More Hull Design Software: Rhino, TouchCAD, Cobalt

Discussion in 'Software' started by CarlC, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. CarlC
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    CarlC Junior Member

    So, after a brief 35-year hiatus, I'd like to get into boat design again.

    I use a Mac. I won't use any Microsoft products, including Windows.

    I know Laurie MacGowan loves TouchCAD. Antonio Dias loves Cobalt. Everybody loves Rhino.

    I'd love a one-stop solution. What can you recommend?

    Thanks so much, Carl
     
  2. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    I know you "love a one-stop solution". Knowing that, I would recommend Rhino to create the models and MaxSurf for calculations. With these two elements you'll have one of the best tools to design all kinds of boats, of any length.
     
  3. CarlC
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    CarlC Junior Member

    More HULL Design Software

    Sorry about the typo in the title.

    Thanks, Tansyl. It looks like TouchCAD will do both of these functions though -- doesn't it?
     
  4. W9GFO
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    W9GFO Senior Member

    What is it about Rhino that makes it work well for hull modeling? Is it the available plugins, or does Rhino on its own work well enough. I think the NA plugins fro Rhino only work with the Windows version.
     
  5. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    W9GFO, I'm not sure but I think you're right, plugins for Rhino only work on Windows. Moreover, there are many naval architecture calculations that still can not be made with Rhino.
    So I spoke the Rhino + MaxSurf combination. Rhino is a very good program to make models and MaxSurf, which performs all the necessary calculations, it is a bummer as a program to create models.
     
  6. ludesign
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    ludesign Senior Member

    Attached Files:

  7. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    In addition to the hydrostatic values, to design a ship you'll need, among others, perform the following calculations:
    - Definition and tank calibration
    - Cross curves of stability
    - Definition of key points.
    - Stability criteria selection.
    - Loads and cog definition.
    - Stability in various load conditions.
    - Heeling moment due to the passage or tacking at high speed.
    - Stability with waves and wind.
    - Damage stability.
    - Curves power/speed .....
    Can TouchCAD do all that ?.
    It is necessary to distinguish between a software to create 3D models and software for the complete design.
     
  8. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Well, the reason Mac has so few CAD programs is/was historical - change the interface and it becomes Mac property...check out the 1m dollar assembly 2D program which caused the 'problem'.... so Win NT is where everything went.
    Ever wondered why all the serious programs were on Windows?

    Tansl is right, Rhino is very good at modelling just about anything including fair hulls. Maxsurf does all the calcs, though as said above the Rhino addons will do it for you too, or you can get enough information if you know how to deal with it, to do the needed calculations. I don't know TouchCad, though I'd quite like to try it.

    If you have a 2D drafting program as well even better for a total solution, or you can get into the fairly pricey end of the modelling market such as Pro-E, SolidWorks, Catia etc etc.
     
  9. CarlC
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    CarlC Junior Member

    FWIW, here are current prices:

    TouchCAD: 2,000 Euros
    Rhino: $995 + $1,390 for Orca. Maxsurf not stated. Rhino for Mac is $495.
    Cobalt: $1,495.

    Because I don't plan to make a profession out of this, but to design for my own purposes, I think I'll stick with drafting equipment. But thanks all foryour help.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  10. W9GFO
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    W9GFO Senior Member

    Autodesk Fusion 360, which is much like Solidworks, is $25/mo, or free for personal use - or even commercial use if you are a small business earning < 100K/yr. Here's a pic of what I'm working on currently.
     

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  11. hydroptera
    Joined: Sep 2005
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    hydroptera Junior Member

    TouchCad testimony by a user

    Hello:

    I don't normally go on forums, but this one's close to home as I enjoy designing a lot and would like to see others enjoy it too. Thanks for asking this, Carl:it's a question that needs an updated answer.

    As Carl says, I design using TouchCad - the creation of boat designer and program developer, Claes Lundstrom, in Stockholm, Sweden. I have been using it for more than 10 years now and originally got it for the same reason Carl lists - I didn't want to use Microsoft products, but also because it allows for the use of as many surfaces as you want. I came to appreciate its many other benefits very quickly, though.

