Editorial Feature

How is 3D Modeling Used in the Mining Sector

3D modeling is one of the fastest adaptive techniques in the world and geological modeling is playing a crucial role in the mining industry. This article looks at 3D modeling processes, how it is being used in the mining industry, its benefits, challenges being faced in 3D modeling, as well as a concise insight into what the future holds.

3d modelling

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What is 3D Modelling?

3D modeling is a digital design approach that creates a three-dimensional visual image of any item or surface. Mesh is a fundamental component of the design in 3D modeling, and it may be thought of as a series of points in space-time.

Meshes are formed when an author uses specific software to modify points in the virtual world (known as vertices) to create a mesh: a group of vertices that are connected to form an item. It is possible to produce these three-dimensional objects automatically or manually by contorting the geometry or by altering the vertices.

Three-dimensional models are utilized in a multitude of media, such as computer games, films, construction, art, and engineering. The cost of prototype fabrication which has almost been reduced to zero since the expansion of 3D modeling technology has urged almost all industries to utilize this revolutionary concept.

3D Modelling in the Mining Industry

Mining operations are increasingly reliant on 3D rendering technology, which is quickly becoming indispensable.

As mining activities move to more distant locations, the costs of constructing necessary infrastructure and housing quarters for employees become more expensive, posing a variety of issues for mining corporations.

In addition to research (where it has been around for ages) and production (for examining inventories above the Earth, such as in old mines or cast mining), laser scanning systems are rapidly being employed in subterranean operations.

One of the most significant advantages of laser scanning is its reliability. Remote-controlled small drones or vehicles equipped with this technology can provide us with a precise picture of mine sidewalls, dumps, slopes, and other structures without endangering the lives of men on the ground.

The latest research by Fares Abu-Abed helps in the video representation of the hardware used in the advancement of coal reserves in the mining sector and how they made a significant contribution to the improvement of organizational performance of training specialists, and also in the planning and control.  The progress described may be used as a graphical representation of mining machinery concepts, as well as in the production of three-dimensional objects.

Benefits of 3D Modelling

Geospatial technology plays a critical role in security and rescue operations. A major incident occurred in Chile several years back, where workers were trapped underground. Geospatial technology assisted the recovery team in locating and rescuing the workers. Using configuration, emergency workers successfully lowered a camera down drilled holes to find the workers underneath.

In the development of map data and visual displays for client briefings, congressional meetings, and the sale of a project idea to financiers, geospatial technology is very beneficial. Autodesk InfraWorks is a critical technology offered to the mining sector. With this technology, users may generate design proposals and deliver information to clients in a novel and effective manner.

Using this technology, users can instantly combine different data sources into three-dimensional architecture drawings, which may be used to plan and design infrastructure projects. These designs may then be utilized to involve relevant parties, and the initial design can then be transferred to AutoCAD Civil 3D software for optimization and the creation of building paperwork, if necessary.

Challenges Faced

The idea of getting huge mining developments from discovery and preparation to manufacturing can take a while, making the development of the layout and preparation of critical systems to avoid the imposition of interruptions extremely important.

Software being utilized is advancing at such a rapid pace that it is being applied in places that no one could have predicted.

A prime example is the use of autonomous vehicles in a mining operation. There is a desperate need for highly qualified workers, but a key difficulty is that many highly skilled workers do not like to work in distant, unfriendly environments. The majority of these skilled professionals like to work in a pleasant environment. There is a dire need to address this issue immediately.

Role of Companies

Companies such as SRK Consulting, DBM vircon, and Maptek are providing quality 3D services for the mining industry.

Autodesk InfraWorks is poised to become a major force in the development of geospatial technologies in the future. It represents a watershed moment in the history of geospatial technology. This technology enables mining corporations to present a "one-stop-shop" answer that aggregates different sources of data (Geographic information systems, laser scanning, and computer vision) to rapidly display design requirements.

Another major factor that ensures a successful future of 3D modeling is the utilization of Data Sciences, AI, and machine learning (ML), intended specifically for the mining industry.

Technology such as ML and its incorporation with spatial 3D modeling systems will become even more beneficial in the future years as the mining expertise scarcity, which is currently felt in some regions, becomes more acute.

References and Further Reading

Abu-Abed, F. (2021). Development of Three-Dimensional Models of Mining Industry Objects. E3S Web Conf. 278. Available on: https://doi.org/10.1051/e3sconf/202127801002

Barnewold, L., & Lottermoser, B. G. 2020. Identification of digital technologies and digitalisation trends in the mining industry. International Journal of Mining Science and Technology. 30(6). 747-757. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmst.2020.07.003

Admin, C. 2010. Simulated Structures: 3D Modelling and Plant Design. [Online] https://www.mining-technology.com/analysis/feature100760/ [Accessed on 23 April 2022].

Horner, J., Naranjo, A., & Weil, J. 2016. Digital data acquisition and 3D structural modelling for mining and civil engineering–the La Colosa gold mining project, Colombia. Geomechanics and Tunnelling9(1). 52-57. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1002/geot.201500046

Leonida, C. 2020. From model, to mine to market and back again. [Online] https://theintelligentminer.com/2020/09/16/mining-and-3d-modelling-technology/ [Accessed 24 April 2022].

DBM Vircon. 2022. Industrial & Mining. [Online] Available at: https://www.dbmvircon.com/industrial-mining/ [Accessed on 24 April 2022].

Maptek. 2022. Maptek Vulcan. [Online] Available at: https://www.maptek.com/products/vulcan/ [Accessed on 24 April 2022].

srk consulting. 2022. 3D Geological Modelling. [Online] Available at: https://www.srk.com/en/services/3d-geological-modelling [Accessed on 24 April 2022].

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the author expressed in their private capacity and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited T/A AZoNetwork the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and conditions of use of this website.

Ibtisam Abbasi

Written by

Ibtisam Abbasi

Ibtisam graduated from Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. During his academic careers, he has worked on several research projects and has successfully managed several co-curricular events like International World Space Week and International Conference on Aerospace Engineering. Having one English Prose competition during his undergraduate level, Ibtisam has always been keenly interested in research, writing and editing. Soon after his graduation, he joined the AzoNetwork as a freelancer to sharpen his skills. Ibtisam loves to travel especially visiting the countryside. He has always been a sports fan and loves to watch tennis, soccer and cricket. Born in Pakistan, Ibtisam one day hopes to travel all over the world creating strong bonds of friendships and spreading the message of peace and love.

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