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ACE SC 9 | 3-D Printing in Geoscience and Engineering: Emerging Technology in Education, Research, and Communication

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

Sunday, 7 June 2020, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.  |  Houston, Texas

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Who Should Attend

Students, professors, postdoctoral fellows, industry professionals: geologists, petrophysicists, stratigraphers, geophysicists, geomorphologists, sedimentologists, reservoir and geomechanical engineers, and geomodelers


  • Understand capabilities and limitations of different 3-D printing techniques
  • Demonstrate how to digitally design 3-D-printable models using CAD software, web platforms, and computed tomography data
  • Provide the assessment of digital models and their relative replicas 3-D-printed from geoscience data
  • Characterize how 3-D printing can increase the effectiveness of teaching and data communication
  • Apply 3-D printing in current or future geoscience research

Course Content

This course provides an overview of different 3-D printing techniques that use both rock-like materials (e.g., sand, gypsum, clay) and polymers (e.g., plastics, resins). While these cost-effective methods are shaping the future of manufacturing, 3-D printing geological media requires profound understanding of capabilities and limitations of each technique and the material properties used. The course includes several modules on how to digitally design and 3-D print models for use in reservoir rock analysis, geomorphology, petroleum geology/geophysics, and rock physics. For reservoir rock analysis, 3-D printing of near-identical rock proxies provides an approach to conduct repeatable laboratory experiments without destroying natural rock samples. The course also discusses case studies where 3-D-printed porous models are used to investigate fundamental research questions in the areas of single and multiphase fluid flow as well as reactive transport in reservoir sandstones and carbonate rocks. In addition, 3-D-printed models will be compared to their digital equivalents to investigate geomechanical and transport properties (e.g., porosity, pore sizes, grain sizes, fracture apertures, connectivity of pore and fracture networks, wettability).

Participants will learn how to deploy 3-D-printed models to improve technical communication to diverse audiences (e.g., students, geoscientists, engineers, managers, community stakeholders). Participants will gain experience with TouchTerrain app that allows 3-D-printable terrain models to be generated with no CAD software or GIS experience. The integration of digital data sets with 3-D-printed surface and subsurface features supports communication for both societal and technical objectives. The course will provide a unique opportunity to use 3-D printing to bridge the gap between computational and experimental analyses of natural rocks as applied to geoscience research, education, and communication.

By completing the course, one lucky participant will win a 3-D Printer! (www.geoprint.ca)

Course Agenda
8:30 am–9:00 am Registration
9:00 am–9:20 am Introduction and safety notes
9:20 am–9:50 am Overview lecture on 3-D printing
9:50 am–10:00 am Break
10:00 am–10:30 am Q&A session
10:30 am–10:40 am Break
10:40 am–12:30 pm CAD modeling exercise
12:30 pm–1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm–2:00 pm Virtual GeoPrint lab tours
2:00 pm–2:10 pm Break
2:10 pm–4:00 pm Geo-engineering applications of 3-D printing exercise
4:00 pm–4:10 pm Break
4:10 pm–4:30 pm Concluding remarks, certificate awards
$800 Professionals
$100 Students
50 People
Educational Credits:
0.6 CEU
Course materials
Refreshment breaks


ACE SC 9 | 3-D Printing in Geoscience and Engineering: Emerging Technology in Education, Research, and Communication
George R. Brown Convention Center
1001 Avenida De Las Americas
Houston, Texas 77010
United States
(713) 853-8000



AAPG Instructor  
University of Alberta
AAPG Instructor  
University of Alberta
AAPG Instructor  
University of Alberta

ft-sc important notes

Important notes regarding Field Trips and Short Courses

  • Before purchasing non-refundable airline tickets, confirm that the Field trip and/or Short course will take place as they may be cancelled if undersubscribed.
  • Please register before 22 April 2020. Field trips and/or Short courses cancellations, due to low enrollment, will be considered at this time. No refunds will be allowed after 22 April 2020.
  • Field trips and Short courses are limited in size and are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis and must be accompanied by full payment.
  • If you do not plan on attending the convention, a U.S. $30 enrollment fee will be added to your Field trips and Short courses fee. This fee may be applied towards your registration should you decide to attend the convention at a later date.
  • A wait list is automatically created if a Field trip or Short course sells out. The AAPG Global Convention Department will notify you if space becomes available.
  • AAPG will continue to take registrations for Field trips and Short courses that are not cancelled until they are either sold out or closed.
  • It is important that you note your gender when registering for hotel room assignments.
  • For Field Trips, you will receive an itinerary with details of meeting points, transportation with the trip phone numbers and email addresses of hotels and trip leaders prior to the event date.
  • Proper clothing and supplies are needed for the outdoors (hat, windbreaker, sturdy footwear and backpack).
  • Depending on location, temperatures can range from 40 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit with or without rain. Participants are advised to check local weather forecasts for latest updates.
  • Insect repellent and sun protection (sunscreen and hats) are recommended.
  • AAPG, the sponsoring organizations nor Field Trip leaders and their employers maintain insurance covering illness or injury for individuals.


There are a limited number of discounted registrations available for students on a first-come, first-served basis. If a discounted space is still available, it will show up during the online registration process. If discounted spots are no longer available, you may register at the full fee; if we are able to add additional discounted spots, we will refund the difference at that time.