Before WPF, many charting vendors attempted, unsuccessfully, to integrate Direct3D as the preferred 3D drawing engine. Although Direct3D provided an excellent 3D platform for game vendors, it was not technically feasible for a charting product for developers.
Firstly, lack of integration to the IDE made it difficult for developers to easily integrate Direct3D in their applications; performance and scalability issues prevented it from being deployed in the complex web server and client architectures; client-side requirements made it difficult for end users to properly configure or support in an enterprise computing environment. Lastly but more importantly, Direct3D was not an integral part of the OS.
With WPF Microsoft is supporting animated 3D meshes with video materials, sub-pixel clear type text, 2D animation with vector-based shapes and more. All of this is made possible by the underlying WPF engine which is hardware accelerated and integrates these different media into a common experience and foundation that is easy to program and deploy.
Chart FX fully exploits WPF's 3D capabilities to allow developers to support true 3D charts in their applications by supporting materials and lighting without sacrificing the application's performance, scalability, integration or look and feel. In addition, Chart FX for WPF uses 3D in subtle but powerful ways to enhance its user experience, employing this third dimension to provide intuitive user interface metaphors. One of the capabilities that WPF provides is the ability to render 2D visual elements on 3D surface. For example, you can place panels, text blocks and images. These animated 3D visual elements are used to provide powerful navigation tools to slice and dice data.