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The Visual Editor for MCNPX

Current Status

The current RSICC MCNP5(1.6)/MCNPX(2.7) release ONLY includes the MCNPX Visual Editor.  The RSICC release does NOT include an MCNP Visual Editor or a Linux version of the Visual Editor.

The MCNPX Visual Editor shipped with the current RSICC release (MCNPX Version 2.70).  A more recent beta version is available to students who attend any Visual Editor Consultants MCNP/MCNPX training class.


The Visual Editor was adapted to work with MCNPX through a grant from NASA.  To download the report issued to NASA at the conclusion of the Phase 2 grant (issued November 2008. 7.5 Meg), Click Here.

See the PowerPoint Presentation given at  the Winter ANS Meeting in Reno.  Click Here (File Size 5 Meg.  .pdf format).

Click on the picture for a larger view.

Display Capability

 For more detailed information, Click Here.

MCNP geometries can be displayed graphically in multiple plot windows. 

When the Visual Editor is executed, it by default brings up two plot windows. You can optionally see the complete input file be selecting "Input" from the main menu. On the top of the input window is an area where MCNP and the Visual Editor can print out warning and error messages.

Surface Creation/Cell Creation

For more detailed information, Cells, Surfaces


The Visual Editor allows the user to create any surface recognized by MCNP. Surfaces can be created by typing in an exact position or by clicking on the position of the surface with the mouse, for the less complicated surfaces.


The Visual Editor has the capability to create very complex cells as a series of cut and past operations. A paste operation adds to the cell definition while a cut operation removes space from the cell definition.

Materials/Materials Library

For more detailed information, Click Here.

The Visual Editor will read the xsdir file for the users system and allow the user to create material descriptions by selecting the isotope from the list of available isotopes.

Lattice Creation

For more detailed information, Click Here.

The Visual Editor allows the user to create a lattice by indicating the number of rows, pitch, and number of axial elevations. The Visual Editor will then generate a default fill matrix, which the user can modify by selecting the row location and elevations for the universes that make up the fill matrix.


For more detailed information, Click Here.

The Visual Editor provides tools to dynamically set importances for the cells. The user can select individual cells with the mouse or a sequence of cells by dragging the mouse over a number of cells. The Visual Editor remembers the sequence in which the cells were selected which allows the user to set the importances as a function of a geometric scaling factor.

Source Points/Collision Points

  For more detailed information, Click Here.

The Visual Editor has the capability of plotting source generation points and collision points. This can be used to better understand how the particles are being transported through you geometry. It can show unexpected streaming paths, poor particle biasing, or if the source is generated in the expected locations. Additionally, the user can select only those points that contribute to a tally.

Cross Section Plotting

3D Dynamic Viewing

For more detailed information and sample exercises explaining this feature, Click Here

The Visual Editor Displays MCNP geometries in 3D.

KCODE Source Generation Points

For more detailed information, Click Here

The Visual Editor also allows the user to display source generation points as a function of the KCODE cycle. The user can select up to 100 cycles that will be printed out to files; the visual editor then can display the source generation locations for each of these cycles.

3D Plots

 For more detailed information, Click Here

The Visual Editor can create Ray Traced 3D plots.  This is a 3D view of a cask with a section cut out. The plot was generated by reading in the cask input file and then adding a cookie cutter cell. This cookie cutter cell is used to cut away a region of the geometry, in this case a quarter of the cask.

For an example 3D input file, and plotting instructions, Click Here.

3D Radiographic Plots

  For more detailed information, Click Here.

A radiographic plot is a 3D plot where the darkness of the plot represents either the total thickness of the cells that the ray has passed through or represents the cross section of the material for a user specified incident source energy.

Tally Plotting

  For more detailed information, Click Here

This is the same tally feature that has been available in MCNP for a long time. To create a tally plot, you must specify a runtpe or mctal file that contains the tally and specify which type of file


  For more detailed informaion, Click Here.

The Visual Editor can also run input files. To run an input file, you just indicate the name of the input file and select run. While running, the number of particles and the total time is constantly updated. The run can be gracefully terminated at any time by pressing the STOP button

CAD Import (Version 1.3 and later) 

A number of advances have been made in the importing of 2D and 3D CAD files.  See our CAD Conversion web page.


Surface Wizard (Version 1.3 and later)

A Wizard has been added to assist in the creation of complex MCNP surfaces.

Below are images from the creation of an ARB using the wizard.

Screen 1               Screen 2              Screen 3 w/ Help   Screen 4

Help Package for Surfaces (Version 1.3 and later)

With the Surface Wizard, a help package has been developed to assist in the creation of Surfaces.  The package is integrated in with the new version but also may be used "stand alone" and downloaded from this page.

Samples from the Help Package for Surfaces

Main                      Surface Types       Creating an ARB



Plotting Tally Mesh

For more detailed information, Click Here.

The Visual Editor has been modified to show the tally mesh for input files that contain a tally mesh. 

Copy Plots to Clipboard

For more detailed information, Click Here.

An easy way to include Visual Editor plots in a document has been needed for some time.  To address this problem, the user can now right click on the mouse and send the selected plot to the Windows clipboard where it can be pasted into a document. 

General Fixes and Improvements

 For more detailed information, Click Here.

A number of improvements were made to the visual editor.  Several known bugs were also fixed.

Do Not Modify Input Option

Another user concern is the Visual Editor modifies the input file, changing the format and order of the data within the input file.  A new file->open option has been added to the Visual Editor to allow the user to open an input file without modification by the Visual Editor.  In this mode, no changes are made to the input file and the un-modified input file can be viewed in the input window.  However, because the Fortran to Visual Editor interface has been bypassed, none of the creation capabilities will be available in this mode.  Display capabilities such as particle tracks, 3D ray-traced images, tally plots and cross section plots can still be generated.

This mode can be used by users who only want to generate display data and are not creating or modifying the input file.


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