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Two Delft3D versions exist that allow you to simulate the interaction of water, sediment, ecology, and water quality in time and space: 

  • Delft3D Flexible Mesh Suite runs the new software engine for hydrodynamical simulations on unstructured grids in 1D, 2D, and 3D. Together with the familiar curvilinear meshes, the unstructured grid can consist of triangles, pentagons (etc.) and 1D channel networks, all in one single mesh. 
  • Delft3D 4 Suite is the predecessor of Delft3D Flexible Mesh and is a integrated modelling suite, which simulates two-dimensional (in either the horizontal or a vertical plane) and three-dimensional flow in structured curvilinear grids.


There are three concepts to understand:

  • Kernel: This is the core of the software and consists of the executables (in Windows and Linux) generated by compiling the open-source Fortran code. One can obtain the code for free, compile it, and execute a simulation file-based (i.e., using a batch or bash file). The kernel is the same for Delft3D Flexible Mesh 1D, 2D, 3D, and the possible combinations as well as for Delft3D 4. Two sets of executables are generates:
    • Delft3D FM: For running 1D, 2D, 3D and all combinations. 
    • Delft3D 4: For running Delft3D 4 simulations. 
  • GUI (Graphical User Interface): This is the shell around the kernel that can be used to generate simulations graphically. It is delivered with the software license. The GUI generates files and then calls the executables (kernels) for running a simulation. For historical reasons there are two Delft3D FM GUI’s:
    • 1D2D: Was developed as follower of Sobek-3.
    • 2D3D: Was developed as follower of Delft3D-4. 

Importantly, both GUI’s call the same set of executables. 

There is also a Delft3D 4 GUI. 

  • Quickplot: This is a Matlab-base tool to postprocess results. The code is open source, and it is found in the same repository as the kernel of Delft3D. If you have a Matlab license, you can use the latest version of Quickplot by running the files in the repository. With the licenses, a compiled (i.e., it is not necessary to have a Matlab license) version is delivered. 


Obtaining the software:


Delft3D Flexible Mesh pre-compiled beta-tester distribution


This will provide you with a ready-to-use version of the software and a graphical user interface free of charge intended for researchers and testers. For obtaining them, you need to sign a license agreement. Please send a request to


Delft3D pre-compiled fully validated distribution.

This offers high quality services to consultancy firms, governmental organizations, research institutes and universities worldwide. See the available packages


Delft3D source code


Download and compile the open source code of both Delft3D Flexible Mesh and Delft3D 4. This option provides you access to the latest version of the software. A tutorial on compiling and running the code can be found at GitHub. The repository is here

Within the Riverlab framework, you can request a copy of the source code (a so-called 'branch') in which you can safely commit your own changes to the source code. This 'branch' can then also be used by other users of the RiverLab. When the changes are fully tested and approved, they can possibly in a later stage be merged with the main development line (the 'trunk'). A tutorial on implementing your own new features in the source code can be found at GitHub. You can request a new branch by sending an email to

You can request a Delft3D pre-compiled GUI by sending an email to