CAFE .... amazing...

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

  1. CmbtntDzgnr
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    CmbtntDzgnr Senior Member

    Cool, Frank!

    Say, something to consider -- if you have not yet noticed this -- it seems to me that a 'differentiation' between Delftship and Freeship is how they handle decimal points. I saved my DS work into a format that FS could import. But, my density decimal points (or maybe mass?) shifted and threw off my calcs. It took me a while to realize it because I was not expecting it and was not at that time working on weights and such.

    Also, layers names lengths might pose trouble if they get cut off, but say start off identically. They become harder to use when the last few letters (the most useful ones, hahaha) are "port", "stbd", "non-symm", and so on. I ran into this problem when I exported my stuff to use data in an external database so I could format my own reports.

    And, another "differentiator" between the two is that, while in DS I can move the baseline to the HULL bottom, FS insists on redrawing the baseline at beneath my sonar dome. At first this was very annoying as in my CAD file I'd have to remember to adjust this when importing my polylines and meshes. If not considered, it might wreak havoc on certain reports' values.

    And, those two or 3 "issues" make it a pain to go back and forth between the apps. For example, FS has very useful/relevant reports and modules (that are not in DS) for my destroyer/cruiser models, but DS has the better layers management/display.
     
  2. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Yeah, too bad Martijn and Victor didn't join their forces and create a software which would bring together the best of both worlds (FS and DS).
     
  3. darko_frank
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    darko_frank CAFE - Software Manager

    I had only some experience in DS & FS few years ago and I remember that I also had some incompatibility problems.
     
  4. darko_frank
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    darko_frank CAFE - Software Manager

    DS definitely had better display, but was limited in some export options I believe.
     
  5. quequen
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    quequen Senior Member

    Darko, Café looks great! :D Are there some Café files as examples to download?
    Will you make some youtube tutorials on "how to start a new ship"?
    Thanks
     
  6. thudpucker
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    thudpucker Senior Member

    I'm in awe of you guys. I think the CAFE is a little too far out ahead of my limits.
    You guys are talking about modifying something I cant even figure out how to work.
    Kudos!!!!
     
  7. darko_frank
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    darko_frank CAFE - Software Manager

    Thank you all for your positive comments :) We are making a simple example manual and it will be available for download very soon. For the beginning:
    1. In project explorer tree - right-click on MODELS and select "add model"
    2. Right-click on newly created model and select "add model group"
    3. You have to click on newly created model group so that it becomes active
    4. Click on the point icon on toolbar (to add a point)
    5. When you have point on screen, it has to be activated (highlighted in red) then right-click on VER: (...) text (blue color) on the screen bottom. In pop-up window, enter coordinates in this form: X*Y*Z. If it says on the bottom VER: NONE it means that no point is selected - so you have to select by clicking mouse on it.
    6. You can move points and align them by using guiding planes (see manual).
    7. To add the curve, select several points (2 for line, more for curve), but be aware that clicking order matters.
    8. If you want a simple triangular or quadrilateral surface for FE usage, just click on 3 or for points respectively and click on strake or triangular strake in toolbar.
    9. To create a complex surface, select several curves (mind the order) and click on surface in toolbar. Note that surface is loft based, so curves shouldn't intersect. If so - use splitting first.
    10. See the manual about guiding planes (guides) and how to attach entities to guides and move them. Also see how you can split or project entities using guides. Use magnetic surfaces for shaping one surface to get the shape of other neighboring surface. See manual...
     
  8. darko_frank
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    darko_frank CAFE - Software Manager

    If you already have your hullform in FS or DS, just import it using IGES. For fairing, you have to mind the degrees of freedom on the bottom of the screen where it says MOVE: X Y Z. Activate or deactivate degrees of freedom by clicking letters before you move the point.
     
  9. CmbtntDzgnr
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    CmbtntDzgnr Senior Member

    Importing DS/FS models...

    In my case, some of my curves are dense and lead to a messy display. I had to give up on importing the mesh because I got some multidimensional surfaces, hehehehe. Not shocking, since importing somebody's dxf's is always problemmatic depending on what flavor and means of export happened.

    Some of my curves, however, did not import the way they would in ViaCAD. In VC Pro (ViaCAD Pro), my stations, buttocks, waterlines, and diagonals all come in fairly nicely, although in the dense, curvy stern cut-up area there may be 1 to 3 lines that have some internal mathematical twist or kink that stymies attempts at sweeping a rail to form shell stiffeners. Fortunately, that may be only ONE to 3 lines at most, out of some 700 i might import (I import lots of stations from a duplicate/2nd model so that later I can grab convenient ones as needed.

    But, it would be useful to have the background color changing interface totally separate from coloration of the entities. It would reduce my inadvertent changing the wrong thing.
     
  10. CmbtntDzgnr
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    CmbtntDzgnr Senior Member

    It's awesome that you have Poisson's and others' entry fields. It might be really awesome if you have a "don't go astray" widget or tabulated sheet or such so that when we set our ratios, weights, displacements, centers, and so on, the screen might scream at us if we over-widen or badly imbalance our model as we progress.

    So, I could say, "Though I don't have CFD/etc tools or skills, I want this much weight in this region, not to exceed X or Y or Z value of moment. If i put this much steel of A, B, or C concentration and mass in this area D, with E pillars and F girders/transverse stiffeners, will I be okay before taking my designs to a flesh-and-blood architect to save review time/money and to be as realistic as possible..."

    So, tt might act as a "progress minder/gate-keeper". I suggested it for one or two other products, but there were no takers. I cannot tell you how many times I wish a nutating or moving reticle of some sort would periodically arrive on the screen to tell me I've crossed 5,000 tons of steel weight, or that my CGs were out of bounds for the type of vessel I know (but cannot inform the app of) that I am building.

