Blender for hull design

Discussion in 'Software' started by cutawaycafe, May 15, 2013.

  1. cutawaycafe
    Joined: May 2013
    Posts: 22
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Wellington New Zealand

    cutawaycafe CutawayCafe

    Has anyone on this forum succesfully used Blender for hull design?

    It is an immensely versatile program and incorporates a physics engine. I know that in theory it could be used to model and test a hull, show volume, area etc. However the learning curve is a concern.

    The first problem I've struck is in dimensioning. It appears to be difficult in Blender to specify such simple things as width, height etc. Everything is a percentage-scale of another thing.

    If anyone has had a good crack at this and is able to say it worked for them, I'll be willing to invest the time!

    Thanks, Dan
     
  2. ludesign
    Joined: Aug 2003
    Posts: 211
    Likes: 5, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 60
    Location: Sweden

    ludesign Senior Member

    You can re-paint your house with a screwdriver, but why bother when you can do it so much easier and quicker using a brush. :confused:
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. cutawaycafe
    Joined: May 2013
    Posts: 22
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Wellington New Zealand

    cutawaycafe CutawayCafe

    Helpful comments welcome, if you've not used Blender please do not feel the need to reply. Thanks
     
  4. daiquiri
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 5,372
    Likes: 239, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 3380
    Location: Italy (Garda Lake) and Croatia (Istria)

    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    I have had a quick glimpse at Blender few years ago, but have immediately abandoned it because I found it unsuitable for engineering design. It was apparently intended mainly for artists and video-game developers, to whom precision is not as important as the quality of surface modeling and rendering.

    I don't know if this is of any help, but if you type "object dimensions blender" in Google, you'll find that many users are having the same problem, and that several pages deal with it.

    Cheers
     
  5. cutawaycafe
    Joined: May 2013
    Posts: 22
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Wellington New Zealand

    cutawaycafe CutawayCafe

    yeah - I think this may be a case of water uphill. I have trials of Rhino for Windows and Mac, clearly that's the way to go - was just wondering about Blender. Frustrating application sometimes!
     
  6. Mike Graham
    Joined: Feb 2013
    Posts: 67
    Likes: 6, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 54
    Location: Maryland

    Mike Graham Junior Member

    I'm fairly familiar with Blender. Although it would be possible to incorporate hydro solvers for analyzing a hull, this would not be without effort.

    Which surface modeling tools in Blender were you using?

    What is your end goal in designing a hull?

    There are already a lot of software packages out there that lets you design hulls that are very mature. Are you familiar with some of these, how people use them in practice, and the concerns that have lead to this status quo?
     
  7. cutawaycafe
    Joined: May 2013
    Posts: 22
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Wellington New Zealand

    cutawaycafe CutawayCafe

    Yes indeed, I have looked at the options suggested and downloaded Rhino for both Mac and Windows. I figured I'd have to use a new piece of software so the 25-save limit applied across two machines might give me enough practice.

    The Blender question was simply because there was alwasy a chance it MIGHT be a hidden gem that few have considered. It appears not though! I am very impressed with Rhino and will almost certainly go that route. Thanks for the advice.
     
  8. Mike Graham
    Joined: Feb 2013
    Posts: 67
    Likes: 6, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 54
    Location: Maryland

    Mike Graham Junior Member

    Orca3D is a fairly-widely-used Rhino plugin that will do hydrostatics calculations and has some helpers for hull design.

    What is your goal with hull design? Do you want to design and build a boat? What kind?
     
  9. alanrockwood
    Joined: Jun 2009
    Posts: 130
    Likes: 16, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 116
    Location: USA

    alanrockwood Senior Member

    In case anyone finds it relevant, there is a project called cadtools that is trying to extend Blender in a way to make it useful for CAD.

    http://www.cad4arch.com/cadtools/

    The project is only partially complete, but it seems to be pretty far along. It contains nothing specific for boat design, but might be worth a look nevertheless.
     
  10. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
    Posts: 1,270
    Likes: 25, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 271
    Location: Hampshire UK

    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Blender has been around for years, it works OK, though I struggle a bit with the interface. Got some nice visual results (splashing wave stuff) from it last year, on one thing though.

    Thanks for the heads up. Rhino is way better for modelling, but Blender is a good renderer and multi threaded so you can use those cores!.
     
