This page lists the changes in the commands for PLAXIS 3D and its parameters per version.
The material definition for soil/rock and structures has been enhanced. The changes concern:
For material properties changes, i.e., on objects and commands, check the Commands reference under the Help menu in both Input and Output.
The soil material category has been updated to better describe the group of properties that can simulate an incompressible soil by selecting the determination of the excess pore pressures to be based on a v-undrained definition, Skempton B based or following the Biot effective stress concept (αBiot).
The mesh command no longer requires providing the maximum number of cores as input. PLAXIS 3D uses optimized techniques which does not need to utilize multiple cores while maintaining an efficient mesh generation.
Phases object updates
The phases object in Input has been updated. Below you can see the differences in properties between the versions:
Commands using curve points
Following the support for an unlimited number of points for curves in Output, the following examples show the commands that have been updated:
Note that for all commands you can also use Curvepoints.Nodes instead of CN_1 to retrieve the results for the first selected node.
Phase/Step object compatibility
For more information on the changes in the properties for Phase and Step objects in PLAXIS Output program see PLAXIS Output Phase/Step object compatibility for details.
Commands to intersect and combine
The following commands, intersect and combine generate Polygons in 3D 2016 when the generated objects are plane surfaces. In 3D AE the generated objects were Surfaces even if they were plane surfaces.
Generate mesh command
In a fully parametric geometry [link], the command to generate a mesh has changed. This means that the optional parameters for triangulated geometry (angle tolerances) are removed:
All objects are fully parametric in 3D 2016 version, so the removeparametric command has been removed.
The cone command has been modified in order to add the possibility of creating also truncated cones by introducing a second radius parameter.
The import command has been modified:
Decompose into surfaces command
It is no longer possible to specify a tolerance angle in the decomposesrf (desf)) command. The command is still valid by specifying a surface or volume object as parameters:
Command to save objects from geometry
The command __saveobjects has been updated. For more information please check the following article: Can I reuse existing PLAXIS 3D geometrical objects in a new project?
Embedded beam material axial skin resistance table property
The command for the property for the multi-linear table option of axial skin resistance has changed:
Material commands for plate and beam
Material commands for plates and beams have been updated to reflect the current options. This means that unused properties to define XY-lists (e.g. XYListMultiLinear, XYListNEpsilon) have been removed.
Enumeration of calculation phases
The enumeration of the calculation types of phases has been updated due to the introduction of a new type: “Field stress”. Below you can see the differences in the enumeration between versions:
The embedded pile has been renamed to embedded beam to make clear this embedded beam can be used for more than just piles, e.g. grout anchors.
To create a new embedded beam:
embeddedbeam (x1 y1 z1) (x2 y2 z2)
To create a new embedded beam row material dataset:
Note: in this version, the old commands for the embedded pile rows will be supported, but may become deprecated in later versions.
GeneratedSoilVolume changes to BoreholeVolume
The soil volumes/polygon generated from boreholes are now renamed to use Borehole as a prefix rather than GeneratedSoil. This is more clear where the soil volume originates from (from the Borehole definition), and also more consistent with the naming of the waterlevels generated in the boreholes (BoreholeWaterLevels).
Cutobjects (staged construction and mesh mode) and manual intersection
Due to an issue in the sorting routine of the cut objects (i.e. the intersected result of soils, volumes, polygons, lines), and the fact that the source of a cut objects was not clear in its naming, the automatic naming of items in the intersected geometry (mesh mode, flow conditions mode, staged construction, or just manual intersection in e.g. Structure mode by using the intersect command) has been changed. This also involves removing the prefix CS_ for these items, see this example:
Also, reference points per volume, surface and line may vary. This is important for when setting reference and incremental values.
When decomposing e.g. a volume into surfaces, PLAXIS 3D 2013 would give this response:
0005> _decomposesrf Volume_1 Added Polygon_Volume_1_1 Added Face_Volume_1_1 Added Polygon_Volume_1_2 Added DecomposedGeometry_1
With PLAXIS 3D AE, this naming of the resulting surfaces is now more uniform:
0005> _decomposesrf Volume_1 Added Surface_Volume_1_1 Added Surface_Volume_1_2 Added Surface_Volume_1_3 Added DecomposedGeometry_1
This means that the names of the new surfaces is different than in PLAXIS 3D 2013. Also, reference points per surface may vary. This is important for when setting reference and incremental values.
Local mesh refinements
The local mesh refinement value parameter is now renamed from FinenessFactor to CoarsenessFactor. For now, existing projects and command lines will remain compatible for using this property name. In this version the old naming of the local mesh coarseness will be supported, but may become deprecated in later versions.Please also note the change in naming of cutobjects for full compatibility.
Default boundary conditions
The deformation boundary conditions have been changed to make it easier to change only one side of the model, instead of all sides as in 3D 2013. Now you can set either side to be Free, Normally fixed, Horizontally fixed, Vertically fixed, and Fully fixed.Next to that, these boundary conditions now only work on model sides that are parallel to one of the axis and coincide with the minimum or maximum coordinate for each axis.
