3D Analysis, Elevated

Opt for 3DEC for cutting-edge 3D geotechnical analysis. Tailored for complex soil, rock, and structural simulations, including dynamic modeling and ground support. Elevate your solutions today!


3DEC: Software for Analysis of Rock Simulation and Soil Dynamics in 3D

What Kinds Of Problems Can 3DEC Solve?


  • Dams
  • Excavation
  • Rock Fall


  • CO2 Sequestration
  • Dams
  • Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS)
  • Excavations
  • Fault Activation
  • Faults & Jointing
  • Hydraulic Fracturing
  • Nuclear Waste Isolation
  • Proppant Behavior
  • Reservoirs
  • Salt Caverns
  • Waste Storage Containers
  • Wellbores & Casings


  • Fracturing
  • Fragmentation
  • Virtual Laboratory


  • Blasting
  • Cave Mining
  • Destressing
  • Fault Activation
  • Rock Fall
  • Rock Pillars
  • Rocky Slopes
  • Solution Mining


Why Choose 3DEC?

Dive into geotechnical analysis with 3DEC, where powerful computational tools, enabling in-depth exploration of complex rock and soil behavior, including the ability to run two instances simultaneously. Discover why 3DEC is the ideal choice:


  • Small-strain mechanics (gridpoints remain fixed)
  • Large-strain mechanics (gridpoints move with displacement)
  • Effective Stress (pore pressure)
  • Automatic Factor of Safety
  • Back-analyze failure and calibrate forward-prediction
  • Multiple, Simultaneous Failure-Mechanisms
  • Zone relaxation for gradual excavation and construction sequencing
  • Groundwater Flow
  • Material Flow
  • Synthetic Rock Mass (SRM)
  • Bonded Block Modeling (BBM) for fragmentation and fracturing
  • Service limit state (SLS) and ultimate limit states (ULS) based on displacements
  • User Defined Contact Models (UDC)
  • Surface Subsidence
  • Recovery and Dilution
  • Coupled ground-structure interaction (beams, cables, piles, shells, geotextiles, liners)
  • Options Available: Dynamics (Earthquakes, Blasting, Vibration), Thermal, User Defined Constitutive Models (UDM), IMASS Damage Model

* Service Limit State and Ultimate Limit State (URL)

Ease Of Use

3DEC models use a combination of interactive tools and commands. 3DEC simplifies modeling with interactive features such as CAD file compatibility, built-in mesh generation, intuitive boundary skinning, and automatic stress initialization. For advanced meshing, use Griddle and Rhino 3D CAD to build and precisely mesh complex models as a 3DEC grid. Easily define groups in the model pane and assign constitutive models and material properties using the built-in database.


3DEC utilizes multi-threading and optimized solutions for fast, responsive, and accurate simulations. Multi-threaded FISH and Python libraries provide extremely efficient model scripting when user customization is chosen. Users may also run two instances of 3DEC on the same computer simultaneously, cutting down on overall time to solution for multiple models.

Powerful Capabilities

3DEC offers robust hybrid (DEM + continuum) simulation capabilities to model blocks of discontinuous material (jointed rock or masonry bricks). Blocks may be rigid or deformable (zoned) and may slide, rotate, move apart, or come together. Uniquely model groundwater flow within joints and though the ground between them. Coupled mechanical, hydro, and thermal solutions.

Run dynamic analysis to simulate earthquakes and structural elements for ground support are available. Statistical joint set and DFN generation tools are built-in. Advanced plotting tools, FISH scripting and Python integration provide unparalleled model control and customization, while statistical tools and data import options expand modeling possibilities.


In conjunction with interactive tools, 3DEC uses commands to provide a compact representation of the model (as a data file) for repeatability, to ensure path dependency (excavation sequence and any other sequence of events, such as boundary conditions or material properties), and for flexibility.

Intuitively structured commands, built-in contextual help, and command auto-completion help users learn and work with commands. Most user interface interactions are automatically translated into commands, so you can see how they are composed and reuse them. The built-in text editor makes creating and running models with commands efficient.

What's New

  • Seriously faster. Solve steady state models up to 10x faster and run dynamic models 3x faster. Model saving, restoration and plotting are now 3-5x faster.
  • Improved joint logic is based on contacts rather than blocks and cutting no longer unjoins previous joints.
  • New look and feel with streamlined UI, improved information box, inline help at your fingertips, and better plotting.
  • Even more highspeed dynamics (10-200x faster) using the new Maxwell dynamic damping logic.
  • 3DEC 9 zoned models can be coupled to FLAC3D 9 models.
  • Non-linear structural elements for advanced ground support analysis for beams and shells.
  • Three new constitutive models: Concrete, Columnar-Basalt, and Von-Mises.
  • Python has been updated to 3.10.5 and permits you to more easily add your own packages. FISH scripting includes multithreaded FISH splitting and operators for even faster modeling.
  • Also added: Updated documentation and examples, log-normal distribution for DFN fracture generation, and Timoshenko beams to account for transverse shear deformation.


See What Users Have to Say

“[ITASCA] software [including] FLAC3D, UDEC, and 3DEC are quite powerful and user-friendly.”

- Jung Wang, PhD Candidate

"3DEC has proven to us that is a powerful numerical tool to analyze complex physics problems."

- Luis F. Vesga, EDIFICA USA


Expand Your Software Capabilities With These Options


3DEC offers three-dimensional, fully dynamic, analysis that extends simulation capabilities to a wide range of dynamic problems in earthquake engineering, seismology, hydraulic fracturing, gravity flow, blasting, and deep underground rockbursts.

You can specify acceleration, velocity, or stress waves as an exterior or interior boundary condition and include wave absorbing and free-field boundary conditions. Simulate and record synthetic microseismicity for model calibration and validation. Dynamics supports ground-structure interaction, can be coupled to thermal analysis, and includes a Dynamics Wizard to pre-process ground motions. Couple Dynamics to groundwater flow for analyses involving time-dependent pore pressure change associated with liquefaction.



3DEC’s thermal analysis allows the simulation of transient heat conduction for modeling geothermal, ground freezing, and nuclear waste applications. The thermal logic includes a highly accurate numerical formulation for short time scales that includes thermal-mechanical fluid coupling; and a very fast analytical formulation for long time scales.



3DEC’s user-defined model (UDM) greatly expands the software’s versatility by permitting users to develop their own constitutive models, using C++ scripting, to describe a custom material behavior for zones and joints (contacts). Templates and instructions are provided.

Start by modifying one of the built-in models or create a new material behavior from scratch. UDMs can be automatically loaded into your 3DEC project and may be freely distributed (as a DLL file). ITASCA’s maintains a UDM Library on our website should for users to share their UDM models.



3DEC’s IMASS features a two-mode softening of yield surfaces, offering a refined approach to modeling. Notably, IMASS introduces a set of novel material properties and integrates cutting-edge techniques for apex correction, automatic testing, and property updates and management.



Software Support

Our commitment extends beyond products. We offer comprehensive support for all your inquiries. Explore the links below to kick-start your journey:

> Documentation

> Training & Tutorials

> FAQs

> Forum


Request Demo Download

Request a free download of our software demo to explore its features. Experience the innovation firsthand and see how it can benefit your work. Try it today!

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