    If your time means anything to you, speed from ease of use is a definite bonus. Around the time I purchased TouchCad I had been using AutoCad for 2D work, and was frustrated at how DOS and clunky it was, then discovered VectorWorks - a cross-platform 2D and 3D program, and my 2D work doubled in speed. Its 3D part, RenderWorks, is very close to programs like Rhino in abilities, but also includes the very powerful 2D part. I had been using MacSurf then for 3D boat modelling and analyses and switched to MaxSurf - the Windows equivalent, as Formation Design Systems had stopped updating the Mac version. This worked fine, for a while, but it was hard to be really creative and fast as, among other reasons, I was constrained by the type of net and control points it and most 3D programs use. My definition of being a pro is summed up as "consistent good work... and quickly". Completing things in "a timely manner" doesn't cut it for me anymore, as that has been defined by what I now consider are slow programs. I got to see these in action while on a panel of designers (that Carl facilitated) at the 2012 IBEX show in Louisville - where 6 of us described what we used. My presentation was a small video that you can view off the link on my homepage: www.mcgowanmarinedesign.com There is a WoodenBoat article about TouchCad on the "Tools" page of the site as well.

    The hydrostatics and analysis part of TouchCad has been pretty simple, no doubt, but Claes has almost got all the bugs worked out of the large-angle stability part of the program and is revamping the rest of the hydrostatics calculations a lot. The large-angle stability calculations are not an add-on, or a paid-for extra, as with other programs. I still use some of the Formation Design Systems programs for analyses but less as time goes on. And there are some things that TouchCad does that other boat design programs can't do though, like (apart from the speed difference) 100% accurate 3D-to-2D unfolds (TouchCad models ON the surface itself and not beside it, so the unfolded and 3D surfaces always have the same area), and lately an 'image mapping' with unfold feature has been greatly improved, and it's pretty incredible. This is where a 2D image is 'mapped' onto a 3D surface, and the surface when unfolded to 2D panels has the correct and accurate part of the image on it. Lately I've been doing more full-size pattern or hull station work as it saves boatshops a lot of time to be able to cut out things on the bench or CNC machine, then have to figure it out on their own.

    I really look forward to starting a new boat or other project in TouchCad as it's always an adventure. It doesn't matter whether the item is tricky or simple, it's still exciting as I can really get into and stay in the flow part of the design process a lot quicker than before. TouchCad IS more expensive than Rhino, for instance, but if your time means anything then this difference will likely be made up quickly from the speed difference.

    Laurie McGowan
    Mochelle, Nova Scotia

    ps. I have a regular design spot in WoodenBoat magazine called "Sketchbook", where people write in with their dream boats and I design them (Michael Schacht helped with some, too). You can see summaries and movies of these in WoodenBoat's "Extended Content". http://www.woodenboat.com/extended-content PROTON is the most recent one. These are all designed using TouchCad, and some are getting made into construction plans, while the first of LOON is getting built right now.
     
  12. CarlC
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    CarlC Junior Member

    Thanks so very much, Laurie. I'm glad you chimed in.

    I mispriced Rhino above -- sorry. It's $995 (now fixed). Laurie's presentation at IBEX was just great.
     
  13. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member


    I am a long time product designer and I have been looking for someone to do what Autodesk is doing with 360 fusion for years -take over the CAD space by offering software as a service that fits the needs of a network of designers. The license is free until you are making a profit and very reasonable thereafter. The point is that talent should not be burdened with fees as they learn the software and they need to be able to collaborate in teams as needed. Keep in touch W9GFO.

    For the OP I want to mention "Onshape". It is a similar product but it is running remote through a javascript browser. The reason I mention it is that it is the only platform I have seen that does not isolate Mac users. Anything you need from the windows world will be seamless because you are all running the same program on the same machine. It looks good but I am going with Autodesk for the deeper offering FEA, CAM...
     
  14. W9GFO
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    W9GFO Senior Member

    Not sure what you mean, I use Fusion 360 on both Mac and Windows. The main reason I chose to go with Fusion 360 over OnShape is because Fusion 360 can be used in offline mode whereas OnShape must have an active internet connection at all times.
     

  15. W9GFO
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    W9GFO Senior Member

    Fusion 360 two year license for $80

    Just an FYI, Fusion 360 is having a one day sale (on Sep 28th) where you can get a two year license for $80, normally $600.

    Remember though that for personal use, or light commercial use (under $100k) it is completely free to use.

    www.autodesk.com/store/products/fusion-360
     
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