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To become familiar with Surpac Vision and some of its fundamental functionality.
To become familiar with Surpac Visions graphical interface.
To learn to import/export data to and from AutoCAD.
To use Surpac Visions editing tools to manipulate string data.
To use Surpac Visions viewing tools to manipulate views of data.
To learn to create Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) of surfaces.

Files used in this lab exercise are found in the following folder:

Surpac Vision is the flagship product of Surpac Software International. It is a 3D Mine
Design and Geology package used in the mining industry for such tasks as surveying,
mine design (open pit & underground), blast design (open pit & underground),
exploration, and tailings simulation.
Surpac Vision consists of several modules, which can be enabled on each licence.
In the coming weeks you will be exposed to such modules as Geological Database, Block
Model, Open Pit & Underground Mine Design, Open Pit and Underground Blast Design,
and Solids. Many of the things you learn in this lab exercise will provide a foundation of
skills to be used in later weeks for other labs.
The following sections will briefly describe the various aspects of the program covered in
lab exercise.


Surpacs graphical user interface (GUI) is comprised of several areas as shown in the
figure below:

Menus: There are 11 different menus to choose from in Surpac Vision. The two default
menus are called Main Menu & Applications Menu. Others include Applets, Blast
Design, Block Model, Database, Mine Design, Ring Design, Solids, Surveying, &
Toolbars: There are 14 different toolbars to choose from in Surpac. The two default
toolbars are called Status Items, & Main. Others include Edit, Create, Display/Hide,
View, Inquire, File Tools, Block Model, Database, Mine Design, Blast Design, Ring
Design, & Scheduling.
Menus or Toolbars may be displayed or removed by right-hand clicking any region with
no menu item and selecting or de-selecting the menus/toolbars from the subsequent
context menu. Menus are located above the separator line in the context menu, and
toolbars below.
Navigator: Explorer-like view of all mapped drives. Three modes of opening files are
accomplished from the Navigator by clicking and dragging files into the viewport.
Keyboard modifiers are used to define the open mode to use:

Keyboard Modifier


File is opened into its own layer. The name of the
layer is that of the file opened.
File is opened into the active layer and is appended
to whatever other data in that layer.




File is opened into the active layer and replaces all

other data in that layer.

Simple file management is also accomplished within the Navigator from the context menu
(right-hand click).
Status Bar: The status bar show vital information such as cursor coordinates, current
view dip and azimuth, change of distance in axis when moving or copying, connectivity to
databases & block models.
Message Window: All information relayed from Surpac to the user is displayed in the
message window. It can be resized, minimized & maximized. Its position can also be
toggled between floating and docked. Text in the message window may be copied and
Viewport: This is the 3D graphical environment in Surpac. All data types are viewed in
the viewport (string, surfaces, databases, block models, etc). Three modes of dynamic
view movement in the viewport are attained using the mouse:

Mouse Button


Middle or Both

Command Chooser: All commands run (either from menus, toolbars, or typed in) are
displayed in the command chooser. In parentheses after the function name, the short-cut
key is also displayed. While typing commands using the keyboard, the command
chooser will auto-complete your keystrokes. The up arrow can be used to scroll through
previously run functions.
Layer Chooser: All available layers are displayed in the layer chooser. The
selected/displayed layer is the active layer. Modifications to data or creation of new data
can only take place in the active layer. Surpac Vision always starts with one layer, the
Main Graphics Layer. Other layers can be added by clicking new layer from the layer
chooser, or by opening files from the Navigator using open mode.


The two graphical file types youll be using today are String files (*.str) and DTM files
String files are the fundamental raw coordinate data. They contain points and lines that
are arranged and identified by string number. A string is a sequence of three-dimensional
coordinates delineating some physical feature. Valid string numbers range from 1 to
32,000. Strings may contain multiple segments, which constitute discontinuous portions
of the same string number. Furthermore, each segment may contain multiple points.
Each point in a segment consists of a 3D coordinate (X, Y, Z) and up to 100 optional
descriptions. These descriptions are stored in description fields named D1, D2D100.
Many functions in Surpac automatically place information in the description fields as
DTM (digital terrain model) files are models of surfaces. They are always created from
the raw string data and, once created, must always exist in the same folder as the
original string file from which they were created.


When opened, each file, whether String or DTM, are stored into different layers. You
have full control as to where each file is stored. Modifications to data or creation of new
data is performed a layer at a time, and always on the active layer. When saving files the
same is also true. Each layer is saved in its entirety into one file.

