Best Marine Design Software for Hull Modeling? (2011)

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


Which program(s) do you use as your primary hull design/modeling software?

  1. Autoship

    12 vote(s)
  2. Catia

    9 vote(s)
  3. DefCar

    2 vote(s)
  4. Delftship

    24 vote(s)
  5. Fastship

    4 vote(s)
  6. Freeship

    18 vote(s)
  7. HullCAO

    2 vote(s)
  8. HullForm

    4 vote(s)
  9. Maxsurf

    49 vote(s)
  10. MultiSurf

    6 vote(s)
  11. Naval Designer

    3 vote(s)
  12. Napa

    8 vote(s)
  13. NX

    4 vote(s)
  14. Prolines

    3 vote(s)
  15. ProSurf

    2 vote(s)
  16. SolidWorks

    15 vote(s)
  17. Rhino

    53 vote(s)
  18. SeaSolution

    2 vote(s)
  19. TouchCAD

    4 vote(s)
  20. Other (please post below)

    10 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. frank smith
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    frank smith Senior Member

    F3M4, I am just getting into sketchup and would like to import from freeships .
    I get an image but it is in wire frame , and I find a way to do any thing with it.
    Any info would be appreciated.
  2. veggie
    Joined: Apr 2011
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    Location: Southampton

    veggie Junior Member

    Definitely not for amateurs, but I had the opportunity to work with Friendship Framework for my bachelor thesis. Really interesting software.

    The cons:
    Fully parametric modelling is complex, takes a lot of time to get a model
    Some specific shapes can not be obtained with some parameterisations

    The pros:
    Very good hull variation and optimisation
    Advanced access to all the features of the software: consider it as a programming language for naval architects, with possibilities to define your own scripts. Extremely powerful tool.
    Good interfacing with other softwares
    1 person likes this.
  3. DavidJ
    Joined: Jun 2004
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    Location: Canada

    DavidJ Senior Member

    The BEST software is the one you know how to use.
  4. shattle
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Location: CHINA

    shattle New Member

    auto CAD and pro/e,this is I can get free this moment,calculation is still by hand.
  5. billybobobrain
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Portland, OR.

    billybobobrain New Member

    And if you don't know how to use any? then which one is the best?
  6. DavidJ
    Joined: Jun 2004
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    Location: Canada

    DavidJ Senior Member

    Haha, if you don't know how to use any then the best one is the one that you can learn to use. ie; it's the one you can afford or the one that you can find an experienced user to teach you or the one where the best tutorials are available. An expensive piece of software with all the bells and whistles is completely useless if you don't know how to efficiently produce high quality models.

    Additionally, the best software to learn are the ones that are most widely used in your chosen industry. For new people entering the industry being knowledgeable in a companies design software can definitely be a help getting hired, although it usually isn't absolutely necessary. It is also useful at a company level to use common software. As in the marine design industry, as in others, it is very common for many different individuals from many different companies to work on a large project. Being able to exchange files in their native format saves a lot of headaches. Yes, most 3d software can save in multiple formats. IGES and STEP are very common file transfer formats for example. But if you export your solidworks file to an IGES all of the tree info will be lost. Then when you get your parts back from the Rhino user they will no longer be parametric solids, but will instead be "dumb" surfaces.
  7. DavidJ
    Joined: Jun 2004
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    Location: Canada

    DavidJ Senior Member

    If you are a student I'd recommend trying to figure out what software is used by companies that you are interested in working for. This info is sometimes on their websites or brochures. Other times it might require an informal interview. Most companies will be able to find the time to talk with an interested student. I have also been to a few of the larger boat shows and for my own curiosity I did informal polls of the builders and designers about their design software and people were always happy to say what they used.

    Now, I selected Rhino on this poll and this is why. The question only asked for the best software for hull modeling. I don't believe their is any such thing as the "best"software. However, I like Rhino best. I find it the easiest to use. It works the way I think. It's the one I know how to use.

    We learned Autoship in school, but I found the software to be difficult to learn. It seemed archaic and just didn't respond to my way of thinking. I tried the demos of Prosurf, fastship, and touchcad but they just didn't strike me. Maxsurf had their free education version (very smart marketing) and I taught myself to use that. I loved it. I found it suited me much better and I ended up using it for my hull design projects.

