- The attach logic now automatically skips interfaces and embedded liners. This makes creating complex densified meshes with interfaces and liners much easier.
- FLAC3D can now compress and restore save and results files to reduce file sizes with a compression factor on the order of 3-5x (this is, however, at expense of increased save and restore time).
- File backups have been enabled, with the project file being automatically backed-up periodically. The model state is also periodically saved during cycling (the default setting is 4 hours, which can be changed in the Options dialog). Backsup help minimize lost work due to power failure or accidental termination.
- Save/restore operations are about twice as fast, correcting a slow down that occurred since version 6.
- Creating a save file is 55% faster, about 25% faster than it was in Version 5.01.
- Restoring a save file is 47%, back to the speed it was in Version 5.01.
- The default FISH input/output file ("save") is even faster yet.
- Structural element nodes may have any number of links assigned, making custom behavior significantly easier. This is particularly useful for complicated civil engineering projects involving significant numbers of structures (piles, rock bolts, cables, beams, shells).
- The engine for scripting with Python has been updated to Python 3.
- Improved startup sequence dialog to provide more current information to users.
- Example projects and data files and C++ UDM support files are now automatically updated whenever FLAC3D is updated.
FLAC3D Licenses - An Expanded Future
Itasca currently provides licenses accessible by a local key (dongle) or network key. As computing services and data centers move into the cloud, it is becoming more and more common to operate software without actual physical access to the system running it. Itasca is developing a web-license(a) capability that will not require a physical key. Physical (local and network) keys will continue to be available.
In addition, web licenses will make hourly licensing practicable. In combination with easy access to cloud computing, this will be a powerful option for users who need to generate results faster or because they need to run a number of different scenarios as quickly as possible. Perpetual, lease, and monthly license terms will continue to be available.
To provide these options, Itasca must change when the license security is invoked. FLAC3D 7 will require a valid license to be present for any model modification command or FISH function execution. (The only exception is if the model is smaller than the allowable demonstration limits.) As such, it will no longer be possible to construct and test models incrementally without a valid license. Post-processing plotting and analysis of model results will continue to be available without a license.
(a)A web security option, with individually managed email and password access, is currently being implemented and tested. It is anticipated that this feature will be available by the official release of FLAC3D 7 later in 2019. Ask us for more information if you're interested in trying web-licensing.