The command to set UseDefaultFixities is now obsolete and will not work. For example:
set Deformations.UseDefaultFixities Phase_1 False
In 3D AE, you can change this to:
deactivate Deformations Phase_1
For more details, please see Modifying boundary condition.
Multiplier on vector based features
The name for the multiplier userfeature has been changed. For point loads and point prescribed displacements, this userfeature name has been changed from .Multiplier_x/_y/_z to .MultiplierFx/Fy/Fz. To set a LoadMultiplier for a dynamic point load using the command line:
For line loads, this userfeature name has been changed from .Multiplier_x/_y_z to .Multiplierx/y/z, and this would be the command line:
For surface loads, this userfeature name has been changed from .Multiplier_x/_y_z to .Multiplierx/y/z, and this would be the command line:
Parametric geometry: cylinder, cone and arcs
Since PLAXIS 3D AE, parametric geometry is supported. This means that any curved shape made inside PLAXIS 3D does not need a discretization in sections to approximate the 3D curved shape. This has influence on the used commands that needed this discretization angle.
The gravity value is now a fixed value of 9.81 m/s2 and will be converted correctly to the used units in the PLAXIS 3D AE project. This property should be removed from any command to set the general project properties.
The reference to LoadCase items (LoadCaseRef0, LoadCaseRef1, LoadCaseRef2, etc) should now be removed from the command when setting up material datasets or when changing properties.
Re-applying same materials set
In PLAXIS 3D 2013, re-applying the same material set to a soil or structural element fails, see also this related known issue. This is now fixed in PLAXIS 3D AE.00
Calculation type for initial phase: flow only
When performing a groundwater flow calculation only (so when you are not interested in deformations), the calculation type of the Initial Phase now needs to be set to "Flow only" (it was "Groundwater flow only" in previous versions):
set InitialPhase.DeformCalcType "Flow only"
Groups in staged construction
When grouping items in Staged construction mode (or any of the green modes), groups are now called S_Group_#, instead of CS_Group_# with # the number of group.
Cannot manually intersect mixed objects
When having mixed objects (parametric and non-parametric), it is not possible to manually intersect these using the intersect command.
To check if a geometric item is parametric or not, we can use this command for e.g. Volume_1:
Also, to remove the parametric setting and fall back to the non-parametric (internally triangulated) geometry, use this command:
Nonplanar polygon is now invalid
When using the surface command, if one or more points are not defined in the original plane of the surface (defined by the first three points), the surface will not be valid. To fix this, you can use the option to project the points onto the plane, via right click on the invalid polygon, or use this command:
You can recognize such invalid polygons by blue corner points and dashed lines:
Cannot import step files with anisotropic scale factors
When importing parametric geometry (e.g. STEP file), it is not possible to use different scale factors for the x, y and z direction.
Water levels from boreholes: BoreholeWaterlevel
In 3D2012 and earlier, water levels created by the water definition in boreholes were called GeneratedWaterLevel_1, GeneratedWaterLevel_2, etc. However, this was somewhat confusing where this data originated from. Since PLAXIS 3D 2013 this is now clearer: such waterlevels are now called BoreholeWaterlevel_1, BoreholeWaterlevel_2, etc.
The collection of surface contractions used to be called Contractions, which was inconsistent with the name of individual surface contractions (e.g. SurfaceContraction_1). This collection name is now changed into SurfaceContractions.
Groundwaterflow boundary conditions
The general boundary conditions for flow and consolidation to tell which side (xmin, xmax, ymin, ymax, zmin, zmax) was open or closed are no longer part of the phase settings but are now part of the global boundary conditions, or under Model Conditions in the Phase Model Explorer.
Example: The command to open the xmin boundary is now changed to:
set GroundwaterFlow.BoundaryXMin Phase_1 "Open"
Interfaces now have an independent setting to define an interface as permeable or impermeable, whereas this was an implicit setting in PLAXIS 3D2012 and earlier.
Example to set an interface to impermeable, use:
set PositiveInterface_1_1.Permeable Phase_1 False
Note that when activating an interface, it will automatically change its permeability setting to False (so making it impermeable), but not the other way around: when deactivating an interface, the permeability setting will remain as it was.
In PLAXIS 3D 2012, the Phase object has been completely revised in order to allow for more control on calculation parameters and iterative settings. Also, the whole graphical user interface for phases has been updated, taking advantage of this new structure. This also means that a great deal of all phase-object properties are changed. For details, please see the object reference via the program's Help menu. Some examples:
When trying to play back PLAXIS 3D 2010 commands that create/modify geotextile materials, an error may be given because of the new anisotropic functionality. The EA property has been split into EA1 and EA2 (which are identical if the new IsIsotropic property is set to True), and the Np property has been split into Np1 and Np2 (which are identical if the new IsIsotropic property is set to True). When (re)using these geotextile material commands, please adjust these according to the new specifications. For more details, please see the command “geogridmat” in the commands reference.