PreBeta: v29 Contour slices

We are testing a new feature in Surfer, where you can add contour slices through a 3D grid in the 3D view.

Any number of contour slices can be created at any specified orientation through your 3D grid (not just a flat plane). Use the same flexible and customizable contour properties that you can in the 2D view, such as contour labels, logarithmic contour intervals, and saving/loading LVL files. Create models with multiple visualizations - model contaminant plume concentrations from one 3D grid as a volume render or isosurface, and hydraulic conductivity from a different 3D grid as contour slices! The options are endless…


Create contour slices through your 3D grid! Visualize with isosurfaces for a stunning effect!


Making sure our development meets your needs is important to us at Golden Software, so we would like to ask your feedback on this feature.

What is this new feature

This feature gives you the option to create 3D contour slices through a 3D grid, modeled in the 3D view. This allows you to:

  • Create contours through gridded drillhole data

  • Use a slider to easily move the contour slice through the visualization to see how the data changes

  • Label and fill the contours just like you can in the 2D plot window

How to use it

To use this feature, all you need to start with is a 3D grid file (*.VTK or *.HDF). Follow these steps:

  1. In the 2D plot view, click Home | New Map | Color Relief, select the 3D grid file and click Open.

    • If you don’t have a 3D grid file, you can use SampleDrillholeDataXYZC.vtk from the Surfer Samples folder.

  2. Choose to import the file as 3D Grid.

  3. Right click over the map (either in the plot window or in the Contents window) and click 3D View, to view it in the 3D view. By default, it will be displayed as a volume render, and the original map layer will show up as a horizontal planar slice.

  4. Right click over the volume render and click Add to 3D Grid | Contour Slice.

  5. In the Contents window, uncheck the Volume render and the Color Relief visualizations, so you just see the new contour slice.

  6. Select Contour slice (YZ) in the Contents window, and you can adjust any properties you like in the Properties window. For example:

    • On the General page, you can slide the slider for the X position left and right to move the contour slice through the 3D grid. Or, you can change the Orientation of the slice to any other plane you wish.

    • On the Levels page, you can choose to fill the contours, select a colormap, and choose to show the contour labels.


Customize the contour slice with colors and labels


How to Install

If you would like to try this new functionality, I would appreciate any feedback! We are looking for early feedback, to make sure it works as you expect it to and there are not any problems.


  • If you already have an active single-user or concurrent-use Surfer license, please email your Support Code (found under File | License Info) to and we can extend the license to include this version. You may need to update your license or license server to read the updated information.

  • If you do not have an active license, you can use this Surfer Beta version in the free Trial mode (good for 2 weeks).


  • You can download a preBeta version (v29.0.37) with these features included, from our server at: 
  • Note: The link above is the ONLY place where you can download/access the v29 preBeta software. These features are not yet included in the v28 Beta version accessible via MyAccount, and you cannot update a previous Beta version to this version. You must download the v29 preBeta EXE file.

Once you download the installation EXE file, double click on it to begin installation. You can have Surfer and Surfer Beta/preBeta installed at the same time. If you already have a version of Surfer Beta installed though, this preBeta installation will replace it.


If you have any questions, problems or feedback, please contact

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