Maxsurf Academic

Discussion in 'Software' started by Andrew Mason, Apr 23, 2004.

  1. jbettencourt
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    jbettencourt New Member

    Hi all,

    I'm a new user of Maxsurf (thanks to it's free academic version) but I'm havinfg some trouble getting the job done. I've looked into the manual and some tutorials, but I'm still dry with respect to surface fairing...Is there any other training material about fairing in Maxsurf?

    Joao Bettencourt
     
  2. Andrew Mason
    Joined: Mar 2003
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    Andrew Mason Senior Member

    Some general rules before you start fairing -
    1. the less control points you use, the fairer the surface
    2. the higher the order (i.e. stiffness) of the surface, the fairer the surface
    3. the more evenly spaced and fair the control point net is, the fairer the surface

    Typically new users of Maxsurf try to do designs with too many control points and flexible surfaces, and end up pushing and pulling the control point net in all directions to get the shape and fairness they want.

    The best indicator of fairness of the surface is the fairness of the control point net. If this is a mess you have no chance. If your hull is slender use the Compress option in the Profile and Plan views to exaggerate any flaws in the net. The enclosed jpeg shows how an inflection that is almost invisible in the standard view becomes obvious when the Compress function is used.

    If you want me to have a look at your design and comment, please email it to me at AndyM at Formsys dot com
     

    Attached Files:

  3. jbettencourt
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    jbettencourt New Member

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for the advice. I'm taking some time to study the ways of maxsurf before starting any designwork again.

    Regards
     
  4. hello
    Joined: May 2004
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    hello Junior Member

    i think the maxsurf is very fit for the designing of the small ship which likes craft.
    for a big ship,we must use much surface to build the modle.
    does it can surply a new methord to build a modle just need input the data of line plan?
     
  5. Andrew Mason
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    Andrew Mason Senior Member

    It's not really necessary to use a large number of surfaces to design big ships, it's just that most of the big ship design systems are fairly primitive in their surface definition and therefore require lots of surfaces to do the job.

    Typically a design that would take 100 surfaces in NAPA or TRIBON can be done using 5-10 surfaces in Maxsurf. This is not solely a property of Maxsurf, it holds true for the other modern NURBS surface modellers as well, Fastship, Autoship, Prosurf etc., they can all get away with substantially fewer surfaces than the older technology of TRIBON and NAPA.

    There are historical reasons for this disparity in surface modelling capabilities. The older systems were originally set up as lines fairing systems, which were intended to take a complete lines plan as input. They would then fair individual lines (setcions, butts, waterlines, diagonals) in 3D space and then fit a large number of small surface patches between these lines. The result way a fair hull shape with surface information for production, but the downside is that the hull is difficult to modify manually.

    Maxsurf and the other PC based NURBS modellers were intended as initial design systems - the intent was to actuall sculpt the hull shape from scratch on the computer, maintaining fair surfaces in the process. To do this requires a substantially simpler surface arrangement, and the result is typically a more easily modified hull and a fairer surface model.

    This does mean that if your starting point is an existing lines plan the process to obtain a surface model is not so automatic, however if you are using the software as a design system rather than a fairing system the advantages are significant.
     
  6. redcoopers
    Joined: Dec 2003
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    redcoopers Member

    Andrew,

    By the way, I think you're doing a really great job at promoting your program here on your website. Myself, as a graduate student in naval architecture, I have downloaded the academic version of maxsurf a while ago, but I normally run Linux or use my Mac.

    Is there a scheduled update to the Mac OSX version of Maxsurf?

    -Jon
     
  7. Andrew Mason
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    Andrew Mason Senior Member

    Jon

    Sorry, but the Mac version is no longer getting any development time, there are just too few people interested in Mac versions to justify the work. We are looking into getting the Windows versions running under emulation, but will wait until we can test it comprehensively before recommending it as an option to Mac users.