    Ultimately, if you have the best of DS & FS in terms of control points pushing and speed/powering/accel reports (or, make a plugin so that all 3 of you can symbiotically work with each other and maybe strengthen each other), and somehow have a 3rd Party CAD developer like "Punch!" in the mix (like Punch! and AeroPack), then end users might be able to leverage the best of their tool sets.

    Personally, for me, I realy value the smoothnes and quickness of a CAD environment for detail work, and DS for ease of hull creation (considering that I don't have Rhino nor any other similar apps), FS/Hydronship for the indispensible reports for a phalanx/array of ship/craft types.

    But, Cafe, with collaborative tools. That is impressive in its own right. Even hobbyists to boat builders to vessel/ship modelers can use that without given up an unborn or firstborn.

    As for collaboration, I know many companies with collaborative products might have 3 modes of use: Users interact via a 3rd party; users interact via the platform's own servers; users build their own servers or connections and real-time or off-line send updates. In any case, some users may what extreme privacy, even to the point of not wanting their files to reside on servers not under their control (not counting routers/switches and ISPs and the like). Personally, as an individual in an incubating stage of making ideas, I'd be inclined to do a peer-to-peer setup with no intermediaries able to eavesdrop unless they do so without legal permission. Enterprises or non-it-verse sites might make decisions based on proprietary secrets or expediency's sake, I assume.

    Will you have 3D models of humans in some range of percentiles so that as we walk/fly through the model, we can verify accessibility for maintenance? I personally feel that ANY ship that is "too tight" is a royal PITA, and stinginess on money to save build costs and to lay claim to better hydros just sets the ship up to be cursed for lousy or perpetually deferred maintenance work. If bilges are too small for 3D Human of 177 cm (5'-10") and 79.37 kg (175 lbs) with arms and thighs of x percentile cannot fit in this hole and sit there cleaning or painting or preserving for 45 minute, then s/he might in real life "gundeck" the work knowing new errors can be blamed elsewhere." From my perspective, I like to conceptualize with long life and ease of preservation and maintenance IN THE DESIGN. Of course, in real life, owners may elect to get by with the minimum Class rule they can.... (Just some of my thoughts that pop up in the middle of drawing.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  11. darko_frank
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    darko_frank CAFE - Software Manager

    Thank you for valuable comments.
    If you deselect all entities and right-click on color icon, only the background will be changed.
    We will have 3D human models and many other. We are in progress of negotiating CAD models with equipment and engine suppliers. All these models will be available in free version in near future.
    There is a quick example manual available for modelling and building FE model:
    http://www.bvbcafe.com/attachments/article/51/Quick CAFE Tutorial-1-1.pdf
     
  12. darko_frank
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    darko_frank CAFE - Software Manager

    Another tip. The easiest way to work with dxf is to import one by one curve e.g. frame. While importing, you should have an active guiding plane in which this curve will be positioned.
     
  13. CmbtntDzgnr
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    CmbtntDzgnr Senior Member

    Game-changing or possibly enhancing ideas

    But, (speaking just about DXF 3D polylines, not the meshes yet) in my case, my original model in FreeShip/Hydronship 3.24+ has maybe 80 layers. For compartments, I have 15. In each, there is a "face" station for that compartment's watertight boundary plat. Between each station plate face is a station that is the midplane x-coordinate. It is actually the origin for the +/- direction from which I thrown the thickness of the bulkhead.

    You can see that quickly it would end up being about 45 distinct layers just for making control planes for those. Well, if I am correctly interpreting this.

    Now, for stations for decks, and for stations for waterlines, it becomes more. Each deck plate has an upper and lower boundary. In some places, the surfaces formed by meshes (in DS/FS/HS) will have seams, so lines in the seams will be part of an export, depending on how I do it, or explod/decompose the mesh; generally, I just convert the mesh to a surface and minimize any exploding of stuff into lines... too overwhelming/tedious/entity-count-increasing.

    Sooooooooooo..... I have an idea/suggestion:

    1. an interface the intercepts the user when the import happens
    2. an interface that has common structural groups as a template, to which users can more rapidly assign curves.

    In #1, the user might import a half-breadth or the full-breadth symmetrical or mostly-symmetrical body of curves/3D polylines. So, the user would need to be prompted. The prompt might be that s/he returns to the originating app and turn off both-halves so importing can speed up, but to put non-symmetrical stuff on distinct layers. Or, Cafe could somehow read the DS/FS/HS model to sleuth out what is symmetrical in the layers settings and just work out the details for the user.

    The user would see a pre-import workspace to which s/he can make a quick sanity-check overview and roll the mouse over the "detected layers and entities" panel if you make one. The user might want to reassign things or modify something to whatever degree you make possible in the "pre-import overview panel/view". Then, Cafe could work out the required number of planes based on the number of layers the user says is final. Ideally, these would be marked internally such that regrettable edits in a source app can still be imported later, and such that the users can get rid of or purge any undesirable curves.


    In #2, the user could import everything, but then you provide a meta-layer interface that has planes that map to detected layers, taking on a corresponding name. The user then assigns or agrees to your first cut at it. In this way, the user is psychologically "in the model" and more likely to keep working rather than feel discouraged in Idea #1.

    Programmatically, if you have the resources and feel there is merit, it might be a game-changer for you.

    Regards.
     
  14. CmbtntDzgnr
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    CmbtntDzgnr Senior Member

    Hi Darko!

    How goes the development? I hope all is moving smoothly forward.
     

  15. darko_frank
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    darko_frank CAFE - Software Manager

    Hi,
    we are extremely busy since we are about to release the new version in couple of days. There will be some new features that will make life easier :) We are a bit behind schedule now. Your comments are welcome and will be considered in near future.

    Regards,
     
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