Rhino v. Surfaceworks/Solidworks

Discussion in 'Software' started by J.Rhodes, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. SeaSpark
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    SeaSpark -

    Nice quote about 3D model building

    A few years ago there was an advertorial in Wired about a company selling 3D scanning equipment:

     
  2. signum
    Joined: Aug 2005
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    signum engineer

    Rhino

    Rhino's great software for modeling.
    I have just on question for anyone who could answer to me, about unrolling the developable surfaces, I found that you can flatten just the simple curvature surfaces, but usually the bottom of hull has some double curvature shape, there is any way to get off from the designed model of boat the patterns for a double curved surfaces as long as Rhino doesn't flatten such surfaces ?

    Signum
     
  3. Thunderhead19
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    Thunderhead19 Senior Member

    You'll need to buy the extra module for Rhino called "Expander " I think
     
  4. Raggi_Thor
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    Raggi_Thor Nav.arch/Designer/Builder

  5. SeaSpark
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    SeaSpark -

    Developable surface in Rhino

    Build your surface using the "loft" command and choose the "developable" option in "style".

    No need for extra plugins although RhinoMarine is of very good use otherwise.
     
  6. Raggi_Thor
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    Raggi_Thor Nav.arch/Designer/Builder

    You can manually split a surface with compound curvature (like the bottom of a round hull) into many developable surfaces. That's no problem, but it can be alot of work :)
     
  7. Sonadora
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Sonadora Scatterbrain

    Huge Solidworks Rambling ahead ;)

    Hi Guys,

    Great topic and one that's near to my heart (and my paycheck).

    I am a Solidworks Application Engineer by day, wanna-be boat designer by night. I've taken the little progress I've made in the Westlawn course and applied that to my in-depth knowledge of SolidWorks. Here are some clarifications:

    1.) Unbeknownst to many people, there is a Student version of SolidWorks. I know nothing about that as I only resell the Retail version. Hit SolidWorks' website up for more info: http://solidworks.com. You can also attend a SolidWorks Hands On Test drive in your area. You will come away from this with a Personal Edition (PE) of SolidWorks that you can install and use for 90 days. After that, find another machine and install it again! PE is very limited but it does include all the stuff in the basic version and it's great for getting your feet wet with SolidWorks.

    2.) The retail version, in U.S. dollars, is $3995 for the basic version. The basic version includes everything you need for solid modeling as well as some basic, single part FEM (Finite Element Modeling) for structural testing. There are also comprehensive tools for sheet metal and structural shapes. In addition, and often overlooked, SolidWorks has tremendous surfacing capabilities. I've used Rhino and anyone with Rhino knowledge will be comfortable with SolidWorks. Think of some of the crazy shapes in product design (look at the shape of your mouse). SolidWorks is a breeze for this stuff and is used extensively for designing the tooling for such things. You can model in Solids OR Surfaces and knit or thicken to transform it to a Solid.

    There are two other versions, Professional and Premium. Since I'm a technical guy, I don't know the price for those two, but I do know their features.

    In a nutshell, the Professional version (and most popular) includes some nice tools, a huge parametric hardware library, file management, rendering and animation. The hardware library and rendering are worth the upgrade. In fact, the rendering engine in SolidWorks is one of the best I've seen, in line with Viz or 3DSMax. I would pass on the animation part, however.

    The Premium version includes a sophistacated routing package used for wiring and piping as well as a very strong suite of FEM called CosmosWorks Designer.

    As for the maintenace fee, that is something like $1499 anually (don't quote me on that, it's probably less). Of course, it's optional. The maintenance fee includes one major release above the purchased one. So, for those buying version 2007 and paying for maintenance, you'll get version 2008 when it comes out fall of next year.

    More info on all of this can be found at the SolidWorks website.

    3) Surfaceworks is a great program. There are two ways to use it, stand alone and integrated. I believe the stand alone package goes for $999. The integrated is considerably more but maintaines parametric modeling. However, the ONLY reason to use SurfaceWorks, in my opinion, is to flatten non-developable surfaces (think of a round bilge). These surfaces are rarely seen in anything other than metal boats. For developable surfaces, SolidWorks will flatten without any problem (think of a chined hull). Glass boats rarely have any developable surfaces, but then again, hopefully you won't have to flatten them.

    By the way, be wary of 'Cheap-o-Flat' programs that say they will flatten non-developable surfaces. The resulting flat depends on very sophisticated FEM processing as well as accurate material properties. I've heard of other flatteners that make many assumptions. This could result in incorrect formed surfaces if, say, you plasma cut the flat based the results from Cheap-o-Flat Software. Surfaceworks is NOT a Cheap-o-Flat program...it will correctly flatten your surfaces.

    For hydrostatics, SurfaceWorks is great! I would think that a perfect, state-of-the-art approach to hull design would be combining SolidWorks with Integrated SurfaceWorks hydrostatics. You get the best of both worlds.

    4) The BEST part of SolidWorks is the parametrics. Why? Because design is not about design, it's about constantly changing your design. If you look at a process that involves a 2D Cad system and a separate surface modeler, it's a one way street. The surface model is generated then smashed into 2D and brought into the 2D Cad system. The 2D systems have gotten better at this, but it's still a tedious affair to create a clean 2D drawing. Client makes a change and it's back to the surface modeller - smash - import - cleanup. In SolidWorks, you simply make a change to EITHER the model or the drawing and everything updates with a couple clicks. Those of you who have used SolidWorks know what I'm talking about. I literally mean 2 clicks...a few seconds...done. This frees you up to do all sorts of things like tweaking your design and seeing the results in real-time. No recalculating. No re-entry into Excel. Done. And since we're talking about solids, we can treat them that way. Want to know how much your SS Anderson Winch weighs? Just go to Tools->Mass properties. Two clicks. Want to change that to Aluminum? That's right, 2 clicks. Apply this to all your hardware and you can get accurate mass calculations in an instant, including moments. How useful is that?

