We present a project-based learning prototype for visual analysis of petrophysical properties using 2D cross-sections and micro-models of porous media. Micro-computed Tomography (CT) scans are used to create the quasi-2D micro-models that are printed using Stereolithography (SLA) 3D printers to study petrophysical properties in porous media. The methodology involves obtaining 8 different cross-sections of rocks either from micro-CT scans or online libraries. 2D cross-sections are segmented into black and white binary images and then skeletonized to create quasi-2D models. The flow of oil and water in initially water saturated pores in the printed 2D models mimics the drainage and imbibition processes, respectively. High definition photography is used to capture still and dynamic photographs of flow processes. The binary images are used to analyze porosity and grain size distribution while the still and dynamic photographs are used to analyze fluid saturation and displacement efficiency. The images are analyzed using open source software where a systematic tutorial is provided. The primary outcome of this project is to improve the understanding of petrophysical concepts and 3D printing by the utilization of imagery to create porous media. This project has been tested in teaching and showed major improvements in students’ understanding of petrophysical concepts when compared to pre-project. The data and tutorials used in this project are made available for the community to use through a link in the paper.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.