2D to 3D Model Extrusion

A feature of SVOffice™ 2009



June 15, 2010

The creation of three-dimensional numerical models is often complicated by the fact that it is difficult to describe three-dimensional geometry into the computer. A number of different paradigms have been developed for the entry of three-dimensional geometry. Currently, SVOffice™ 2009 supports two separate paradigms for the entry of three-dimensional geometry in a numerical model. These paradigms consist of a) layered surfaces, as well as b) surfaces comprised of interlocking planes. SoilVision Systems Ltd. has now introduced a third method of easily creating three-dimensional numerical models. This method involves taking a two-dimensional cross-section of a numerical model, typically in profile view, and extruding it in the third dimension to form a full three-dimensional numerical model. This feature is freely available to all existing users of the SVOffice 2009 versions of SVFlux™, ChemFlux™, SVAirFlow™, SVSolid™ and SVHeat™.

This new methodology greatly simplifies the creation of a number of different types of three-dimensional numerical models. Since a number of geotechnical structures are long in one particular dimension, this model design methodology presents a reasonable and fast alternative for creating numerical models. Once numerical models are extruded to three dimensions, they are consistent with all other 3D numerical models and may be edited to have variation in the third dimension.


Double Pinch-out Concept Model

Double Pinch-out, extruded to 3D

Multilayer Pinch-out Concept Model

Multilayer Pinch-out, extruded to 3D


All the existing mesh generation and mesh refinement remains consistent with existing three-dimensional numerical models. The use of tetrahedral elements ensures that complex geometry can be accurately represented. Existing meshing schemes also provides support for layers which pinch out in the third dimension.

Typical applications of this new methodology include the following:

  • Levee structures
  • Earth dams
  • Extended slopes
  • Roads and transportation structures

A number of different numerical models which illustrate this concept may be seen in the figures above and below. The two concept models above are available in our downloadable example models in the "Extrusions" project. The three models below are standard 2D example models that have been extruded to 3D.


ClayDamNotched_Simple ChemFlux model

ClayDamNotched_Simple, extruded to 3D

TRB03 Roadway infiltration problem

TRB03, extruded to 3D

ExternalWater_SVFlux verification model

ExternalWater_SVFlux, extruded to 3D


This new feature is available in version 2.2.07 and later of our software, which may be downloaded online. Here are the steps to access this new feature:

  • Open any 2D model,
  • Click on File > Save As,
  • Set the System to "3D",
  • Click on the Spatial tab,
  • Set the desired width and the coordinate for the center of the model,
  • Click "OK". The new model will be created and displayed on the screen.

Refer to the user's manual or online help for more information on extruding 3D models. All existing material properties and boundary conditions are updated automatically to apply appropriately in 3D. Existing plots are replaced with default 3D equivalents.

The addition of the new extrusions feature further simplifies the creation of 3-D numerical models and solidifies the position of SVOffice™ 2009 as the premier package for 3D geotechnical numerical modeling. Please contact us directly for more information or feel free to download the student version of our software and try it out!