    However, when I graduated the first company I got a job with did not use Maxsurf. They used Rhino (for 90% of hull design work) and Autoship. I had purchased an education version of Rhino while in school and I used it for almost anything not related to hulls. Once I had access to Rhinomarine and I picked up a few hull fairing tricks, Rhino was all I needed. The more I used it, the more I liked it. ie; I got better at using it. It became the one I knew how to use. Of course it also has a big advantage over hull specific software like Maxsurf and Autoship in that you can continue to model other parts of the vessel without switching software.

    I also have extensive experience with Catia and as far as I can tell it can do anything Rhino can plus much much more. And it does it all within the same package without any pain in the *** conversion. I love Catia. It is truly amazing software. However, I didn't choose Catia because it ridiculously expensive. Training is expensive. And there is almost zero internet presence for the software. I can google almost any bizarre error or simple command for autocad and come up with answers, but with Catia it can be near impossible. And while there are plug-ins available to do almost anything in Catia they are also expensive and require more expensive training. It just isn't practical most of the time.

    Those are my personal experiences. As to which software is most common my only experience is in North America. From what I have read on these forums it sounds like Maxsurf has a pretty strong presence in Australia and I've heard rumours that Catia training is free in France and therefore the software has been widely adopted. I know smaller fabricators often love Solidworks, but they don't hire many Naval Architects or engineers. I have worked for three different marine design companies and I have knowledge of the software used at many others through friends and colleagues. What I have found is that the combination of Autocad and Rhino is extremely prevalent in North American marine design. I'd like to declare they have a monopoly in that field although my sample set is rather small. Out of say 25ish marine companies I know people working at, one uses Microstation for 2D drafting. All of the others use Autocad. While I did work at a company that had used Solidworks for some aspects of their designs and were phasing that out in favour of Catia, they still used Autocad for more than half their 2D work, and all 2D that was not produced from a model. They also used Rhino on every project for something (including the point of the poll - hull design). Like I said I have asked builders and designers about their design software at boat shows. I am not exaggerating when I say that every single one I asked told me they used Rhino and Autocad. A couple told me they used Solidworks for interior work, but those same companies still listed Rhino and Autocad. So I'd say for a student looking for marine design work in NA learn those two. Anything else you can pick up is a bonus but if you have those in your toolkit you will have the best chance of being hired. I'd say shipconstructor and solidworks would be the next two if you had the time and inclination.
  8. Mick@itc
    Joined: Jan 2011
    Posts: 98
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    Location: Melbourne

    Mick@itc Junior Member

    Drafting service?

    Anyone offer a drafting service for a boat I have in my head???

    PS, 18 Meter Cruising sailing Catamaran
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
  9. FMS
    Joined: Jul 2011
    Posts: 611
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    Location: united states

    FMS Senior Member

    You could ask Westlawn or the Landing School if they could point you to a student who would like some basic drafting work or post it on their job board.

    Or post a request under services here a few forums down.
  10. chemionix

    chemionix Previous Member

    AutoShip, TouchCad,and NAPA is the best software.
    Napa system makes extensive usage of the 3D CAD technology to develop and build unique ship designs.
    Autoship system is developed in a way that both technical and non-technical parties involved in the ship building process can understand the concept and implement their ideas to test the models.Ship and boat design software has take the ship designing process to a whole new level with increase in automation , 3D simulation techniques, and thorough analysis programs.
    TouchCAD was created by a Swedish structural engineer, Claes Lundstrom, who built boats in plywood as a teenager and later wanted a design program that could flatten sheet materials from compound-curved shapes. TouchCAD can also unfold very high resolution images applied to 3D models.
  11. rafaelcoelho
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Location: Portsmouth, UK

    rafaelcoelho New Member

    Mathsurf for hull design and after CATIA .
  12. naval arc
    Joined: Oct 2011
    Posts: 2
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    Location: Indonesia

    naval arc New Member

    I am use Maxsurf for Hull modeling and the use Rhino to make structure and for detailing use solidworks.
  13. CmbtntDzgnr
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Location: somewhereonearth

    CmbtntDzgnr Senior Member

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

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