Best program for Boat Design

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by Biscuit, Mar 24, 2021.

  1. Biscuit
    Joined: Sep 2020
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    Location: Scotland

    Biscuit Junior Member

    Hi all,
    I am working with a designer to design my aluminium range for me, but would love to learn the design part myself, I can use AutoCAD to a decent level in 2d, but wondered what your thoughts were as far as the best program to learn boat design with. Starting with planing hull pleasure and work boats, moving on to Aluminium Catamarans etc.
    I have downloaded trials of MaxSurf and Rhino with Orca 3d, but i just want to commit my time to one program and wondered which one is best overall.
    Looking online there are so many different ones and recommendations, from the afore mentioned 2, others mention Solidworks, AutoCAD etc etc.
    Looking forward to your replies.
  2. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Can you really learn to design boats to a high degree of excellence, using CAD programs ? Or just learn how to design boat-like objects ? Not trying to be a smart alec, but they are more a drafting aid, are they not, although obviously they do a lot of calculations that would be tedious manually.
  3. Biscuit
    Joined: Sep 2020
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    Location: Scotland

    Biscuit Junior Member

    That's kinda why I'm asking the question, but speaking with the designers I know, there are plenty of people learning it online. Hopefully I can learn it on the PC but will just have to wait and see. Need to give it a try I think is the only way.
  4. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    Location: Spain

    TANSL Senior Member

    I teach an online course on how to perform all naval architecture calculations with AutoCAD, starting with the creation of 3D models. Most of it is in Spanish but if you are interested I can send it to you, guiding you myself during the course.
  5. Biscuit
    Joined: Sep 2020
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    Location: Scotland

    Biscuit Junior Member

    That would be great, if you could. Ive sent you a PM with my personal email address.
  6. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

  7. wet feet
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    wet feet Senior Member

    I would hope that if you are using the services of a designer,the bulk of the work of determining the hull surface shape and the associated hydrostatics would have been done by him.Likewise any calculations needed to achieve the desired category of RCD or MCA compliance.Which leaves you with the practicalities of the build and fitting out to refine.From my limited exposure to Maxsurf I wouldn't think it is too helpful at this stage but would have been invaluable to the hull designer.I can't say I found Autocad the easiest of programs to use for 3D work,but it is a while since I fought with it and it always gave me the feeling that it was better for building or mechanical engineering work.Autocad LT can be a very fast way to produce 2D drawings,but for not much more of an outlay you can get Rhino,which works very well in 3D and uses many of the same commands as Autocad,for instance the relative coordinate syntax of a line from a point to another point is the same and it only operates in the third dimension if you add a Z coordinate to the string.the facility to use zebra stripes or environment mapping to illustrate the shape or fairness of a surface is really useful and I would imagine that a builder of aluminium hulls would find the facility to unroll surfaces to extract a developed panel shape would be rather handy.

    You also get the facility to deal with all manner of other file types and can select entities to export if needed.I'm a little out of date with Rhino,having not worked with anything more modern that Rhino5 but it would be my first choice and I suggest you spend a few hours going through the tutorials to learn more about it.If you need to export any information to CNC services for panel cutting,you may need to ask them what file formats they prefer to receive for their software.

  8. krawiec
    Joined: May 2018
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    Location: Poland

    krawiec Junior Member

    It's all depend what type of analyse you would like to make. Maxsurf have much more options of analyse, than rhino, but modeling flow isn't nice. i hear also about NX and Catia with Boat moudule, but never use it. The advertice of the both software is parametric deign, but there arevery expensive and it's hard to get a trial. I don't now how about analyse, but maybe someone else will be know. I think solid works is not good to hull modeling, hard to make smooth precise surface. Rhino also hae parametric design - Grashopper
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