About Jim Reed


New Paper Solid Program

A new program titled “Paper Solid” has been added to the RockWorks / Solid sub-menu (Figure 1).

Figure 1.  Paper Solid Location within RockWorks Menu Hierarchy

This program is used to create images that can be cut, folded, and glued to create three-dimensional paper models.  The images within Figure 2 depict; (A) An index diagram showing how RockWorks rotates and rescales images to the create final raster image. (B) The final raster image (note tabs and fold-lines).  (C) The printout of a raster image after cutting and folding.  (D) A final glued model.

Figure 2. How Paper Models are Created

The Paper Solid menu input (Figure 3) consists of an existing solid, an optional image to plot at the top of the model, and dimensioning information.

Figure 3.  Screenshot of Paper Solid Menu (Numbered items described below.)

1. The primary input consists of a solid model that represents geochemistry, geophysics, geotechnical properties, lithology, stratigraphy, etc.

2. The output consists of one or more PNG (Portable Network Graphics) images.  The program will load these output files into the default PNG viewer (e.g., the Windows Paint program).  It is up to the user to print these files for subsequent cutting, folding, and gluing.  When printed on 8.5 x 11” paper, a typical model measures approximately 3.5” wide x 1.5” high.  Note that additional annotation and features may be added to these images via an image editor before they are printed.

3. If desired, the panel that represents the top of the model can be replaced within an image such as an airphoto, map, or satellite image (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Paper Model Without and With Airphoto

4. The image that is to be positioned at the top of the model can be a PNG, JPEG, BMP, WMF, EMF, etc. file.

5. The Automatic option will create a model representing the entire designated solid as a single raster file.

6. The Custom option can be used to specify a subset of the input solid.  This is useful when examining a zone of interest (e.g., a contamination plume).

7. The Vertical Exaggeration setting will expand or reduce the height of the final model.  For example, a Vertical Exaggeration of 2.0 will create a model (Figure 5) that is twice as high as the unexaggerated model while a Vertical Exaggeration of 0.5 will create a model that is half the height as the unexaggerated model.

Figure 5.  Lithology Model Plotted at 2X Vertical Exaggeration

8. The Tab Size refers to the height of the glue tabs.  It may be necessary to adjust this height (default = 300 pixels) if the height of the model is small when compared with the lateral extents of the model.

9. If selected, the Split Model Into Octants option will create eight separate images/models that can be arranged to create a single model (see below) with easy-to-use HIGARI (Human Intelligence Grasp And Reposition Interactivity) for cutaway views of the model interior (Figure 6).

Figure 6.  Single Solid Split into Octants for Cutaway Viewing

10. When assembling the finished octants into a single model, small labels can be plotted in the center of the top panel to assist in determining where to place the octants.  Examples include “SWB” (Southwest Base) and “NET” (Northeast Top).

11. The Map Options will display the Grid->Contours sub-menu (Figure 7) that is used in many other RockWorks programs (see below).  When plotting contours, it is important to note that a Custom Color Table be used.  Otherwise, the colors used for each panel will be automatically scaled based on the minimum and maximum values within that panel.

Figure 7.  Map Options Sub-Menu

Miscellaneous Notes:

  • Use glossy paper for optimal results (Figure 8).
Figure 8.  Glossy Paper versus Inexpensive Photocopier Paper
  • Assembled octant-based models can measure approximately 7” wide x 3” high when plotted on 8.5” x 11” paper.  When the individual octants are plotted on larger printers (e.g., color plotters) the theoretical limit is approximately 48” wide x 10” high although creative efforts will be necessary to prevent the model from collapsing (e.g., printing the panels onto rigid posterboard).
  • Cutting, folding, and gluing the models is a tedious process and should be delegated to children stuck at home during the COVID lockdown or unsuspecting undergraduates.

RockWorks Neural Implant Interface


Press Release: 4/1/17 RockWare Incorporated, Golden, Colorado

RockWare is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the “RockWorks Neural Implant Interface”. This optional add-on to RockWare’s flagship product, RockWorks, provides an alternative means for selecting options and settings from the various RockWorks programs.

According to RockWare’s head of development, Dr. Ferd Burble, “Our most common technical support questions typically boil down to asking why RockWorks can’t read the user’s mind. This device will address these issues and provide for a more intuitive user experience”.

Initial reactions from beta-users include:

“If you don’t know what you want, you end up with a lot you don’t.” – Chuck Palahnluk

“Happiness is not knowing what we want and killing ourselves to get it.” – Don Herold

“I’m trying to think, but nothin’s happenin.” – Curly Howard

Please contact RockWare to place your order today!

Hyperbolic Color Palettes Added to RockWorks17

A new feature called “Hyperbolic” has been added to the Custom Color Palette menu.

This new feature is used for creating custom color tables in which contour intervals above a specified threshold are scaled hyperbolically (doubled with each interval), thereby shifting the “hotter” colors towards the threshold thereby diminishing the overwhelming effects of outliers (e.g. outrageously high, but valid data points).  In the example below, the map on the left uses a linear scale while the map on the right, based on the same grid model, uses a hyperbolic color scale in which the threshold was set to the mean plus one standard deviation.

Custom hyperbolic color tables can also be used with 3-D surfaces, voxel model diagrams, and 3-D striplogs as shown by the diagrams below.


The Hyperbolic option includes a “Video Help” button that will launch a YouTube video that provides more information about this new feature.  To view this video now, click on the link below:


RockWorks17 Training Video Index

Note: Items without hyperlinks have not been completed yet.