A three dimensional network is created with the network editor in the first 2D-display. It can be created in two dimensions as usual and then changed into 3D form by adding a z-coordinate. It may as well be created directly in three dimensions.
Great care was given to compatibility aspects on the extension of the network editor. Therefore a network is represented in exactly the same way as in the 2D case.
In the 2D representation each unit is assigned a unique (x, y) coordinate. The different layers of units lie next to each other. In the 3D representation these layers are to lie on top of each other. An additional z-coordinate may not simply be added, because this would lead to ambiguity in the 2D display.
Therefore an (x, y) offset by which all units of a layer are transposed against their position in the 2D display has to be computed for each layer. The distance of the layer in height corresponds to the z value. Only entire layers may be moved, i.e. all units of a layer have to be in the same z plane, meaning they must have the same z-coordinate. Figure explains this behavior.
Figure: Layers in the 2D- and 3D-display
Therefore the network editor contains two new commands
¯ Units 3d Z ¯ : assigning a z-coordinate
Units 3d Move : Moving a z-layer
The event of 3D-creation is easily controlled by rotating the network in the 3D display by to be able to see the network sideways. It may be useful to display the z-coordinates in the XGUI display (see ).
The user is advised to create a 3D network first as a wire-frame model without links for much faster screen display.