Rocscience: Geotechnical Analysis Software

  • Built by engineers for engineers, the Rocscience software suite is akin to an open source software package. All parties have an input.
  • Flagging potential problems before they occur can seriously improve overall safety.
  • The ability to analyse structures and locations in 2D and 3D has attracted the attention of civil engineers and mining companies.

Rocscience is a software company which specialises in 2D and 3D analysis geotechnical software for the civil engineering and mining sectors. This company is yet another example of how computer-aided design is revolutionising the engineering industry and literally saving lives. The ability to build, analyse and then change various structures is the Holy Grail for the engineering sector. So, what does Rocscience have to offer and why are they having such an impact upon the civil engineering and mining sectors?

rocscience open cast mine

Rocscience software, built by engineers for engineers

Rocscience seems to have found an ability to bring together the latest cutting-edge software and make it user friendly to the engineering sector. This is not easy to do, as you might imagine, because those often writing software programs do not have the same experience as those using them. As a consequence, it will be no surprise to learn that this software suite continues to expand and develop as time goes by.

The various business strategies of Rocscience have obviously been in the pipeline for some time because their engineers have an array of degrees in a variety of different geotechnical specialities and, perhaps more importantly, experience in the field. The company has a growing client base which takes in both small and large engineering firms, consultancy companies, mining giants and government agencies across the globe.

What does the software actually do?

Before we look at the individual software packages available it is worth listing the areas in which the company operates. There are packages to cover many different situations including:-

  • rocscience-cavern-design
    Deformation and failure of the rock mass surrounding a mushroom shaped underground cavern with a concrete roof arch.

    Dams – analyse the stability and stress associated with dam structures.

  • Embankments – customers cannot only analyse the stability of individual embankments but also groundwater flow and many other factors.
  • Excavations – particularly popular in the mining sector, this software allows the customer to model any underground or surface excavation project.
  • Groundwater – analyse groundwater flow through embankments, tunnels, excavations and monitor expected groundwater seepage.
  • Mining – open pit and underground mining is extremely dangerous and this package allows models to be created prior to commercial use.
  • Retaining Walls – analysing the stability, safety and stress using 2D and 3D images is priceless.
  • Rockfalls – the geotechnical expertise of this Rocscience software allows risk analysis of potential rockfall slopes.
  • Settlement – once foundations have been laid it can be difficult to estimate any possible movement going forward. Rocscience offers a package which can do exactly that.
  • Slope Stability – monitor slope stability and carry out element analysis using 2D and 3D virtual models.
  • Tunnels – analysing and stress testing complex tunnel systems is where Rocscience has a particular expertise.

Rocscience software suite

The array of specific solutions detailed above is supported by a growing software suite which includes:-

  • CPillar (from $295) – an interactive software package used to evaluate stability of surface or underground pillars and laminated roof beds.
  • Dips (from $295) – this package has many different features including a 3D stereosphere taking in situations such as curved boreholes, joint spacing and many more.
  • Examine3D (from $895) – the ability to analyse underground rock excavations is vital for many areas of engineering.
    RocData (from $295) – this particular package is able to analyse rock and soil strength and take in an array of other physical parameters.
  • RocFall (from $495) – as the name suggests, this software package is focused on the assessment of slopes and potential rockfalls.
  • RocPlane (from $295) – when working with nature, and especially rock landscapes, there is a need to maintain stability and analyse this at every stage.
  • RocSupport (from $295) – when boring into weak rock it can be difficult to gauge the formation of circular excavations and potential weaknesses going forward. This software package offers the answer.
  • RocTopple (from $295) – this software package is part of the rock slope analysis suite allowing engineers to perform toppling analysis and support design.
  • RS2 (from $2495) – this 2D software package is proving vital for designs were soil and rock is prevalent.
  • RS3 (from $4995) – proving to be very popular in the civil and mining sectors this particular application allows the 3D analysis of geotechnical structures.
  • RSPile (from $295) – the ability to calculate the axial load capacity of driven piles and how they react under various lateral stress testing is invaluable.
  • Settle3D (from $745) – once a structure has been built it can be very difficult to analyse any vertical consolidation or issues with foundations and embankments. This 3-D analysis program does exactly that.
  • Slide (from $1295) – described as comprehensive slope stability analysis software this particular package covers everything from groundwater seepage to probabilistic analysis.
  • Swedge (from $645) – as the name suggests this software package is perfect when evaluating surface wedges often required in rock slopes.
  • Unwedge (from $645) – creating a 3D stability analysis of underground rock excavations and structural elements this package is extremely useful.

Over the years Rocscience has built up an array of focused packages offering expert analysis of different areas of civil engineering and mining.


Working with engineers of the future

As we touched on above, these packages are written by engineers for engineers although the company is even more forwardthinking. Having built up a relationship with over 280 universities around the world the Rocscience Education Program allows the company to mix with geniuses of tomorrow. Using students as guinea pigs to test, retest and rethink their software packages has proved invaluable. The feedback the company receives from students (and customers) using the various software packages allows for future improvements, tweaks and new additions to the software suite.

While we have just scratched the surface of what Rocscience has to offer this article should give you an idea of how the company works, the software packages available and the management’s extremely proactive way of thinking.



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