  11. CFerduccio
    Joined: Aug 2016
    Posts: 1
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: South Carolina

    CFerduccio New Member

    I have used Blender for years now for boat modelling. Blender is good at some things. However, Blender is NOT good for engineering. You can set your dimensional preferences to metric, imperial, or the already referenced blender standard (Who knows what this is) However, even with dimensional standards set it is still tricky to use for accurate models.
    I have been using Blender for making 3D models of boats for second life. For this purpose Blender is really quite good. However, the boats I build are nothing more than "hollow" models with no plumbing or electrical routing at all.
    I would recommend using Rhino as I have heard it is really good at this now. I have spent years teaching myself Blender and still have to fight with it to force it to work occasionally.
     
  12. pafurijaz
    Joined: Dec 2016
    Posts: 101
    Likes: 14, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 18
    Location: Italy

    pafurijaz Senior Member

  13. zukobo
    Joined: Sep 2019
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 2, Points: 3
    Location: taiwan

    zukobo Junior Member

    I've been working on a parametric python code based script for hull design using blender. I haven't spent a lot of time fine tuning the designs so it looks like a "nice boat" but rather focusing on the functionality so things can be adjusted and can be reused or scaled up. You type the parameters into a code file and it generates the geometry similar to openscad - OpenSCAD https://www.openscad.org/ - I guess you could say it's a programmers boat design tool extension for blender.

    I need to tweak it some more so it's more portable, some of the things are hard coded and I need to document it a bit before it can be uploaded to github or something like that.

    I'm specifically interested in making an aluminum boat made from CNC cut plates - so the curves look a little hard - but they are almost guaranteed to be develop-able surfaces, twist can be added but it's not used in any of these models.

    All the longitudinal stringers and bulkheads are added automatically and the notching where they intersect is also automatic. You define the length / width of the curves and the rotation angle of each chine to define the hull then pass a list of stations where the bulkheads are and thickness. Everything is automatic.

    2019_09_17_sample_hull_1b0001.jpg

    2019_09_20_v01.jpg
    Fixed floor height - for level floor when keel and bulkheads differ in height
    2019_09_20_v03.jpg
    Automatic notching
    2019_09_17_sample_hull_1bt0002.jpg
    The bulkheads station positions are passed in via a list of numbers... they follow the curves of the hull automatically and all the Boolean modifiers are automatic
    2019_09_17_strand_6_b_.png0001.jpg
    This is a test model to test the functionality of stringer Boolean logic automatically following a curve.
     
  14. zukobo
    Joined: Sep 2019
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 2, Points: 3
    Location: taiwan

    zukobo Junior Member

    2019_09_19_v06.png
    The pink areas are used for boolean operations on the strings to define the void space. These are generated automatically.
    2019_10_04_v05.jpg
    This is a little more resembling a boat with keel, rudder and propeller... The propeller is actually modeled manually and imported as a component via the script. The pilot house is generated procedural and merged into the hull with a Boolean modifier.
    2019_09_20_v07.jpg
    Here you can see the bulkheads follow the pilot house shape automatically. The second to first and second to last bulkheads are defined as watertight so no opening is automatically created.
    2019_09_20_v08.png
    This is earlier work in progress - the human actors are generated with http://www.makehumancommunity.org/ and equipment (anchors, engine, chair, rope) modeled by hand. Both equipment and actors are stored in a resource library file and linked to the procedural generated boat model through a script. Every time you run the script it starts with a blank blender file, generates the hull geometry, and imports the equipment and places into predefined positions for scale reference.

    This is still work in progress.... the pictures you see are just for generating examples to test the functionality... They are not representative of real boats.

    It's actually a very precise, repeatable way to generate a hull... You can easily tweak a parameter without having to redo a bunch of other stuff or undo steps...
     

  15. zukobo
    Joined: Sep 2019
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 2, Points: 3
    Location: taiwan

    zukobo Junior Member

    Screenshot from 2019-09-18 17-06-47.png
    Just in case you are wondering what it looks like... On the right window you can see "new_chine" definitions - the offset, rotation and width are defined numerically... the Boolean modifier is applied iteratively for each longitudinal stringer. The left window is just helper class, the right side is what actually defines the hull... The code needs to be repackaged into a reusable wrapper so it's easier to use... work in progress....
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.