Best Free or Low Cost Marine Design Software? (2011)

Discussion in 'Software' started by Admin, Jan 9, 2011.

?

Which free or low cost hull modeling program(s) do you use?

  1. Bearboat

    2 vote(s)
    3.3%
  2. BoatExpress

    3 vote(s)
    5.0%
  3. Carene

    4 vote(s)
    6.7%
  4. Carlson Design Hull Designer

    2 vote(s)
    3.3%
  5. Free!Ship

    19 vote(s)
    31.7%
  6. Free!Ship Plus

    19 vote(s)
    31.7%
  7. DELFTship free

    22 vote(s)
    36.7%
  8. HullCAO

    1 vote(s)
    1.7%
  9. HullForm

    2 vote(s)
    3.3%
  10. jSDN

    2 vote(s)
    3.3%
  11. PolyCAD

    2 vote(s)
    3.3%
  12. Other (please post below)

    5 vote(s)
    8.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. Preston

    Preston Previous Member

    If you are good with it, FreeShip is better software for what you are doing. That is why I use it. I just tried the new free version of DelftShip and it is nice software but it lost some things that are very important to me or I would buy it. FreeShip is nearly perfect for me

    And that is not a knock on KF software either! If I ever do build a stripper it I will probably use KF.
     
  2. CmbtntDzgnr
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    CmbtntDzgnr Senior Member

    A few snippets from my perspective:

    + DS Pro, nicer & easier layers
    + baseline can be set to hull OB face
    - DS, imported (from or exported to) fbm get randomly re-sorted

    - FS 3.x-Hydronship, bseline appears to ALWAYS and ONLY go to the lowest portion of hull, even if it is a variably-changing/evolving study of a bulb/sonar dome, meaning deck and feature ABL measurements must wait until the dome/bubl geometry is settled

    + FS 3.x-Hydronship, ALL THOSE CALCS & REPORTS. If it had DS Pro's layers arrangement, it would be a killer

    +FS 3x-Hydronship, line angle measurement

    -FS 3x-Hydronship, delete key doesn't delete; delete action is from trashcan icon or menu (at least on MY computer)

    + PolyCAD: INSTANTLY generate frames/stations markers with numbering (3D, as in T-shaped, but frame numbers read in buttocks view); useful for exporting, too.

    + PolyCAD, generate calculation curves for appropriate curves selected and converted to a PolyCAD hull and obtain volumes

    + PolyCAD, now imports DXF colors (though layer names don't import, but at least the colors come in and also remain even if a mesh is converted to a bspline surface, but, color is or may be lost if a subsequent conversion to another surface type occurs or if some types of groups are made. Still, for complicated/dense dxf imports, at least conversion is easier if the colors initially were due to troubleshooting in the original program before exporting to dxf)

    + PolyCAD Macro Editor, in which one can create tanks, and have them terminate at the shell (whole hull as one piece or at a compartment, but I suggest the tank bhds be within (not AT) the f/a boundaries of the volume); also, since a tank and deck can be considered volumes or tanks of various densidies, then deck plates can be created, too (I've done it)

    + PolyCAD can be a useful conduit to changing/converting line and surface types

    + PolyCAD, can produce hull/shell/bhd/superstructure volumes and surfaces, especially if you select the appropriate meshes and convert to a bspline surface and then create calculation sections-- but, be mindful of whether or not your superstructure is symmetrical. But, once you cleanly, neatly, carefull account for your meshes that you turn into surfaces and convert to something PolyCAD can group, you can then run the calculation for volumes and centers and get a report for the objects, which you can then simply copy out and paste into a spreadsheet, already delimited by space

    +PolyCAD -- Quick Hydrostatics and Hydrostatics, lines plane, permeability plot, and other things

    + Punch! ViaCAD, 3D solid modeling... I use PolyCAD to apply a bspline curve of least curves to fine-tune my hand-faird Free!Ship 3.26/Delftship Pro stations, then export to Punch ViaCAD. If I export a very very smoothly faired mesh from PolyCAD, and in ViaCAD convert it to a surface and then thicken it to, say, 16mm, the curved shell now thickens with fewer complaints from ACIS if any at all. Major score for PolyCAD from me! I struggled for 2+ years in Delftship trying to get my hand to give me curves that ViaCAD wouldn't complain about, but maybe it was my mis-application of Delftship Pro's automated/automatic/semi-automatic fairing. I used the porcupine plots, but once in PolyCAD, the plot still was so whacked that the PolyCAD bspline least squares curve was hugely impressive to me.

    + PolyCAD, middle-button-hold now acts as a rotate, and is great in that it spares me of looking up to the tool bar just to switch into a rotate mode. I like the left button for selections actions, the middle wheel for scrolling, the middle-click-hold for rotations, and right-click for contextual things, and right-click-drag for panning. This way, with ONE HAND, I can do many things without resorting to the menu for the most basic, but very highly repetitive, 2nd-nature movements in which stress goes up when eye-hand coordination is broken mid-stream.

