Free or Low Cost Hull Modeling Software

Discussion in 'Software' started by Admin, Jan 1, 2016.


Which free or low cost hull modeling program(s) do you use?

  1. Bearboat

  2. Blender

  3. BoatExpress

  4. Carene

  5. Carlson Design Hull Designer

  6. Free!Ship

  7. Free!Ship Plus

  8. DELFTship free

  9. HullCAO

  10. HullForm

  11. jSDN

  12. PolyCAD

  13. SketchUp

  14. Other (please post below)

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  1. Admin
    Joined: Jun 2001
    Posts: 50
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    Admin Administrator

  2. Justaguy
    Joined: Nov 2015
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    Location: U.S.

    Justaguy Junior Member

    Feature questions

    I'm looking for a free program with two main features: 1) It can be used by a DIY builder without devoting monk-like years of effort, and 2) It can give very basic performance information about different hull designs.

    So, all with the software: Design a basic hull, test it, get performance feedback, redesign (tweak something), test again, etc. Potential hull would likely be sheet materials (not very curvy), though I'd want the software to be able to handle both.

    I know this can be quite complicated, but want to do my best to head in the other direction.

  3. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Sorry. No such animal. Even so called 'Freeship' has a considerbale learning curve.
  4. Andy
    Joined: Aug 2003
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    Location: Edinburgh

    Andy Senior Member

    What about FreeCAD? There's a Ship Design module which i think does all the usual hydrostatics etc.
  5. NoEyeDeer
    Joined: Jun 2010
    Posts: 983
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    Location: Australia

    NoEyeDeer Senior Member

    The learning curve on Delftship isn't that bad. It certainly doesn't require "devoting monk-like years of effort". More like read the instructions and spend a few days frigging around with it.

    Same goes for Blender, incidentally, which I mention just because it's on the poll listing even though it's not a hull design app as such.
  6. devudegoa
    Joined: Feb 2016
    Posts: 14
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    Location: Visakhapatnam, India

    devudegoa Junior Member

    Yes. Delftship is quite user friendly. Commendable that they offer so many features for free. I wonder what the full version would be like. :)
  7. Aneblanc
    Joined: Nov 2011
    Posts: 44
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    Location: Brittany

    Aneblanc Junior Member

    I looked at a few programs. I am also new to it. For Freeship there is a good online tutorial in 4 parts and a pdf manual for the version 2.6. I found everything quite easy to use. Cheers
  8. Justaguy
    Joined: Nov 2015
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    Location: U.S.

    Justaguy Junior Member


    Thanks for the good feedback.

  9. Scott_F
    Joined: Nov 2015
    Posts: 5
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    Location: San Diego

    Scott_F Junior Member

    Hulls takes some effort to set up (it's really old and hasn't been updated) but is very easy to use. It doesn't do curvy though.
  10. noli
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Location: New York

    noli Junior Member

    Joined: Dec 2016
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    Location: Milton, Mass

    ROGE WAVE Junior Member

  12. pafurijaz
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    Location: Jamestown, Saint Helena

    pafurijaz Senior Member

    Hi, Free! Ship-Plus still exists, another person has saved the project, placing it on GitHub, and is now also available for Linux it is hoped that the program will be gradually further developed.

  13. tmark
    Joined: Sep 2006
    Posts: 86
    Likes: 5, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 60
    Location: Stratford

    tmark Junior Member

    For my purposes, what I like about Delftship is that once I've got a hull in place, the hard work is done and any future iteration simply requires dragging control points, and then reading the outputs ... the interface may seem old-fashioned but its a reliable workhorse.
  14. Mike Inman
    Joined: Oct 2018
    Posts: 55
    Likes: 6, Points: 8
    Location: Jacksonville, Florida

    Mike Inman Junior Member

    I want to like Blender, really I do, but after I put in all the effort to make something in Blender - so often I want to make parts of it parametric, adjustable, and at least the way I've been learning Blender it doesn't naturally do that - you place a bunch of stuff and it's just there, if you don't like it, carve on it like virtual clay.

    I asked on another thread: are there any other lunatics using OpenSCAD for hull design? It is VERY parametrically oriented, but also extremely basic in terms of pre-built shape tools provided. Both Blender and OpenSCAD output STL models suitable for 3D printing, which is how I got into them.

  15. pafurijaz
    Joined: Dec 2016
    Posts: 283
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    Location: Jamestown, Saint Helena

    pafurijaz Senior Member

    Hi, I have to deny you I have undertaken by some have the design of hulls with Blender, and is totally superior in modeling .. opensacad is simple a mesh modeler not very suitable for the surfaces of smooth and curved hulls. Blender has parametric modifiers with booleans that allows you to have some sort of parametrized operation ..
    Below some of my latest work with Blender. This are some reproductions of existing boat or design
    Media for user: pafurijaz | Boat Design Net


    Attached Files:

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