BlockRanger Features

Rhinoceros 5.0 Plug-In

BlockRanger leverages and extends the power of Rhinoceros 5.0, 3D CAD software from Robert McNeel & Associates.  Rhino can create, edit, analyze, document, render, animate, and translate NURBS* curves, surfaces, and solids, point clouds, and polygon meshes. There are no limits on complexity, degree, or size beyond those of your hardware. Rhino is sold separately, but can be purchased from Itasca at a discount when combined with FLAC, FLAC3D, UDEC, 3DEC, or PFC.



Rhino 5.0 features:

  • Powerful, accurate, and free-form
  • Includes standard drafting tools and advanced Boolean, lofting, draping, extrusion, sweep, rail, revolve, transformation, and analysis tools
  • Compatible with most design, drafting, CAM, engineering, analysis, rendering, animation, and illustration software
  • Customize, parameterize, and automate Rhino and BlockRanger using powerful Visual Basic or Python scripting
  • Affordable, requiring standard hardware, short learning curve, low purchase price with no maintenance fees


For example, easily create models as Rhino surfaces using objects, planes, and extruded curves.




BlockRanger 1.2, included free with Griddle, is a fully interactive, volume mesh generation plug-in for Rhinoceros 5.0. BlockRanger automatically fills Rhino solids with high-quality, mapped, all-hexahedral (brick) elements for use with FLAC3D, 3DEC, and many other engineering analysis packages that require hexahedral meshing and a strict control of element quality, spatial distribution, and orientation. BlockRanger is also sold separately.

Mapped, Structured, Conformal, Hexahedral Meshes

BlockRanger maps structured hexahedral meshes into simple solids: Build an assembly of 4-sided (tetrahedron), 5-sided (prism), or 6-sided (hexahedron) solids with matching corners, edges and faces, and BlockRanger converts them into hexahedral mesh blocks.

Trivial User Interface

BlockRanger needs only parameters (computed by default) — maximum element edge length, minimum block resolution, and target number of elements for best aspect ratio — in order to create a complete mesh.

Export Formats

Volume grids produced by BlockRanger can be saved in the following ASCII file formats: FLAC3D, 3DEC, Abaqus, Ansys, LS-DYNA, NASTRAN, and VRML.


Rhino model composed of tetrahedral, prism, and brick solids.


Corresponding cut-away view of FLAC3D mesh generated by BlockRanger.