Exporting Solids from Surpac and displaying in 3D in PDFs for presentations and reports

What if you can bring in geographical solids into pdfs and display them in 3D? Surpac provides users with this capability, which can be useful for various functions such as for presentation and reporting purposes. Here’s how:


In Surpac, click and drag solids of interest into the graphical pane.



Once the solids are displayed, go to:





The ‘Export to 3D PDF’ window appears as below:




Type in the ‘File name’ and ‘Title’. If no name is selected for ‘Title’, the ‘File name’ will appear as the title for the image in the pdf document.

Check the ‘Select all’ box or check the individual solids of interest. Click ‘Apply’. The file will be saved in the work directory.
(TIP: Make sure you select the work directory prior to exporting. That is where the newly created pdf file will be saved.)

Locate the newly created pdf file either in the navigator pane in Surpac or in Windows Explorer, and open in Adobe Acrobat.

You may get the following screen where only the title is visible but the image does not show up. Adobe Acrobat will prompt you to enable 3D content (the yellow prompt). Click on ‘Options’ and select ‘Trust this document always’. Then click on the red question mark underneath the title on the left side.




The image with the solids will appear.




Click inside the image area, hold down the left mouse button and as you move the mouse, you’ll be able to rotate the solids to view from different angles.





Based on the user’s Adobe Acrobat version, there are still more options available to modify the 3D image in the pdf document.

On the left-hand side menu, under ‘Model Tree’, you can expand the ‘Triangulations’ and further expand ‘node’ to see the different layers (i.e. the different solids).

You can check or uncheck certain solids to display or hide them.




You can also right-click on a particular layer in the ‘Model Tree’ menu (on the left-hand side) and apply transparency to selected solids.




These are just few of the options shown to modify a 3D image exported from Surpac in a pdf document. Many more functions may be accessible to the user based on their version of Adobe Acrobat.

Note: Solids used for the illustrations can be located in the Surpac Tutorials section under ‘geological_database’ folder. The Tutorials are installed as part of Surpac, most commonly under the ‘C’ drive. The files used were pit1.dtm, ore1.dtm and topo1.dtm.






Niti Gupta

Niti Gupta

Process Consultant, GEOVIA at Dassault Systèmes in Canada. Niti is a registered Professional Geoscientist (P.Geo.) with significant mining industry experience, having worked in exploration and underground mines in Canada and the US. Niti’s employment history spans the full spectrum of gold mining companies, including placements at junior explorers (California Gold Mining and Northern Gold Mining), mid-tier producers (Primero Mining) and senior producers (Goldcorp).