Surpacs data editing capabilities are similar in most respects to those of CAD systems.
Editing of String data is performed by String, segment or point. All String editing tools are
found under the Edit menu. Modifications to String data can always be undone using the
Undo function. All editing functions are performed on data in the active layer.

All viewing functions are found in the View menu. Viewing functions do not modify data.
They only change views and viewing options.

SURPAC allows users to import & export data to & from external sources. The most
common formats for data exchange are ASCII text and .DXF files. All file import/export
functions are found in the File menu under Import or Export.

Plotting in Surpac is accomplished easily with Autoplot (found in the Plotting menu). All
String data can be plotted as drawn on the screen. Various parameters such as paper
size, scale, and title block can be chosen.

1. Import the AutoCAD file topo1.dxf to a string file.
2. From the resulting string file create a simple plot.
a. Place your name & the course name in the selected title block.
3. From the resulting string file create a DTM.
4. Fix the file lev100.str by editing all errors in the string data. The things you should look
for are:
a. Discontinuous segments along the outside wall.
b. Direction or sense of all segments.
c. Closure of all segments.
Use the String, Segment, & Point editing functions to modify all errors in the string file.



Change Directory
Open String/DTM File
Save String/DTM File
Reset Graphics
Window In
Window Out
Zoom In
Zoom Out
Zoom All
Centre of Rotation
Plan View
Sectional View
Longitudinal View
Lights On
Lights Off
Hide On
Faces On
Edges On
2D grid
3D grid
Digitize at Cursor Location
Close Digitized Segment
Digitize at Selected Point
Play Macro
Start/Stop Record Macro


1. Import the AutoCAD file topo1.dxf to a string file. Make sure your current working
directory is C:\INTRODUCTION.LAB\. You can check this in the Navigator. The current
working directory appears in bold lettering and has a check mark beside it. To make this
your current working directory simply right-hand click on the folder
(C:\INTRODUCTION.LAB\) and choose Set as working directory from the context
a. From the File menu choose Import, DXF file to a string/DTM file.
b. Fill the subsequent form as follows:


Click Apply to run the function. When the function is finished it will open a log
report of the conversion. It will also state the results of the function in the
message window.

2. From the resulting string file create a simple plot.

a. Open the resulting file from the previous step topo2.str by clicking & dragging it
from the Navigator into the viewport.
b. From the Plotting menu choose Autoplot.
c. Fill the subsequent forms as follows:



d. A new window (Plot File Viewer) should appear showing a black-and-white

preview of the plot. Please close this viewer.
e. In the message window it should state that the file has been created
f. To open the newly created plot file (*.pf) click and drag it from the Navigator into
the viewport. It will be opened in its own plotting window.

3. From the resulting string file create a DTM.

a. Open the resulting file from the previous step topo2.str by clicking & dragging it
from the Navigator into the viewport.
b. From the Surfaces menu choose Create DTM from a layer.
c. Choose Apply on the subsequent form:

d. The DTM should then be created. Now save this file.

e. From the File menu choose Save, String/DTM file.
f. Fill the following form as follows:


4. Fix the file lev100.str by editing all errors in the string data.
a. Open the file lev100.str by clicking and dragging it from the Navigator into the

b. From the toolbar choose the

button to display the point markers, and apply
the subsequent form.
c. From the Display menu choose Strings, With string and segment numbers to
display the numbers at the first point in each segment.
d. At A (see diagram) use Edit, Segment, Join to join the end of segment 1.1 to the
beginning of segment 1.2. Remember to check your dialogue prompts!!
e. At B use Edit, Segment, Close to close this segment
f. Window In at C using the
g. Use Display, Point, Numbers to view the numbers of each point.


h. Use Edit, Segment, Break after point, and choose to break after point number 12.
Please note that the point numbers will change when editing the points (deleting
& inserting). They point numbers referred to in this procedure pertain to the
diagram above.
i. Use Edit, Point, Move to move point 81 out of the drift, close to point number 12.
j. Use Edit, Segment, Join to join point 12 to 81.
k. Note the point numbers have disappeared. This happens because we have
changed the order of the point numbers by joining segments.
l. Use Display, Point, Numbers to re-display the numbers.
m. Finally use Segment, Join to close the last gap by joining point 98 to 13.