    5) As a SolidWorks Certified instructor I can also relate to teaching SolidWorks. The best students are those who are already comfortable in 3D (Rhino guys, raise your hand). However, as a 'retired' AutoCAD instructor, I have two observations with regards to SolidWorks: 1. It's easier to learn, 2. It's MUCH simpler!

    No, you say! Yes, I say! Given a person without ANY CAD knowledge, hands down SolidWorks is easier to learn than AutoCAD. That's because it is much simpler to use. Take any AutoCAD jockey, a seasoned one, and watch them work. Note all the construction geometry required, all the trimming, extending, stretching. SolidWorks doesn't require this. Because SolidWorks is parametric, you design with the numbers and the geometric relations. It's much more intuitive and much more accurate.

    Often, when someone relates their experience with SolidWorks, they'll talk about how difficult it is. That person probably has a lot of 2D CAD experience and something as 'natural' as 3D is outside of their comfort zone. This person would have difficulty with any 3D package.

    Of course, there are a bazillion other things I could say about SolidWorks. But I won't. I will, however, address the wonderful ship shown in an earlier post. Can SolidWorks do this? No Problem! That model was very simplified and you can make simplified models in SolidWorks. However, you can also model down to the very last cotter pin. Would you do that on a model of a ship?

    I'll leave you with that one.

    Cheers,

    Rick

    p.s., in a few days I will have a site up showing some of the modeling techniques for hulls in SolidWorks. I'll post when it's up.
     
  8. CGN
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    CGN Senior Member

    Sonadora, it is possible for you to write a macro or script that can model a
    "3D stiffener" by selecting an spline or line or arc?

    have you seen shipcontructor works?, i wonder if is possible to use the solidworks API to write something like that, where you select a curve or polyline and shipconstructor "models" an specific structural member.

    And by this i mean something simple and basic
     
  9. Sonadora
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Sonadora Scatterbrain

    CGN,

    Most definitely. It doesn't require a macro. This functionality is built in to SolidWorks. This is part of the weldments capabilities. Now, you may not be thinking of welding. This is just the terminology SW uses. It applies to any extruded structural shape. For instance, we've used it in many woodworking shops for moulding and the like.

    It's simply a matter of sketching your spline path and selecting a profile. SW's library of profiles is pretty slim, but making a new profile is very easy.

    I have not seen shipconstructor.

    Cheers,

    Rick
     
  10. CGN
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    CGN Senior Member

    Thanks, i have seen the new weldments capabilities, but i wasn't aware that it was possible to use an spline or any curved path to add an structural member.

    Thanks
     
  11. fmmarco
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    fmmarco New Member

    Hello. I'm trying to export a GHS file from Rhino, but I`ve some problems becouse, when I import the file, autoship ask me for 2 stations. Could anybody help me, please.

    Thanks a lot.

    Bye
     
  12. westlawn5554X
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    westlawn5554X STUDENT

    Yup, EXPANDER by shipcontructor, a plug-in for Rhino to flatten the drawing ready for NEST.

    Student price is US$190

    Student

    P.S. I am buying too.:)
     
  13. Miller62
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    Miller62 New Member

    Intuitive?

    I could not disagree more. I've tried wrestling with Rhino twice. I am trying the trial version for the second time after trying it once last year. It is one of the least intuitive programs I have ever run across. I have been using Solidworks since 1998. Rhino is a nightmare of commands and half-baked help. I can't get the end points of a line to appear, I can't get lines to snap where I want them, (NOT to a grid). I can't even trim intersecting lines successfully, but only one side of one line. There's no apparent way to directly dimension anything and see the dimensions in the sketch. If this is intuitive I'd like to see how anyone can claim Solidworks isn't.

    Yes, I've looked over the tutorials in Rhino, but they tell you only about 50% of what you absolutely must know to be able to do a thing on your own. I'm venting because I'm tired of hearing people praise Rhino to the skies apparently forgetting what an incredibly steep learning curve it has. It's not even in the same league as Solidworks in ease of learning how to use it.

    That said, I really want to learn how to use Rhino, which is why I am SO exasperated. I see lots of examples of what it can do, but I can't even seem to get a simple sketch off the ground successfully.:(

    Well, apparently this forum is not too intuitive, either. I hit reply to topic, wrote this post and it put it in the wrong thread! What a day...
     
  14. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    marshmat Senior Member

    Welcome aboard, Miller :)
    We all get frustrated at times.... I know what you're saying.
    I really like Rhino. Most of my previous CAD experience was with AutoCAD and SolidEdge. AutoCAD is still just an expensive way to draw lines; SolidEdge is great for milled metal blocks but can't surface worth crap and is a major, major resource pig. Moving from SolidEdge to Rhino, though, was not easy: the techniques are totally different. (SE works much the same as SW in many aspects.) Rhino's snap toolbar at the bottom of the window, its command line/menu/toolbar duplication (pick whichever you prefer for a given task), etc.... I think it makes a lot of sense and I can work really quick with it, but it does take practice and frustration to learn. But then again, what doesn't?
    (oh, as to your comment about the thread-jumping... when you reply to an earlier post, it will automatically take you to the last page of the same thread.)
     

  15. Raggi_Thor
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    Raggi_Thor Nav.arch/Designer/Builder

    Miller, I have to agree with you, Rhino started as an AutoCAD add on, and the command names and structure is very simmilar to AutoCAD, withe some imporovements, for example when you start typing a command you get suggestions in a list. Try this: Select one or more lines (or other objects), start typing "po", you get a list of command starting with "po", select PointsOn with the mouse or keyboard or write the whole command.
     
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