How to model the foundation of the structure with Plaxis 3d (v2013) software?


I have a simulation performed by plaxis 2013, which collapses and it does not converge properly. I would appreciate it if someone could give me an idea of the problem.

This is a model of the wind turbine foundation where I’ve used the Mohr-Columb constitutive model for modeling the soil around the foundation, and the plate element technique (and their extrude) for the modeling of the foundation.

The modeling has three steps:

1- The first step: calculating the initial stresses

2- The second step: defining and modeling the foundation of the structure

3- The third step: applying the load

During the analysis of the model, at the step of applying load on the foundation, the soil around the foundation uplifts and foundation deformation is positive while it seems the problem does not relate to the load value. I have also tried to add a negative interface between the bottom of the foundation and the soil which did not impact the result.

I am looking forward to hearing any idea on the probable problem on my modeling procedure and/or boundary conditions,

Thanks in advance

Soil Mechanics / Geotechnical Design Research Equipment Software Shallow Foundations Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering & Soil Dynamics

Asked 20/04/2020 13:17, updated: 26/07/2021 16:42
Hamid Jafari

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3 Answers

Votes: 0

Bentley Systems


You can follow this link where you can find a movie which shows how to model the installation of a wind turbine foundation and how to assign different loading conditions using the the new rigid body functionality in PLAXIS 3D AE release. The rigid body object allows users to define different loading conditions, like rotations, forces or displacements from a single user defined reference point. It is also particularly useful for off-shore applications.

Votes: -1

Hamid Jafari


Thank you very much for your response,

I noticed that the movie explains the process in the 2020 Plaxis version. My Plaxis is a 2013 version. It seems that in the 2020 version, there is a new function(rigid body) that I don’t have access to in the 2013 version. In particular, the process of geometrical modeling, before assignment rigid body, has not been explained in the movie. 
Taking to account the modeling of a circular wind turbine foundation, I have assumed of couples of circles and extrude the circles to make a frustum pyramid (the right-side figure).
Is this simulation correct? And could you please guide me on how I may model the left-side figure in Plaxis?




Votes: 0

Micha Van der Sloot

Hi Hamid

In the latest PLAXIS 3D, we added some functionality, like the circular extrusion and the rigid body, to deal with such problems.

When still using PLAXIS 3D 2013, approximating as you did, or import the geometry, are workarounds to reach the same.

If you want to be contacted to get an update, please see here:

Kind regards,

Micha van der Sloot
PLAXIS | Bentley Systems, Geotechnical