Yacht interior layout

Discussion in 'Software' started by Polarity, Jan 1, 2002.

  1. Polarity
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    Polarity Senior Member

    Hi all

    Back in the "amateur drawing room"...
    Does anybody have any suggestion as to a "free or low cost" software package that could help me with changing the interior layout of my 14.5m (47ft) sailing yacht which is still on the drawing board. The hull is a Ted Brewer design and the plans are all on paper at the moment.

    For example... a bed in a stbd aft cabin will have to be at a certain height above the floor level before it can be the minimum desired width - but what is that height, what is the resulting shape and how can I move it around so there is enough room for my deckies on the floor too? Obviously I have to generate a rough hull form first from the offsets. I can do this in Greg Carlson's Hull designer (thanks for that link by the way - what a great product!) but I don't want to have to do it twice!

    At the moment I'm using a "free or low cost" ...cardboard model - but it would be useful (and interesting!) to put it on the PC into 3d (or at least 2 views!).
    I already have a top view laid out in with vectors in a drawing package - along with layers for plumbing and electrical runs -but it is strictly 2d.
    I appreciate that I whatever I end up using will require a lot of learning first but I would like to avoid anything massively more complex than I need (the hull digitisation/fairing etc I am leaving to an expert!). As an end result I want to be able to generate plans and details that I and a shipwright could make use of when we start to build the interior.

    Thanks all

    Paul
     
  2. Jeff
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    Jeff Moderator

    I think this is a pretty tall order. Stephen did list a couple free 3d modelers, and I haven't had a chance to demo them yet, but I sincerely doubt that you'll find a program that does what you're after for less than $1000-2000. (which I suppose is considered 'low cost', but I don't think that's what you meant). A good surface modeler is one thing. A good solid modeler is another (for quick interior structure). But a really sophisticated modeler which allows you to have surfaces trimmed as they interact as if they were solids is still difficult on a budget.

    Steve – I don’t think ProSurf allows you to trim a surface with a surface, or does it? (As far as I can see, it only allows you to trim a surface with a trim curve.)

    I suspect that CadKey might be one of the cheaper solutions to do this, but I don’t have experience with it yet either unfortunately. I think a surface modeler like Rhino (which is cheaper) would be too labor intensive for this. Greg Carlson’s Hull designer is a nice program and a lot of fun, and it’s great for small boats and dinghies, but I don’t think it will come close to doing the job for a project of your scale. I just don’t think it will offer the accuracy to generate a hull shape from which you can model accurate interacting interior structures, much less structures you want to then use as templates or building plans.

    You say you’re leaving the hull modeling/fairing to an expert – is this a friend or someone providing this for free, or are you going to be contracting this? I’m guessing this is not going to be inexpensive either?

    To play devil’s advocate - 3d modeling is great for visualization, but I wonder if you really need to put the hull into 3D just to do some layout customization? How much time are you willing to dedicate to the modeling? 40 hours? In the example of placing a berth, couldn’t you simply draw a curve in plan view at different critical elevations and then use this to determine the ‘living area’ available and the space available above and below this. Combined with a few key sections, maybe this would do the job in a fraction of the time of creating a 3D model. Of course the model might be neat to have too.
     
  3. Polarity
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    Polarity Senior Member

    Hi Jeff

    Yep, seems to be a difficult one.

    The 3d hull modelling programs are just that, most of them seem concentrate on the hull - and it's surface. Layout programs are great... if you have a house!

    Really I was asking for what you described:

    I'm going to show my ignorance here I know, but how do I draw the curves in plan view for different elevations? I have a few cross sections, and a table of offsets that gives the sheer line, knuckle (paint line about a foot below the sheer) and a chine ghost (plus keel detail of course). Together with the half breadths and body plan.

    I can draw the hull plan according to the sheer(done that), a second line relating to the chine ghost (thats on the scanned plans) ... but everything else either side is a mystery! - although from the 4 "joinery cross sections" I did manage to work out roughly where the sole is to do the layout I have.

    Thinking further I guess I could pull it off the body plan at various heights and run a "more or less" curve round the points (wooden batten time ?).. but then if I could stack those up and see the "end view" or frame view at any point or, or...

    You get the idea - any suggestions on the best way - in addition to cardboard and superglue that is.. would be welcome.

    Since this is to be mostly a "home build" super accuracy is not need as will all be checked in place.

    Alas no generous friends - I'm going to have to pay for this- I'm waiting for a quote at the moment. I need to get the boat into .dxf format for the shipyard - they will do the CNC "peel"

    Happy new year everyone!

    Paul
    aka "Polarity" - that's the name of my boat, the new one is (imaginatively) Polarity^2
     
  4. Stephen Ditmore
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    Stephen Ditmore Senior Member

    I don't have time to do more thatn throw a couple more links at you, but you might check http://www.designcad.com
    I think this is what Allan Hartley at www.trihulls.com uses, and I've used it some, too. The surface may not end up perfectly smooth, but if you can accept a little crudeness it's highly capable at a decent price, and I've always had good response from the company, including a good upgrade policy.

    That said, I agree with Jeff that, faced with the circumstances you describe, I'd get myself some vellum, some ships curves, and a sharp pencil.

    Stephen
     
  5. Stephen Ditmore
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    Stephen Ditmore Senior Member

    As far as your final lofting to .dxf goes, you might want to try http://www.basline.com/basline/, esp if you're in the Pacific NW. I suspect Ted Brewer's worked with these people before.
     
