3D Point Plot

Modified on Tue, 28 Feb 2023 at 11:56 AM


A function to create a point plot with an additional z-axis compared to 2D Point Plot. Each data point is plotted as a separate point. The points are not connected.


This plot function is useful whenever you want to plot three parameters against each other. Additionally, the points can be colored be one of those three parameters or by another fourth parameter.

How to use

  • Select the dataset to visualise in the field Data.
  • X Column defines the column which is plotted on the x-axis.
  • Y Column defines the column which is plotted on the y-axis.
  • Z Column defines the column which is plotted on the z-axis.
  • You can use both numerical and categorical parameters on all axes. See below for more.
  • Color is an optional parameter. If nothing is selected here all data points will be plotted with a single color (red). You can select one of the columns in the dataset which then will be used to color the data points. The column used for coloring can be numerical or categorical. More on some specifics of this option see below. (This option is called Marker colors in 2D Point Plot function.)
  • Text is also optional. When hovering over a data point in the final plot, information on that data point is printed in a pop-up box. The value of any column added here will be plotted. That way the value of a certain column for each data point can be assessed. If this field is left empty only the x-, y-, and z-value of the data point is printed. (This option is called Hover-over text in 2D Point Plot function.)
  • The option 1-1 plot enforces the same scale on all three axes. This option makes sense only if the ranges of all three axes are similar. If the ranges are on different orders of magnitude the plot will become very skewed and very hard to read.
  • Click Apply to create the plot.


Example from engine calibration: The relative change of specific fuel consumption (BSFC ratio) is plotted over engine torque (Tqe) and engine speed (Ne).

Example with the dataset from Challenge 1 - Composite Materials: The carbon fibre and glass fibre are plotted on the x- and y-axis. The fibre length (lf) is plotted on the z-axis and used to color the points. This gives you a 3D histogram which lets you quickly see how the carbon fibre, glass fibre, and fibre length space is sampled.

Another example with the same dataset: The carbon fibre and glass fibre are again plotted on the x- and y-axis. On the z-axis the ultimate strain is plotted this time (and also used to color the points). This creates another 3D histogram this time revealing quite big differences in the design space sampling.

The examples give you an idea of how to use the 3D Point Plot but most often it is hard to capture them in a screenshot. The 3D Point Plot works best if it can be explored interactively on the platform (rotate and shift, zoom in and out).

More on this step

How the data type drives Marker colors (color by)

  • If you select a numerical column in the Color field a continuous color range is used to color the plotted the data. Currently no color range is added to the plot. It is highly recommended to add the column used to color the plot to the Text option (see above).
  • If you select a categorical column a legend with a list of all categories is plotted besides the plot. Each category will be marked by a distinct color. This works for a maximum of up to 12 categories. If more than 12 categories are present in the selected column all categories in excess of 12 will be accumulated as “other” with a single color. The 12 categories which get distinct colors are selected randomly and can’t controlled by the user. It is therefore recommended to reduce the dataset to maximal 12 categories if possible.
  • If not all categories are plotted an info message appears above the plot.

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