CADAM3D is a software that performs stability analysis of three-dimensional hydraulic structures such as gravity dams, gated spillways, water intakes and free-fall spillways. These types of structures can, in most cases, be represented by an assembly of elements having simple geometry and constant section in a given direction. The two-dimensional section of each element is first defined and then extruded with a user-defined thickness to eventually create the volume. The complete model is defined by the assembly of these elements.

It is also possible to add to typical predefined sections drainage galleries or any form of voids that can significantly alter the weight and centre of gravity of the structure. Using these options, the three-dimensional shape of the model corresponds very closely to the actual structure. For example, the spillway shown in the Figure below is made up of three basic elements: a foundation, a chute and a pier.