    Andrew
     
  8. ErikG
    Joined: Feb 2002
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    ErikG Senior Member

    Running MaxSurf on a Mac... it works but slowly

    I've tried running MaxSurf Academic on a mac under virtual PC. It works but on my old slow 400 MHz machine the rendering is slow. Also it seems that the video memory either on my machine or internally in VPC 5 is not quite up to it as if I try to increase the size of the rendering window, it wont display properly, but I believe that on a fast machine it would work better, but me I'm going to bet a decent PC to run it on as soon as my finances agrees, I've spent too much on the boat this year...
     
  9. jennifer
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    jennifer Junior Member

    hello! would you please tell me how to choose certain surfaces to develop different parts of ship? In maxsurf there are many kinds of surfaces such as box , cylinder , pyramid and etc. It confused me that I have no idea to choose right surface to develop a ship . In specific way, I think a certain surface must be corresponed to a certain part of ship, but I don't know how to distinguish them. I need your help!
     
  10. Andrew Mason
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    Andrew Mason Senior Member

    Jennifer

    Those surfaces in the add surface menu are simply example surfaces preconfigured in simple shapes. They are all plain NURBS surfaces.

    To start a design you can start with the surface named Default, which is a simple 3 x 3 surface in the shape of a simple quarter cylinder. You can then add detail by adding rows and columns to the surface and increasing the surface stiffness to improve fairness.

    It sounds like you need to work your way through some of the simple tutorials in the Maxsurf manual, or the ones that can be downlaoded at the Maxsurf Academic web site.
     
  11. Danielsan
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Location: Belgium (Europe)

    Danielsan Amateur designer-builder?

    Hi there,

    Some time ago I was playing with Maxsurf. I encountered some probs. same as now I think. But as it isn't my program I only can use it at the company that uses it so I cant spend every night at it to find out how to solve the problem.

    I have been drawing in Solidworks the hull and deck and now i tried to import them in Maxsurf trying to get some calcultions done.

    But the problem is that when I import my IGS file into MS it shows all the surfaces and
    sketches I made in SW and alot of them are only for construction or for cutting hull in right shape.

    Can this be overcome?

    Any hints?

    When I import it in rhino it does well I don't get those unwanted surfaces.

    Greetings,

    Daniel Peeters
     
  12. BillB
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Cudjoe Key Fl

    BillB BillB

    Maxsurf feedback

    Hello;
    I am sorry, but I do not have the skills to offer help in this case!
    However, may I suggest you send a copy of your email to Maxsurf's research and development department? They are a smart company and are always interested in figuring out how to make Maxsurf work for tricky situations.
    You may call them for help also!

    Sincerely.
    BillB
     
  13. Robert Miller
    Joined: Dec 2003
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    Robert Miller Junior Member

    Andrew wrote:
    "Sorry, but the Mac version is no longer getting any development time, there are just too few people interested in Mac versions to justify the work."

    Andrew:

    I am certainly no businessman... but I'm not certain that this is really the case at this point. For accountants and investment bankers, it is obviously true.

    But, as I'm sure you may already be aware, the Mac G5, and especially the dual G5 machines, have graphics and rendering capabilities, stability, and speed, that vastly exceed any Windows machine. Couple that with MacOSX... which is UNIX. UNIX, being the most stable OS available to all of us on the desktop. Hence, the exodus to Linux and in my world, to the Mac.

    My world?... I'm a doctor for a day job .. and forced to use PC's all day long, while they freeze, hang, and simply refuse to run in a smooth or logical fashion. (Their purpose seems to be to make certain my blood pressure continues to be as high as possible.) The only Windows version that is almost adequately stable is NT... and Rhino doesn't run on NT????? Can't figure that one out.

    At night I come home to a music studio (we have done scoring for film and commercials there... and made some music CD's too), and a house of wife and kids all using Macs. And now... my drafting table. All of it, a little island of sanity, if you will.

    Our Macs don't freeze, or crash. They hot switch hardware without shutdown, restart or downloading drivers. My friends in the music and fim industries.. who it seemed a few years ago were slowly migrating to PC, have essentially all come back to Mac. Mostly because of OS X. Stable, slick, and perfect for graphics, creative endeavors in general, and preventing heart-breaking crashes and subsequent ulcer disease.

