3D Printing Geological Models for Education, Research, and Technical Communication

By: Prof. Dr Franciszek Hasiuk and Prof Sergey Ishutov


Prof. Dr Franciszek Hasiuk and Prof. Sergey Ishutov


7-8 November 2023;
4:00PM - 8:00PM CEST;
4 hours/day


Reservoir Characterization – Rock Physics






8 CPD points



Course Format

The EAGE Interactive online short courses bring carefully selected courses of experienced instructors from industry and academia online to give participants the possibility to follow the latest education in geoscience and engineering remotely. The courses are designed to be easily digested over the course of two or three days. Participants will have the possibility to interact live with the instructor and ask questions.  

Education Packages

To help you save on registration fees and better organize your learning path, we are offering Education Packages for all Interactive Online Short Courses and Online EETs. The packages are valid for a period of 12 months, choose between packages of 3, 5 and 10 credits. 

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Course Description

3D printing provides a fast, cost-effective way to transform digital geoscience data into tangible models that enable the physical representation of complex 3D geometries. 3D-printed models enhance communication among researchers, students, technical management, and non-experts, because those models can be manipulated “in the real world”. For research purposes, physical models can be experimented upon in the laboratory to validate numerical predictions of rock properties to understand various scenarios of fluid flow in reservoir formations. This two-day course is designed to cover broad topics related to 3D printing applications in reservoir characterization, carbon capture and storage as well as energy transition. 

In Day 1, participants will learn about the most common 3D 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, 3D printing geological media requires profound understanding of capabilities and limitations of each technique and its material properties. Participants will design simple 3D-printable models containing pore and fracture networks using CAD and computed tomography data. Challenges from the data resolution and anisotropy of pore networks embedded within CAD models will be discussed in relation to 3D-printed copies of such models. 

In Day 2, participants will learn how 3D-printed models can be used in destructive and non-destructive analyses to study geomechanical and transport properties (e.g., porosity and connectivity of pore and fracture networks). For reservoir rock analysis, 3D printing of near-identical rock proxies provides an approach to conduct repeatable laboratory experiments without destroying natural rock samples. Course instructors will provide an interactive exercise on case studies of 3D printing applications for the energy transition, including carbon capture and storage, hydrogen storage, and geothermal energy. Participants will learn how to search for pre-made models from on-line repositories as well as modifying these models in addition to CAD design and 3D-print terrain models with no CAD or GIS software.

Course Objectives

On completion of the course, participants will be able to: 

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

Course Outline

The following steps will be discussed:

Day 1: Introduction to 3D printing and review of its current applications

• Lecture “Overview of 3D printing technology”:
-History of 3D printing
-Common 3D printing techniques
-Materials used and their physical and chemical      properties
-Current and future advances of 3D printing

• Exercise “Digital design of 3D-printable models”:
-With CAD (idealized porous models)
-From computed tomography data (reservoir rock    samples)

Day 2: Application of 3D printing in modeling porous media andgeomorphic features

• Practical exercise “Digital design of 3D-printable models”:
-With CAD (idealized porous models)
-From computed tomography data (reservoir rock samples)
-Using TouchTerrain app (terrain models)

• Activity “Assessment of accuracy of 3D-printed models”:
-Success or failure of external and internal features
-Post-processing efficiency and precision

• Lecture “Validation of flow properties in reservoir rock models”:
-Advantages of destructive tests
-Limitations of non-destructive tests
-Value of adding 3D printing into reservoir         characterization workflow

• 3D printing models in coordination with local 3D printing servicecompanies

• Live demonstration of 3D printing reservoir rock models

Participants' Profile

The course is designed in 2 days to accommodate a broad range of participant groups. Day 1 of the course covers overview of 3D printing techniques and methods and is intended for general audience. It is useful for students, geoscientists, engineers, who are interested in current advances of 3D printing in research and teaching. It can also be beneficial for managers and stakeholders who want to learn the use of 3D printing in technical communications. Day 2 covers research applications of 3D printing in porous media and geomorphology and involves practical section on creating 3D-printable models of reservoir rocks and terrains. It is beneficial for geologists, petrophysicists, stratigraphers, geophysicists, geomorphologists, reservoir and geomechanical engineers and geomodellers from both industry and academia who are interested in transforming digital models into tangible objects that can be viewed, touched, manipulated, and tested in the lab as natural rocks. Participants will receive hand-on experience on creating digital rock and terrain models, validating their accuracy and exploring the best methods to 3D print them. In addition, day 2 of the course will involve review of current advances in research on 3D printing reservoir rock models that involves investigation of petrophysical and geomechanical properties of 3D-printed rock analogues. Skills obtained during day 1 will allow participants to be engaged in day 2 activities without prerequisites. If participants take only day 2, basic knowledge about major 3D printing techniques and materials as well as CAD modeling and computed tomography is required.. 


Prior knowledge of CAD modeling and interpretation of computed tomography data would be useful, but is not required.. 

About the Instructor

Prof. Dr Franciszek Hasiuk

Prof. Dr. Franek Hasiuk is an expert in carbonate geology and 3D printing. His dissertation from the University of Michigan involved understanding the secular variation of seawater chemistry and temperature from marine carbonate chemistry. He worked at ExxonMobil Upstream Research for four years where he developed a deep appreciation for carbonate petrophysics while working on a variety of projects including a global synthesis of carbonate microporosity. Since joining Iowa State University, the mission of his “GeoFabLab” has been to better understand the chemistry and petrophysics of rocks by using 3D-printed rock models as well as man-made rocks, like concrete and asphalt.

Dr Sergey Ishutov

Prof. Sergey Ishutov Dr. Sergey Ishutov is an expert in 3D printing porous media from CAD and tomographic models. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Concordia University of Edmonton. Dr. Ishutov was engaged in various research projects at the Reservoir Geomechanics Research Group, University of Alberta. He has received B.Sc. in petroleum geology from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and M.Sc. in geology from California State University Long Beach. His research experience is in acquisition, processing, and interpretation of seismic data and analysis of computed tomography data from reservoir core plugs. Dr. Ishutov received multiple awards and research grants from professional societies and industry collaborators to establish foundation research in 3D printing reservoir rock samples. He has work experience at major petroleum companies, including ExxonMobil, Aramco, and Shell.

EAGE supports its members and the Geoscience community in general by offering a 35% discount on the regular prices for our Interactive online short courses during these difficult times.

Registration Fees

Registered and Paid Until 7 August 2023 From 8 August 2023
Education Package1 Credit1 Credit
EAGE Member Price € 195 € 245
Non-Member Price € 320 € 370
*Non-Member price for this product does include EAGE Membership

Cancellation and Changes Policy

Registration fees will be refunded as follows:
  • Cancellation received before 8 August 2023: Refund will be processed after the event had ended. Amount will minus an administration fee of € 35 per person.
  • Cancellation received on or after 8 August 2023: No refund will be made. 
  • Transferring of your registration to another participant will cost  € 35, as administration fee, plus any differences in delegate types, where applicable (for instance when changing a registration from a member to a non-member). 
  • For an overview of all EAGE Registration Terms and Conditions please click here to download.