Plaxis 3D Plaxflow


3D PlaxFlow is an add-on module to PLAXIS 3D. Groundwater flow is an important issue in many engineering fields such as geotechnical, environmental and hydrological engineering. In order to take groundwater flow into account in geotechnical software applications, advanced models for the simulation of the unsaturated, time-dependent and anisotropic behaviour of soil are required.

Steady state or time dependent groundwater

While the PLAXIS software by default includes options to perform steady state groundwater flow analysis, the PlaxFlow module enables users to perform time dependent groundwater analysis in a user-friendly and efficient manner.

Full coupling or ignore soil deformation entirely

Fully coupled flow-deformation analyses can be performed, allowing simultaneous calculation of changes in pore pressures and deformation which may affect each other. If users are only interested in groundwater flow, the Flow-only mode allows displacements and stresses to be excluded from the calculation.

Predefined properties for unsaturated soil behaviour

PLAXIS offers various predefined properties to define the unsaturated soil behaviour, according to common soil classification system for example 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 modelling, Van Genuchten model parameters can be entered manually, or user defined relationships between groundwater head, permeability and saturation can be entered.

Time dependent flow boundary conditions

Users can 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 are based on harmonic, linear, or table functions. This allows the modelling of seasonal variations of river water level behind embankments and their effect on the overall slope stability. Precipitation, wells and drains can be included in the model, allowing pumping tests or other hydrological applications to be modelled.



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