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Shell 3-D Visualization Center

School of Energy Resources

3-D visualization cave laboratory school of energy resources mechdyne corporation

3-D visualization cave laboratory school of energy resources mechdyne corporation

Shell 3-D Visualization Center   |    Facility Reservations


February 2015:

Universities Employing Immersive Visualization, By Kari Johnson, Special Correspondent, The American Oil & Gas Reporter


The EIC’s Shell 3-D Visualization Center (Viz Center) proudly houses the only four-walled, 3-D CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) in Wyoming. The Viz Center’s mission is “To create and maintain a community of empowered users who will drive the enhancement of teaching and research at UW, by utilizing visualization technology and embracing collaborative multidisciplinary opportunities”. The Viz Center beautifully complements the primary function of the EIC-- to enable scientists and engineers to visualize and interact with highly complex and data sets.

Designed, engineered and integrated by Mechdyne Corporation, one of the world’s leading providers of innovative visual information technologies, the laboratory combines high-resolution stereoscopic projections and 3-D computer graphics to create a virtual environment where researchers can analyze, interpret and share a wide variety of spatially related data.  One of the laboratory’s many capabilities is its ability to model oil, gas, and water movements and interactions in the subsurface environment, which will aid researchers and energy companies in deriving maximum value from their mineral resources.  

The laboratory connects via 10-gigabit lines to one of the most powerful supercomputers in the region — the Wyoming National Center for Atmospheric Research Supercomputing Center (NWSC) located west of Cheyenne and UW’s Advanced Research Computing Center (ARCC) — both of which are essential for the complex simulations required in today’s energy research.  The Shell 3-D Visualization research laboratory is an amazing tool for discovery and is open to the UW community as a university-wide teaching and learning resource.

Equipment with three different levels of display power will enable a range of resolutions and functions for visualizing complex data sets in 3-D.  

These visual platforms, which allow people to feel immersed in the 3-D simulations, include:

● Four-wall 3D CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment)

● 3D Powerwall for seater audience of 20

● Two-by-three foot array video wall capable of displaying 3-D images

● Three screen portable “mini-cave” visualization system

● Head mounted displays

Examples of recent 3-D Visualization teaching and research use include:

● Scenario generation and decision-support

● Collaborative architectural design reviews

● Virtual protein analysis

● Visualization for the teaching of anatomy by the medical school

● Oil, gas, and coal-bed methane reservoir research

Future areas of usage include:

● Aerodynamic interactions with turbine blades

● Simulation of reactors for improved design and virtual operations experience

Current Software:

On Windows:

On Linux:

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How To Book the Facility:

To book the Shell 3-D Visualization Center please click here.  SER is open to and actively seeking collaborations with research groups interested in working with the 3-D Visualization Center.  If interested in collaboration opportunities please see contact information below. 

Bookings welcome Monday-Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm. Special bookings outside of these times by special arrangement only.


If you have visited our Viz Center previously please take a moment to complete a short feedback form. This allows us to learn from our experiences and refine our services to you.

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