Macintoshes and naval architects...

Discussion in 'Software' started by Guest, Dec 30, 2002.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Are naval architects using Macintoshes for their CAD/CAE work?

    If so, what CAD/CAE packages and for what purpose (concept, detail design, analysis, etc.)?

    I'm curious about Macintosh's presence in the boat design world.
  2. Stephen Ditmore
    Joined: Jun 2001
    Posts: 1,388
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    Location: Smithtown, New York, USA

    Stephen Ditmore Senior Member

    MaxSurf was originally MacSurf, and is the program favored by Mac users. I see there's discussion about it at
    Doug Peterson and John Shuttleworth are prominent users, and Dave Gerr uses it along with Ashlar Vellum 3D (or did). A new program worth checking out is TouchCAD 3.0 at, and it might be possible to do yacht design using Form-Z or other modelers used to design star ships for Star Trek, etc.

    see also
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

  4. Timm
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 107
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    Location: Crystal River, FL USA

    Timm Senior Member

    I believe Antonio Dias also uses a Mac. He designs with Ashlar software. I also use Ashlar, but on a PC.
  5. Andrew Mason
    Joined: Mar 2003
    Posts: 397
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    Location: Perth, Western Australia

    Andrew Mason Senior Member

    Maxsurf was originally written for the Macintosh in 1984 and was converted to Windows in 1995. Although almost all our new sales are for the Windows versions of Maxsurf, the Mac versions are still available.

    The lack of other good CAD software on the Mac has resulted in most of our users switching from Mac to Windows. As a result we are no longer doing development or adding new features to the Mac versions, however they remain reliable and functional programs.
  6. ludesign
    Joined: Aug 2003
    Posts: 211
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    Location: Sweden

    ludesign Senior Member

    About TouchCAD 3.0

    The modeling engine is a poweful general purpose free-form modeler and has a user interface close to the mainstream graphics programs.

    TouchCAD 3.0 provides most of the tools neded for marine design:

    Dynamic hull fairing, it automatically generates a line drawing with labes, it performs most of the basic marine calculations, offsets, weight and center of gravity calculations, etc.

    The advanced unfolding / unwrapping features include dynamic links to the 3D model and instanly updates the unfolds. It also provides a massive array of parametric features such as unfolding directionand resolution, overlaps/seam allowances panel numbering, etc. The later is very useful for sailmakers that want to make use of their hardware for other fabric based objects than sails. TouchCAD even comes with a direct export feture for Sail Science Plotmaker. For those interested to see what TouchCAD can do I recommend a visit to the official TouchCAD site (

    Besides demo versions for both Mac and Windows, the site also provides several demo movies showing how to model various objects. The yacht design movie shows how to model a hull, deck, transom, cabin top, windows, perform some calculations, unfold some pieces, and render the model, and it only takes 16 minutes!
  7. nero
    Joined: Aug 2003
    Posts: 624
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    Location: Marseille, France / Illinois, US

    nero Senior Member

    TouchCAD and VectorWorks

    I use TouchCAD and VectorWorks. Most all of my marine design is in TouchCAD.

    It is reasonably priced , more than what I found for the others.

    It allows me to model quickly and do what I want to do. Very importantly, control lines and points are on the line not magically connnected.

    What it could do better are the following.

    Rendering could be photo realistic, with real water like surfaces.

    The interface could be user programable (like vectorworks)

    2 minor cons and a whole bunch of pros
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    TouchCad Question

    Is there a way to check your curves "fairness" (like a porcupine curvature check)?, i like touchcad aproach to surfaces based in meshes but i haven't had much time to check it little bit deeper.

    Any info about your expierence with touchcad will be much apreciated not only by me but i guess by many peropel that participate here at the forum that still looking for a tool for hull design.

    Thank you
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: TouchCAD and VectorWorks

  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: TouchCAD and VectorWorks

    You can use just about any rendering program on the market. I mostly use Artlantis, as TouchCAD has direct export to that program. Also, check out Strata, which provides a free version of their rendering program. Cinema 4D also had a free version in many 3D magazines lately.

    I think you can expect some programming features in a future version. The upcoming version 3.5 will however not have it, though it will provide lots of very useful new features (it will be a free upgrade for 3.0 users).

  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: TouchCad Question

    It just looks like meshes, but is NURBS based. Unlike many other programs though, the controls are always on the surface, which may lead you to think that it does not use NURBS.

  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Thnaks, there is a way to export to iges?, i will like this, to be able to work with other softwares.

    Thanks for the info
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Not at present though it is in the works. In the upcoming 3.5 though (currently in Beta), you will have direct export to VectorWorks 10 NURBS and can use VW’s IGES export feature for further export to other programs. As for DXF import you can use the PolygonMesh method, which is automatically converted to TouchCAD NURBS surfaces. This seems to work well for files from for example MaxSurf. It is also easy to reduce the number of control points using the Controls at Surface Resolution command.

  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Thanks for your help, but you think is possible in the future to integrate this export into Touchcad, to avoid VectorWorks?


  15. Guest

    Guest Guest

    You bet!

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