 8 GB. Large projects may require more.

Video modes

Required: 1024 x 768 pixels, 32 bit colour palette
Recommended: 1280 x 900 pixels, 32 bit colour palette