Which software & when

Discussion in 'Software' started by Willallison, Apr 23, 2003.

  1. Willallison
    Joined: Oct 2001
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    Willallison Senior Member

    Responses to the various polls suggest that there are plenty of good options for computer assisted boat design. But how do you use your software?
    I understand the traditional approach to be that you loft the hull shape in an appropriate program - be it Prosurf, Maxsurf, Multisurf, whatever - then transfer it to a general purpose CAD program - like AutoCAD - and then go to work on the superstructure, bulkheads, interior etc.
    But casting a quick glance at the gallery shows that few - if any - actually do it this way. Rendered images - particularly those produced in Rhino I notice - are of a complete vessel.
    As a computer illiterate trying to come to terms with CAD, how should I go about it?......
  2. SailDesign
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    SailDesign Old Phart! Stay upwind..

    The way I do it is to start in AutoShip, get the hull where I want it, and then go over to Rhino for the rest. I don't use AutoShip's own fairing tools, as they tend to lead to very "blah" shapes (i.e. straighter is fairer) so I do a final check in Rhino using a striped background to look at the reflections in the surface, just like you would on a real boat. If it needs tweaking, I may just do that in Rhino, but can always go back to the source.
  3. dougfrolich
    Joined: Nov 2002
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    dougfrolich Senior Member

    Which Software when


    Remenber software is just another tool. I happen to use Maxsurf. I can not speek highly enough of this easy to use yet powerful software for hull development, and trim and stability analysis. I like Rhino for developing basic parts and renderings, It is easy to use and also very powerful especially for renderings. I have just started to use Solidworks. This software will without any doubt replace AutoCad (for me). SolidWorks will also replace much of what I use Rhino for because of the relationships that can be made between entities, just to name one reason. Solidworks is the closest thing to a one stop shop for designing "somthing" software, but it is not as intuitive to use (for me) as the others, mostly because of its endless capabilities. Basically I think that you need to find the tools you like to work with and take it from there.
    Oops I almost forgot MS Excel! Without a good spreadsheet everything else would just be pretty pictures, but otherwise surely useless.
  4. BrettM
    Joined: Apr 2002
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    BrettM Senior Member

    I use Maxsurf/Hydromax, Rhino and AutoCad LT. Everything eventually gets to Autocad for final drawings. The others are for modelling and analysis. Somethimes the effort of 3d is not worth the expense or effort. Particurlary for modification to existing designs where builders are required to "Fit" things together. Autocad is also widely adopted for transfer of information. As far as renderings, I have paid for artist impressions to be done from my files but don't intend to do it myself at this stage. Not enough demand.
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I use Prosurf basic, rhino, Quickcad (I'm trying to be Autocad FREE) quickcad its very basic but i only finish the 2d drawings there, and Alibre Design.

    You can imagine the routine....

    1) Prosurf for hull modeling rhino its not bad but still its a x1000 times better to use prosurf for the hull modelling, and do any minor modifications in rhino its works really good.

    2) Rhino for the rest, 3d i like to work 3d the most i can, surfaces and some modelling in general.

    3) Alibre Design for some fixtures that i have some libraries with bitts, hatches, doors, mast and if the geometry its easy enough the wheelhouse, you can't beat parametrics!, it's plain adictive!

    4) Rendering painfull and waste of time if you don't have a specific objective for the model like SELLING the product, i don't recommend, but i do use the render in rhino it's good enough.

    5) and at the last but not least QuickCad Millenium the less i can use it.

    6) Calculations Big spreadsheet and a mix of Prosurf and rhino Calculations.

    And on the future, Solidworks, nothing that i have try before compares, some say proE its as good and i don't debate that, but as a personal experience i sat, play, and conquer.... was easy to use and understand, it's tricky on the way that you have to think how all this parametric stuff works and how you link all this in a model.

    Alibre works well not as fast a little bit cranky but i does what you need and for the price belive me this is the best of the best, its difficult for me to adapt between solidworks and Alibre there is no comparision but again i can't afford Solidworks yet. by the way if some one know a plan to buy solidworks with a good financial plan please let me know.

    and i know that there is an Add-in or plug in or somethig that its going to work with rhino to flatten or develop plates from rhino models, but this is the best..its from the same company that created Shipcam wich is top notch for that so i'm pretty happy with the setting that i have right now and is working good.

  6. Andrew Mason
    Joined: Mar 2003
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    Andrew Mason Senior Member


    Most designers use a specialised program such as Maxsurf for the initial hull design and a general purpose CAD package such as Autocad for drafting. Programs such as Rhino and Vellum come into their own for doing complex superstructures and renderings as they have tools such as filleting that are not included in Maxsurf or the other hull modelling software. Although a lot of complex superstructures have been designed with Maxsurf, once the level of detail gets high you are better off in a more generalised program.

    Although some designers try to use Rhino for initial hull design, I would caution you against this. The first priority of a program such as Maxsurf is to provide an environment where surfaces can be designed with levels of fairness suitable for production. As a result we have numerous visualisation tools such as curvature porcupines, colour curvature plots (longitudinal, transverse, gaussian, convexity), and longitudinally compressed plan and profile views. We also have tools for automatically straightening or smoothing surfaces or portions of surfaces and tools for maintaining slope continuity between adjacent surfaces.

    Rhino, on the other hand, is intended more for visualisation than production quality fairness, and surfaces created with some of Rhino's tools have underlying problems. In particular the use of Rhino's skinning option, where a series of sections have a surface lofted through them, can result in surfaces that are cosmetically acceptable but suffer from significant fairness problems at full scale.

    We have had a large number of cases recently where Maxsurf users have imported IGES files that originated in Rhino. When visualised uing Maxsurf's Gaussian curvature option, the results have surprised both myself and the original designers with the lack of fairness and the large number of inflections.
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