    And now I am a student of naval architecture. (A lifelong dream.) I have been surprised to learn that the industry is so married to an obviously inferior technology. OK. I understand market forces a litttle, but maybe... just maybe, the times are a changin'... and developing for OS X and the G5 will hand you a market very few are taking advantage of right now.

    Go into any creative studio... G5's are everywhere.. and increasing. UNIX in the form of MacOSX is now the best choice out there. For productivity.

    All of the above is not some religious war I wish to wage, but more of a plea to get the best yacht design package I can. I did look seriously at Rhino... but can't seem to subject myself in the evening to the same Windows nonsense I'm forced to deal with during the day. Life is too short to fight with Windows anymore.

    So for me... I'm going with TouchCAD for modeling, Artlantis for rendering, and Vectorworks for drafting - that will be the package. All on my lovely G5.

    Please don't flame me... I describe only my own experiences.

    Give it some thought... you certainly do have a nice package there... just crying out to be ported.

    Robert
     
  14. Andrew Mason
    Joined: Mar 2003
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    Andrew Mason Senior Member

    Robert

    "nice package, just crying out to be ported"

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry at that comment.

    Let me give you a bit of history.

    Maxsurf was originally written in 1984 for the Macintosh. It did not become available to run under windows until 1997. In the intervening 13 years we saw Apple take a promising machine and mismanage it, squander its lead in operating system and GUI design, fail to support developers with even basic development tools and neglect the CAD/CAM market to the point that virtually all CAD vendors left the platform due to it not being commercially viable.

    For 15 years I was one of the strongest Mac advocates around, I directly enabled Macintosh sales of around $15 million. In return Apple did its best to discourage developers, making it difficult or impossible to make a living developing CAD software for the Mac.

    The fact that Apple now has good hardware and a good OS does not concern me. If they had had the sense to do OSX 15 years ago (and they could have) maybe there would be a major CAD vendor with a product running on their hardware. As it is, Apple destroyed any chance they had of suceeding in the CAD and engineering market due to their own arrogance, ignorance and hubris. They deserve to be where they are, a 2% market share and a mere curiosity in the world of computing.

    Without software the best hardware and OS in the world are going to get nowhere, and I can guarantee you that none of the major CAD vendors are going to get caught developing for the Mac again.

    At the end of the day, Maxsurf runs reliably on the Windows platform and the OS does not get in the way. The vast majority of our Mac based users have switched to Windows and are happy with the change. A couple have stayed with the Mac but now find that they can't run the old mac version of Maxsurf native under OSX, so much for backward compatibility.

    Good luck with your naval architecture studies on the Mac, you are welcome to it.
     

  15. Robert Miller
    Joined: Dec 2003
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    Location: Rhode Island

    Robert Miller Junior Member

    Dear Andrew:

    Thanks for the reply.

    I do understand your points, of course. I think, also, that I hear some anger toward Apple in your words. And the tale that you tell, would certainly justify such feelings.

    I do not disagree with any of your points, (except your assertion that Windows works well). As I said, I work with Windows 5 days a week. Brand new Dell machines. They hang frequently (requiring rebooting), crash occasionally, etc. It is a battle just to be productive, and an all out war to get some new hardware or software to configure properly.

    I agree with everything you said about how poorly managed and elitist Apple has been over the years. Had it been otherwise, their superior technology could never have been wiped out by Windows; the latter, by contrast, effectively marketed, if ruthlessly.

    The purpose of my post was to suggest that maybe, just maybe... it's a little different in these last couple of years or so. OS X and G5 are just too desirable to the creative community. Hopefully, Apple is treating their developers more appropriately now .... maybe? Of course, I do not know whether or not that is so.

    (I wonder what sort of experience Vectorworks is having with Apple?)

    For me, I am going to start out trying to design on Mac... and hopefully will be able to do that. Time will tell.

    Thanks again for the reply.

    Robert
     
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