How do I create a model with complex soil strata?

You can import open surfaces, and closed volumes. But once you’ve defined all your surfaces and volumes, the program will use them to cut your External volume into smaller volumes. If you’ve used our 2D software like RS2, this is analogous to the polylines in that software:

  • a single closed External polyline;
  • a set of open or closed Material polylines;
  • a set of closed Excavation polylines; and
  • a set of open or closed Stage polylines.

RS2 will automatically cut up the External region into smaller regions using the other polylines.

In RS3, you create:

  • a single closed External volume;
  • a set of open Geological surfaces and/or closed Geological volumes; and
  • a set of open Excavation surfaces and/or closed Excavation volumes.

RS3 will then cut up the External volume into smaller volumes using the other surfaces and volumes. You can assign a material to any volume, at any stage of this “cutting up”; RS3 will do its best to preserve the assignments through the cutting.

For a model with several soil layers, you would ideally import or create the surfaces that separate the layers. If you have a pocket, like an ore body, you would import or create the closed volume defining that pocket. The previously-described process will then divide the External volume into layers and pockets using these other surfaces and volumes.

If you import the layers as volumes, instead of as separating surfaces, it is not guaranteed to create a usable model. Also note that a surface or volume with self-intersections will not result in a usable model. Again, this is analogous to RS2: you do not explicitly create the 2D regions, you instead create the polylines, and leave it up to RS2 to create the 2D regions; in RS3, you create the cutting surfaces and volumes, and leave it up to RS3 to create the final closed volumes. If you only have a set of volumes, you can do the following for each pair of adjacent volumes:

  1. Import the volumes as Construction volumes. “Construction” means that you are only using the geometry as a starting point to create the final Geological and Excavation geometry.
  2. Extract a copy of the separating surface from one of the volumes. There will then be exactly one surface, regardless of how well the one volume interacts with the other. You can make this surface a Geological surface.
  3. RS3 will use that surface when it divides the External volume into layers.

If two pieces of geometry are not intended to be physically connected, then you can import them separately, or from the same file. But let’s say you have an open pit surface: you should be importing this entire surface from one source. Or if you have an ore vein, you should import that entire volume from one source.