CAFE .... amazing...

Discussion in 'Software' started by CmbtntDzgnr, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. CmbtntDzgnr
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    CmbtntDzgnr Senior Member

    Cafe ... amazing...

    I use Punch! ViaCAD to do my hull design work after exporting my model from Free!ship. Despite the pains of the older style of layer management in Free!ship versus the new (since last year) DELFTship style, I switched to FS because of the greater array of hydros tools and predictions suitable to combatants and non yacht hulls with large keels.

    In so many ways, ViaCAD could be months away from providing the capabilities visible in CAFE, but we simply do NOT have scripting, or external/3rd party tools, and little to no extensible way for individual users to customize the tools to behave how THEY need or want them to.

    Watch this to get the gist of what I mean:

    http://www.as2con.com/software/cafe.html

    But, the pricing (which I found out after a few hours, and which is at a PDF URL in the page) is way beyond my ability.

    But, such a tool would probably save me enormous amounts of time, especially if it turns out to have sophisticated layer management. It already has hydrostatics and that might remove a lot of work I do in Free!ship and DelftShip, although FS has a number of powering, wind, turning, and stability reporting tools, plus engine selection, propeller predictions and design assistance and more.

    I was hoping that CAFE was around $700 or $1000, but i guess for 5,000 Euros, it must be QUITE a package. I'll at least check out the demo, but, I'd have to win a lottery to afford the program as things are now.

    I only found out today about CAFE when looking at various tutorials for some of the big-ticket modeling/production programs.
     
  2. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Rhino has layers and scripting. It also has a hydrostatics command which calculates center of buoyancy, center of flotation, wetted area, waterline length and beam, etc. The output of the hydrostatics command can be input into a spreadsheet or another program for stability calculations. Price is around $1000.

    CAFE looks interesting. Best software depends on what the task.
     
  3. CmbtntDzgnr
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    CmbtntDzgnr Senior Member

    "Best software depends on what the task."

    True. Very true.

    I saw the Rhino with Parametrics video, too, but now I cannot find in my browsing history the very same yt vid. Must be looking too hard.

    But, it was pretty interesting, too. So many of these apps are attractive, and if I had the time and cartwheels of money to burn, I'd buy probably 8 or 9 of them. Just to have them...
     
  4. darko_frank
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    darko_frank CAFE - Software Manager

  5. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

  6. darko_frank
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    darko_frank CAFE - Software Manager

    Thank you :)
    License renting is intended for a certain period of time during which you get full support (maintenance) and updates. Once the contract expires, your license is not valid anymore. In opposite to the rented license, there is a paid-up license (5000€) which is permanent and you get support and further updates (also software extensions) as long as you are willing to pay a yearly maintenance fee 1250€. Pricing is explained here:
    http://www.bvbcafe.com/images/stories/bvbcafe/Flyer/CAFE_Pricing_23_08_2011.pdf
    License renting prices are given in general and discounts are applicable depending on the type of project and number of rented licenses.
    There are also discounts available for paid-up license.
    Hope I was clear enough.
     
  7. darko_frank
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    darko_frank CAFE - Software Manager

    In addition, there is a free version of CAFE which has limitations mentioned in the post above. However, CAFE team is not obligated to support CAFE-free users.
     
  8. CmbtntDzgnr
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    CmbtntDzgnr Senior Member

    Downloaded

    I downloaded this AM, and I'm excited.

    It is amazing that this software has these capabilities for 0E to 5,000E.

    It is gracious, I guess I can say, that so long as we don't need FEM and Classification Society-specific prints, we can use this well-presented program.

    I will do the RTM routine, as I need to familiarize myself with the environment. My first actual task is to go about importing my two dxf files (one is DXF 3D Polylines, the other being the DXF 3D Meshes) which I exported from Free!ship and DELFTship. I see newly-created layers indicating *something* was an event, but I haven't figured out how to identify (see/sight) my imported curves/lines and meshes.

    Before discovering Cafe, I was thrilled to be "one" with my meshes, pls, and ViaCAD model. I don't mind Cafe not being Relational Database-like, since what it presents seems it will double or triple my hobby productivity once I am conversant with the features and the user interface. I still can use Punch! ViaCAD for various detail design work, so my investment in it won't be lost. Also, given that Free!ship has numerous calcs engines, I can still get my tactical turning, stability, powering, and other information. But, the other facilities included in Cafe are great to have available.

    I now have yet another amazing tool to immerse myself and become more of a hermit on the weekends and in the evenings.


    I may be getting ahead, but does Cafe have (inside or online) a library of inclined and vertical ladders, proxy (stand-in) engines, reduction gearing, and ancillary gear?

    Is there a hotel loads estimation module so that I can more fine-grained figure out power and HVAC? Really, though, the big leagues architects and designers need that more than I do, so if it's not there, I can at least rail-sweep ducts, pipes, and draw proxies of pumps and motors and switchboards.

