Understanding the layout of the Vulcan workbench can do a lot to increase utilization of the software. The default layout gives the user a great amount of information, but a custom layout can give the user power and confidence when using Vulcan. The naming convention of the different sections is also important. With a basic nomenclature everyone can discuss what is happening in Vulcan using the same words. I always prefer to talk about the Vulcan Explorer rather than ‘the white section to the right of the screen.’
When you first start Vulcan the screen that presents itself is very similar to other windows applications. The most dominant section of the screen, the big black rectangle, is the Primary Window. This window will display CAD data and triangulations in 3D. This is where the magic happens. Keep the primary window maximized to see your data better.
Just to the left of the Primary Window is the Vulcan Explorer. This is a list of virtual folders that organize your data. Vulcan creates a large number of files as part of its general procedure. The Vulcan Explorer organizes these files into easy to find virtual folders like ‘Block Models’ and ‘Design Databases.’ The folder structure is virtual, meaning that if you look in the folder where your data is, you won’t see any of the subfolders listed in the Vulcan Explorer. This lack of folder structure prevents you from having to follow a strict hierarchy of folders and sub-folders.
Right below the Primary Window is the Report Window. This is where all the output from Vulcan goes. Reports about data and objects are printed here as well as any error messages.
In the bottom right of the screen is the Vulcan Start icon. This is where you can access the other modules of the Vulcan software. Most of the time you will be working in Workbench (the background where all your windows are located) but occasionally you will need to access another module. If you need to open a different Vulcan module, like Isis, just click on the Start icon and select the module.
The most universal, and perhaps the most useful section of the screen layout, is the menu bar. Located at the top of the screen, the menu bar shows the containers for the tools that you will use in Vulcan. Some of these menus have the same names as other windows applications while others are specific to Vulcan. Not all Vulcan licenses have the same menus available. Just to get you started, here are a few that you might see and a short description of what’s in them.
- File: Just like all the other windows applications you use this menu contains the standard items (Open, Save, Exit). The most specific Vulcan options in the menu are the Import and Export options. These options can be used to import or export cad data in dxf files or drillhole data in a csv file.
- Design: Computer Assisted Drafting (CAD) tools can be found here. To create points, lines and other design objects look in the ‘Create’ menu.
- View: Controls the visibility of objects and triangulations as well as the creation of section views (cross section, plan section, etc…).
- Analyze: This menu holds tools to get information about objects on the screen. It is also where the legend tools are found.
- Model: Many of the tools for creating and manipulation triangulation models are located in the model menu. If you are looking for grid models or block models you’re in the wrong place.
- Grid Calc: This is the menu for grid modeling tools. You can create, access or edit them from here.
- Block: Block model creation and manipulation. Grade estimation and reserves reporting are also in this menu.
- Geology: This menu contains tools for displaying drillhole or composite database information.
- Tools: Save the layout or size of Vulcan (Tools > Layout > Save) or change your preferences with the Tools menu.
- Window: Similar to other Windows applications, the Window menu allows you to switch between windows or to choose how to arrange open windows.
- Help: Use this menu to tell you about Vulcan or to access the ‘Help’ functionality.
This basic overview of the Vulcan layout has given you a good understanding of where the tools you will be using are located. It has also given us a universal naming convention so that we can discuss the procedures covered in the following workshops.