Beginner wanting to transition away from pencil designs

Discussion in 'Software' started by sph77, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. sph77
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    sph77 New Member

    First post here. I am a beginning boat builder. I've built 3 stitch and glue boats that were small duck hunting boats over the past two years. I have been modifying designs on paper and then building the boats. I have a couple of new designs in my head that I'd like to experiment with but thought it would be cool to try using a computer program to design a scale model that I could then have printed out on a 3D printer since sometimes the designs turn out different than I imagined. I'm not sure how to go about doing it since I haven't used any design software before. The boats are very simple, just a short modified V hull. Any suggestions on where to start?

    Here's my last boat:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

  3. sph77
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    sph77 New Member

    WOW! Those classes are over $500/day. Do any programs come with really good instructions where I wouldn't have to take a class?
     
  4. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Although some people could not agree with me, I think AutoCAD, while working in ships, if you already have a body lines plan with the frames, longitudinal profile and water lines, is the most accurate tool to build 3D models. These models then can be exported to any of the many programs that make naval architecture calculations.
    And if I recommend AutoCAD is primarily because the help files system and tutorials it has, if working properly, will avoid you to pay for these courses so expensive that you can find on the web.
     
  5. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    Check with the adult education program where you live. I took the class here for less than $100. It was a good value.

    Edit: I just looked for the course I took and could not find it. Their full time drafting class is total $4900 now. I am glad I was sitting down when I read that.

    That does cover 1700 hours of classroom activity.

    http://erwin.edu/CourseDetail.aspx?CourseId=63
     
  6. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    I like Rhino3D for 3D design. Rhino is widely used for boat design, and can output in a number of formats including formats for 3D printing. As with any software there is a learning curve. The primary website for Rhino is www.rhino3d.com. You can download a trial version of Rhino for free at http://www.rhino3d.com/download which has full capabilities but you will be limited to 25 "saves". Regular price is $995. Tutorials are available at the same webpage as the download.

    The free version of Delftship and the very similar FreeShip are also popular with amateurs for boat design. Both are free. I don't know if either can export directly in a format suitable for 3D printing.
     
  7. sph77
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    sph77 New Member

    Thanks for the replies. I'll look to see if there is an inexpensive adult ed class in my area. I spoke to my neighbor yesterday (a custom cabinet maker) and he is taking a refresher CAD course next week since they are getting in a new CNC machine at the shop. He said he'd try to help with CAD if I run into problems.
     
  8. pinetar
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    pinetar Junior Member

    I'll second David's suggestion of Rhino! I have been using it for a few years now and it is outstanding for boats and complex shapes. Yes there is a learning curve but there are a lot of instructions/help available on line. One of the nice things about Rhino is that it has many plug-ins available from third party vendors. I use a plug-in called Flamingo for rendering. I understand there are some marine specific plug-ins available but I doubt you would require them for what you are doing. Great software, reasonable price, and great support.

    A less expensive software option would be Moment of Inspiration but I don't think it has some of the features you would find useful for determining displacement. If I couldn't afford Rhino I would go for MoI

    I like Novedge as a CAD vendor.

    Usual disclaimer. Just a satisfied customer.
     
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  9. craigthinks
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    craigthinks New Member

    So are you having more fun or the dog?
    3 stitch and glue boats : cerial box paperboard for plywood simulation. Test the model a local pond. Better than pencil.
    If you know anyone going to school, you can get a low cost solidworks program. It has a very nice tutorial that teach basic 3D drawing. There is a very helpful solidworks forum and lots of you tube videos. Many community college classes too for a few hundred USD in USA. You can create the material water with a lbs/in3 and they do simple displacement calcuation for waterline by removing upper area as a solid part.
    The hull can be drawn as a "part" and used like the "plug" of a mold for the assemble drawing.
    And do detailed design in Assembly mode. In Assembly mode you can put put wieghts for each material and get approximate wieght.
    I am still experimenting with ways to draw the boats myself.
    I am not sure if you can use the sheetmetal for making a flat panel for plywood or not. I do it at work for sheet metal. I think you can, but have not done it with boat curves yet.
     
  10. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I Third DCockeys and Pinetars comments.

    Freeship/Delftship are great for their 'instant hull' production, and the hydrostatic information. Rhino just doesnt do that for you.

    But once you have the basic dimensions, Rhino is by far and away the best way to finesse a design, with all its detail.
     
  11. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum.

    Far faster than even taking a class is to build a model out of cardboard. Unless you want to occupy your time messing around with a program to create drawings, "hands on" is always a better way to learn.