    + PolyCAD, more CAD-like for me. If/when I can right-click-drag to pan comes, the above item will be resolved for me

    + PolyCAD, X-topology is probably going to be my next new way to create hulls from scratch -- so long as I can import to Freeship 3.2x-Hydronship the PolyCAD surfaces (save the PolyCAD hull as .geo, and import that into Freeshipship) closed at the stem, curved at the sonar dome, correctly shaped at the cut-up, and the transom sealed. I'm getting there, and liking it.

    So far, for me, I've learned in about 1.5 months a lot of PolyCAD (even read Marcus' ~444 page thesis from 2002, and much of it seems fresh/still-relevant for whatever reasons that made some of the discussed packages seem to be in a time-warp, at least one or two that I demo'd and found no reason to purchase even if under $400). If I keep it up, I *might* not need to do first-design in Delfthsip/Freeship, except that Freeship/Hydronship has those very fine, very VERY informative nice reports and calc.

    Has anyone had success making a donation to Hydronship? I tried it about 2 months ago and didn't seem to succeed.

    (edited to add the below...)

    By the way, the PolyCAD site:

    http://www.polycad.co.uk/polycad9.htm

    appears to be refreshed a bit, and sports a nic pic of the user interface, plus some details of updates/changes.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  3. CmbtntDzgnr
    Joined: Jun 2011
    Posts: 119
    Likes: 8, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 120
    Location: somewhereonearth

    CmbtntDzgnr Senior Member

    Erroneous statement on my part:

    Above, I stated:

    "+ PolyCAD, now imports DXF colors (though layer names don't import, but at least the colors come in and also remain even if a mesh is converted to a bspline surface, but, color is or may be lost if a subsequent conversion to another surface type occurs or if some types of groups are made. Still, for complicated/dense dxf imports, at least conversion is easier if the colors initially were due to troubleshooting in the original program before exporting to dxf)"

    After paying more attention last night, I realized that while I imported colors in a dxf file retain the color when opened, you lose the color if the mesh is converted to a Polygon Mesh. If you convert the original, colored mesh to a BSpline surface, PolyCAD generates a surface which will be a default (white?) color, although the original, colored mesh is still available for further use.

    But, it still is nice that at least on import, the dxf mesh file containing meshes of various colors becomes a polycad .geo type file having those colors so that one can start grabbing the meshes and creating assemblies to which to create Calculation Curves, so that volumes appear in the Compartment Volumes and Centres report.

    Cheers!
     
  4. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: Midcoast Maine

    DCockey Senior Member

    ARe calculations done in the traditional method of integrating sections to create curves of areas, and then integrating the curves of areas? If so is this inherent to PolyCad or something you have added?
     
  5. CmbtntDzgnr
    Joined: Jun 2011
    Posts: 119
    Likes: 8, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 120
    Location: somewhereonearth

    CmbtntDzgnr Senior Member

    As for your question:

    "ARe calculations done in the traditional method of integrating sections to create curves of areas, and then integrating the curves of areas? If so is this inherent to PolyCad or something you have added? "

    I think only Marcus or a programmer with the dev tools can add to or edit the integrations or calculations process. I'm not technically verse enough to say how he's arriving at calcs results. Hopefully, he's occasionally able to look here. Certainly, you can write him and ask. I suspect he's commented on it in his Thesis, but I skimmed and dwelled here and there, covering the some-440 pages over about 9 hours of reading from a Friday night through Sunday night. But, several of the results I looked quickly at match some of what I saw in Free!Ship 3.26/Hydronship.


    This may be extra, or repetitious, but...


    So, in my case, I'm only using what is provided. To obtain hull (and superstructure) volumes, I think I've done so in two ways:

    For the menu-accessed Calculations/hydrostatics (not or not only the icon-accessed Quick Hydrostatics)

    1. take two successive stations (if they are polylines, apply a bspline of lease curves for fairing, then dump the original, segmented, polyline, and then convert the nicely-faired bspline back to a polyline) of polylines and create a Polyline hull

    1.2 repeat this for the length of wetted hull body

    1.3 select the hull segments singly or all at once and (via right-clicking) create calculation curves

    Or

    2. create bspline surfaces from either existing meshes, or from faired curves/stations (polylines, bsplines, intellicurves (obsolete, essentially), etc.) and then select ONLY the surfaces and then create calculation curves


    I think I have the best success with obtaining hydros (the results for Free body, etc, the ones above Volumes & Centres and Areas & Centres) when I select geometry or entities from the Entities Selection window rather than directly on-screen. It may be that I just have imported too many coincident curves cluttering up the selector in the pointer.

    So, I spend time trying to write down and hone my process to make more efficient use of PolyCAD. Sometimes, finding features in it is like being a kid looking for an easter egg of one kind but finding a BETTER egg than the one I THOUGHT i wanted, hehehehe.
     

  6. Boat Design Net Moderator
    Joined: Feb 2010
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    Boat Design Net Moderator Moderator

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