What's New in 3DEC 7


  • Updated plotting paradigm
Select the object being plotted and then select either the label (group, material, material model, state, etc.) or value (displacements, stress, velocity, temperature, etc.) to be contoured.
  • Updated plotting libraries. Faster and more stable platform, especially when working with Remote Desktop
  • All quantities can now be contoured (e.g. stress and strain)
  • Most plot items include the ability to map to other coordinates and the ability to plot with exaggerated deformation to highlight large displacements in small strain models
  • Ability to reorder, copy, and paste plot items interactively


  • Automatic mesh generation in fully deformable blocks now uses same libraries as in Griddle
  • Build models directly from closed geometry surfaces (e.g. DXF):
    • Fill volume with tetrahedral blocks, or
    • Merge blocks to form zones within single closed surfaces
  • Cut blocks with DXF geometry
DXF of a simple tunnel (left) and resulting 3DEC model (right). The model is composed of 4 blocks, each discretized into tetrahedral zones.
Imported dxf geometry (left) and cross-section of cut 3DEC model (right).
  • Create blocks from VRML files
A Rhino model of masonry blocks (left) and resulting 3DEC model (right).
  • Built-in voronoi block generator
View of a sphere with Voronoi blocking showing the surface (left) and an internal range of blocks (right).
  • Export model grids, along a plane, to UDEC
  • New grid file format for importing and exporting blocks and zones
Updated ASCII grid file showing structure and object referencing. A binary option is also available.
  • Convert tetrahedral blocks into zones during import
    • blocks with the same group name can be merged together to form multiple zones within a single block
    • 2-3x faster than joining
3DEC model created by importing blocks from Griddle (left) and by using the new merge functionality (right).
  • Beam, cable, and pile geometry can be imported from CAD data
  • Define groups using visual and property-based ranges


  • Three new, built-in joint models have been added:
    • Softening healing Mohr-Coulomb to improve modeling seismicity such that not all joint slip events are seismic and joint stick-slip behavior is possible
    • Bilinear Mohr-Coulomb with two different shear strength envelopes where the transition may be automatic (envelopes intersection) or specified
    • Power Law Creep to simulate the creep due to the joint gauge (infill) material


  • Structural liners, previously an option, are now included
  • More structural elements (piles, shells, and geogrids)
  • Elastic finite element blocks (20 or 28-noded hexahedra), previously an option, now included
  • Hybrid bolts add dowel segments to cable bolts to resist shearing and opening across joints
Cables around an excavated tunnel. Dowel segments are contoured by shear force.


  • Updated commands and FISH syntax that is intuitive, easy to learn, and easy to apply
  • Automatic conversion tool to translate 3DEC 5.2 data files to the updated 3DEC 7.0 syntax
    • Converted sources files are archived automatically to a local pre-conversion folder
    • Ambiguous or obsolete syntax is highlighted with recommendations
Original 3DEC 5.2 data file snippet (left) and automatically converted 3DEC 7.0 version (right). All converted source data files are automatically saved in pre-conversion folder (insert circle).
  • Documentation includes a Command and FISH mapping reference
  • More variable types include: Boolean, Symmetric Tensor (e.g., stress and strain), Matrix (with built-in functions to inverse, multiply, etc.), Map (or associative array), and Structures
  • Display of global FISH symbols as calculation progresses
  • FISH foreach construct can now be used for 3DEC objects. This greatly simplifies 3DEC FISH
Looping through all zones in a model in 3DEC 5.2 (left) and 3DEC 7.0 (right).
  • FISH functions now available for all objects including structural elements
  • Improved editor with better highlighting, visible line numbers and code folding (collapse and expand segments of code)
  • Fully integrated Python. All FISH functions also available as Python methods
  • Control 3DEC entirely using Python data files and/or using the enhanced interactive IPython console built right into 3DEC
  • IPython provides a powerful set of tools, such as:
    • GUI-based script shell
    • interactive data visualization
    • comprehensive object introspection
    • Python script parallel processing
    • robust error handling


  • Documentation is now in HTML format
  • Access Help at the command prompt or within a data file [F1]
  • Access Inline Help [Ctrl + Spacebar] to auto-complete commands


  • Seismic wizard to pre-process ground waves for dynamic (option) analysis
  • Groups and extra variables for all objects, including structural elements and flow planes
  • Save files can be automatically (optionally) compressed
  • Save files will be compatible with future 3DEC versions

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