    If Cafe decides to go relational, there are a few small, fast, powerful engines, such as SQLite:

    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/SQLite

    http://www.sqlite.org/features.html

    http://theopensourcery.com/sqlite2.htm

    It would be awesome to have relational capabilities, and then I could use my Lotus Approach database to copy in and possibly influence subtle modeling changes -- if there is a driver for SQLite.
     
  9. CmbtntDzgnr
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    CmbtntDzgnr Senior Member

    I figured out how to view my imported model. I overlooked the empty check box and checked it. My model probably is too cluttered so I think I'll need to practice on a sample boat model from Free!ship and figure out how to re-approach my own bigger, more cluttered model.

    The videos show some great features!
     
  10. darko_frank
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    darko_frank CAFE - Software Manager

    CAFE will not use relational database. The intention is to keep all the model data in few Mb of disk space. In addition, it will use ng.zine integration platform www.ngzine.com. The equipment library has not been released yet. However, it is possible to import 3D equipment parts as VRML file exported from any CAD tool. These files are also often available for from supplier. It is necessary to prepare MS Excel sheet with containing equipment part names, mass and local center of gravity and import excel file along with multiple VRML files.
     
  11. CmbtntDzgnr
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    CmbtntDzgnr Senior Member

    I may be mistaken, and I hope I wasn't overly enthusiastic, but I was unable to find a format that would export to .dxf so that I could work *outsided* of Cafe. I guess I was imagining using Cafe to do very fast work of the structural stiffening aspects, then export to .dxf or something other than Nastran/ACAD.

    I found that my graphics chip may not be up to task for handling Cafe. The background seems to remain white, but if I click various buttons to alter the shading/display, I find it difficult to revert.

    I think many users will very much want the scroll to work both ways, and without require use of the control key to effect the zoom direction. It would be nice if some keyboard shortcuts existed to make quick-work of view changes and tools selections.

    I found that if I inadvertently zoomed too far in, I lost perspective (track/view) of where in the model I was, and would have to zoom all again. After about 5x of this, i wished there existed a "zoom previous" button. Maybe this and the shortcuts exist for the command line, and maybe I cannot find out unless they are in a manual provided to supported users.

    I would like to give it another shot. I think I need to await future feature enhancements. I think the product is great in the ability to resize, rotate, and edit stiffening. That alone got my heart racing in excitement. But I find I cannot do some CAD-like functions. It would be nice if there were two-way interactions between CAD makers and hydros developers. For those with the appropriate back-end or major ship design tools, Cafe must be pretty awesome.
     
  12. CmbtntDzgnr
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    CmbtntDzgnr Senior Member

    By the way, my tool set is:

    -- Free!Ship/Hydronship (for initial hull, hydros, and other rationalization efforts by me) 3.24 +

    -- DELFTShip Pro v 4.27

    -- Punch! ViaCAD 7 Pro

    A tool like yours is nice because much of the stiffener work that I do in ViaCAD is not in any really user-accessible database such as XML or relational where one could parametrically update the model. There is associativity in some parts I do in ViaCAD, but if i find mistakes that I committed in Free!Ship/Hydronship (previously DELFTShip, but the FS/HS app has powering, turning, resistance and other modules I cannot live without, suited more to my hulls than Delftship's reports are at this time), I have to go back to FS/HS, make changes, export them to DXF PL and DXF Mesh, and then re-import them in VCP. Layers management to me is tedious to keep it logical, and probably would drive some people crazy, but it is the best I can do since there is no two-way conduit between those two or 3 apps.

    (Just an aside: If there were some synergy between Cafe, ViaCAD/Shark, Freeship/Hydronship, and Delftship (aside from the fact that yours is xml, and theirs either have no database or may not adapt well in the nearterm since FS/HS & DS are probably 1 or 2 people with a few or no support), some intriguing possibilities could arise.)
     
  13. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Never heard about this one. Saw the site and it looks interesting (http://www.punchcad.com/p-8-viacad-pro-v7.aspx). Can you please tell us more about your experience with this software, pros and cons? Is it more like Solidworks or just a CAD with 3D features?
    Saw this in the gallery, which is not an easy think to create (chess pieces, I mean):

    [​IMG]

    Cheers
     
  14. darko_frank
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    darko_frank CAFE - Software Manager

    There is a lot of opened questions here regarding CAFE. Free version also comes with the manual. Check under help menu -> user's guide. There you may find some answers. If you have trouble accessing the manual, I will email you a copy. CAFE can import IGES from Delftship and FreeShip. Also, it can import text file from DELFT and Freeship, it is the file that contains stations (list of point coordinates). I don't remember, but I think that both of those tools can import and export this textual file. I can't comment on ViaCAD. Check the manual, if you have trouble, I'll try to find the time to help.
    Enjoy.
     

  15. darko_frank
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    darko_frank CAFE - Software Manager

    If you will be patient, there will be a new release of the free version in about one month. The new version will be more advanced in calculations and more stable. Manual will also be updated soon. There are many shortcuts listed there.
     
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