    Make your pencil drawing, enlarge it on a copy machine, glue it on to cardboard and cut it out and tape it together. You have your 3D model for next to nothing in cost, and it is done faster than having a 3 D printer build it for you. Easy to see errors, easy to correct errors. If you have built boats before, than you have the skills to make a decent cardboard model. Why complicate your life?

    Computers and 3D printing are good where making something that is very costly to develop and you can not afford any mistakes. Something as simple as a boat model should not require anything nearly as complex nor costly.

    Good luck.
     
  12. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

  13. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    At the risk of starting another 'lively debate', I beg to differ in a big way.

    Freeship is about as inexpensive as you can get, but an invaluable tool - especially for small boats - to make sure they float properly. Centres of Flotation, Displacement values, and a whole lot of VITAL info is gained with relatively little study, that even models or prototype builds do not provide.

    If you were referring to $1000 of Rhino - once again - that is about as cheap as you would want for a tool that allows you to finesse building techniques. A productive 3 hours with Rhino will save double its purchase price on a small boat, optimising materials, getting exact dimensions sorted etc. The time it saves for the 'lets see - how big will this bit need to be if it has to fit here to here.... oh bugger, start again' moments of boatbuilding, is phenomenal.

    How much time and material can you waste on 'trying' a concept, then abandoning the experiment, to try another approach.

    I have used CAD to optimise just a boat trailer, saving hundreds of dollars in mis-cut metal, bad measurements and wrong angles, let alone any boats I built.

    On a recent project small project- converting a traditionally lofted kayak plan to CNC files, I was able to optimize the manual process that created one Kayak from 4 sheets of plywood, to produce two Kayaks from 5 sheets of plywood.

    On top of that - for $200 ( half the saving in Plywood costs) I got the entire 5 sheets cut out to within 1/16" accuracy. Considering that I would have had to manually loft out, and cut plywood planks with offsets like 1 5/16", that is a huge benefit.

    I am keen to get rid of the mystery that seems to be propagated by the uninformed, that CAD and CNC are exotic, 'large project' tools. In this age of amazing technology, very cheap software - the time and material savings at 'trailerable' size projects are very, very significant.
     

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  14. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    I agree with rwatson. I do not want to either start a new discussion but what I want is to advise Sph77 to forget to make carboard models and learn as quickly as possible to do them with the CAD program that best suits its circumstances. To say that a program is expensive or cheap does not make much sense. It all depends on how quickly the designer can protect its investment. And, of course, a CAD program saves a lot of working hours (design and construction) and, crucially, allows to modify and improve the original draft without high costs.
     

  15. pinetar
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    pinetar Junior Member

    "Freeship is about as inexpensive as you can get, but an invaluable tool - especially for small boats - to make sure they float properly. Centres of Flotation, Displacement values, and a whole lot of VITAL info is gained with relatively little study, that even models or prototype builds do not provide."

    Center of flotation is more important the smaller the boat gets so very desirable! May have to add Freeship ! In the past I have used manual calculations in conjunction with Rhino to determine some values.


    "How much time and material can you waste on 'trying' a concept, then abandoning the experiment, to try another approach."

    "I have used CAD to optimise just a boat trailer, saving hundreds of dollars in mis-cut metal, bad measurements and wrong angles, let alone any boats I built."

    Wasting material can add up fast!


    On top of that - for $200 ( half the saving in Plywood costs) I got the entire 5 sheets cut out to within 1/16" accuracy. Considering that I would have had to manually loft out, and cut plywood planks with offsets like 1 5/16", that is a huge benefit.

    I am keen to get rid of the mystery that seems to be propagated by the uninformed, that CAD and CNC are exotic, 'large project' tools. In this age of amazing technology, very cheap software - the time and material savings at 'trailerable' size projects are very, very significant."

    CNC, though a bit expensive, is a very useful tool for cutting out ply as well as milling out 3D parts. Roughing out a stem and rabbit for planning is easily done on a CNC router. Using Rhino I added Rhinocam to run my small home built router. I don't think CNC is all that tough to figure out once you understand cutting feeds/speeds and Cartesian coordinates. A learning curve, yes, but worth the effort. A CNC router can easily hold a tolerance of 1/16" but should be able to be much more accurate if the router has quality lead screws.

    Determining if CAD/CAM/CNC is worthwhile is really dependent on the individual. If you enjoy tinkering with design CAD seems an obvious choice. Adding CAM/CNC is probably only worth the effort/expense of you plan to use it a lot.
     
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