Getting Started

This section provides the first-time user with an introduction to 3DEC. If you are familiar with the program but only use it occasionally, you may find this section helpful in refreshing your memory on the mechanics of running 3DEC Getting Started outlines the recommended procedure for applying 3DEC to problems in geoengineering, and includes simple examples that demonstrate each step of this procedure. More complete information on problem solving is provided in Problem Solving with 3DEC.

3DEC is a command-driven code. This is an important distinction, especially if you are used to using menu-driven software. The command-driven structure allows 3DEC to be a very versatile tool for use in engineering analysis. However, this structure can present difficulties for new, or occasional, users. Command lines must be entered as input to 3DEC, either interactively via the keyboard or from a data file (which can be created using the built-in text editor), in order for the code to operate.

To the new user, it may seem an insurmountable task to wade through all of the commands to select those necessary for a desired analysis. This difficulty is not as formidable as it first appears, if the user recognizes that only a very few commands are actually needed to perform simple analyses. As the user becomes more comfortable with 3DEC and uses the code regularly, more commands can be applied and more complex analyses performed. In this section, we provide a primer on the few basic commands the new (or occasional) user needs to perform simple 3DEC calculations. The following tools are provided to help with building up commands in 3DEC:

  • At any time you can type ? at the 3DEC prompt to get a list of available commands or keywords.

  • Pressing <F1> in the text editor will show the manual page associated with the command at the current line of text.

  • Pressing Ctrl-space in the text editor will show the possible keywords that can follow on from any command.

This section contains the following information:

  • A simple tutorial example (Tutorial: Quick Start (3DEC)) that demonstrates the use of common input commands and plotting functionality to execute and view a 3DEC model.

  • Mechanics of Using 3DEC including how to use the GUI interface, how to build commands, nomenclature, sign conventions and systems of units.