  6. Polarity
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    Polarity Senior Member

    Steve and Jeff

    Thanks for the links(and your time and all the other responses!) - I'll check them out.

    As for the location - that's Barcelona, Spain!

    Now where did I put my pencil sharpener??

    Paul
     
  7. Gades
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    Gades Senior Member

    Hi Paul,

    if you finally decide to do a 3D modelling of your boat, I'd suggest you to look for second hand software. I had a look a few days ago and a found a copy (legal) of AutoCAD 14 for about 3000 pesetas (that's about 15 $). You can also have a look to the PC magazines at the shop and see if any of them includes a complete or a shareware CAD software. In Spain, you can look:

    www.aucland.es

    www.ibazar.es

    www.ibersubastas.es

    www.mercadolibre.es

    www.qxl.es


    But, I don't think that you have enough knowledge to start a drawing like the one you need (I mean if you do want to have a 3D view). I mean, if you don't really have under control 2D, it might be a bit difficult to get into 3D.

    If it's just for building purposes, and specially "home building" you definetly don't need 3D drawings. Unless it's a project where you'll invest lot of time and money.

    I can give you some other solutions (not for commercial use, just personal), PM me if you're interested.
     
  8. Gades
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    Gades Senior Member

    This is an example of what you can get at auctions on-line.
     
  9. Steve Hollister
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    Steve Hollister Junior Member

    I am late to this thread, but I would like to add my two cents.

    For Paul; First, you should check with Ted Brewer to see if he has a 3D computer model of the boat already. If he does, he may not want to give a copy to you, but he might be open to providing you with some information that will make your re-arrangement job easier. (You could ask him what it would cost to make the changes for you.) Perhaps he could give you a DXF file containing a whole bunch of waterlines, buttocks, and stations. This is easy to do with any boat design program. You could import these lines into a inexpensive 2D CAD program to do the re-arrangement. This would avoid the need to (re)create a full 3D model of the hull. If you cannot get these DXF lines from the designer, you can digitize (or scan) them in from your drawings. However, you would need the 3D surface model of the hull if you wanted to determine intermediate waterlines, buttocks or stations.

    If you want to get into Computer-aided 3D interior design and modeling, realize that it is one of the more difficult things to do. Many designers still do just 2D interior drawings of arrangements, since this is what most builders want. (including detail drawings, dimensions, instructions, and bills of materials) I have had long discussions about the usefulness of full 3D interior modeling. It takes a long time to make it pay off unless you have a very high-paying design contract.

    However, there are different levels of 3D interior modeling that can be done. The easiest use is to create simple shapes, like bulkheads, decks, and basic 3D shapes like blocks and wedges to represent objects like engines. Obviously, this would not be good enough to construct the boat, but it would be good enough to do spacing, interference, and fit checks. A company even sells 3D models of humans that you can position and fit into your 3D model to check for human fit. This level of 3D design may be all that you need.

    As your accuracy and completeness expectations increase, the complexity and difficulty increase dramatically. If you want to create a photo-realistic full 3D model of the boat (hull, deck, and interior), then you have your work cut out for you. In fact, I could argue that the only reason for doing the full 3D model is for marketing and sales purposes.

    Next, the problem is what program(s) do you need. Most designers use multiple programs to get the job done. A hull design program to do the hull design, fairing, and calculations; a 2D/3D CAD program to produce all of the 2D drawings and details; and perhaps, a 3D solid modeling program to do interior arrangements. Note that some solid modelers are combined with semi-automated 2D drafting capabilities. Some solid modeling programs like to think that they can do it all, but it is my opinion (and many others too) that for detail (hull) surface shaping and fairing, solid modelers do not yet have the needed tools. For detailed surface shaping and fairing, you need a program that specializes in surface manipulation. I digress, since a good solid modeling program costs in the $4000+++ range. By the way, if your goal is to cut out hull and interior parts using CNC cutting machines, I can make a good argument that solid modelers will make this job much more difficult. The best 3D model for photo-realistic accuracy is not necessarily best for model for creating CNC part files.

    If you can recreate the hull using Greg Carlson's Hull designer, check to see if it can output waterlines, buttocks, and stations to a DXF file. Then you can use a very inexpensive 2D CAD program to do your re-arrangement. For 3D interior arrangements, the cost of the programs go up and the learning curve goes up, especially if you are talking about solid modeling and curved surfaces using NURBS. My ProSurf program (www.newavesys.com) at $795 will do all of the hull fairing, shaping, calculations and much of the 3D interior arrangments that you want. You can also check out Rhino3D (www.rhino3d.com), at $795. These are 3D surface modeling programs that use NURB surfaces. CADKey is also relatively inexpensive, but you really need the FastSurf add-on if you want to deal with complex curved (hull) surfaces. These programs may be "relatively" inexpensive, but there is still a reasonable learning curve involved. Is this what you want to get into? (see Jeff's devil's advocate comment.)

    Also, if you want to generate DXF files to cut out parts from this model, then you will have to spend quite a bit of time (or money) to get the 2D lines drawings into the computer as a usable 3D NURB surface model that is accurate enough to create these part files. Some boats are fairly easy to go from 2D to 3D NURB model, but many are not.

    Comment for Jeff:

    "Steve – I don’t think ProSurf allows you to trim a surface with a surface, or does it? (As far as I can see, it only allows you to trim a surface with a trim curve.) "

    ProSurf allows you to trim one surface with another. It is just a two-step process. First you attach the intersection curve to one of the surfaces, then you use the trim surface command on that attached curve. This takes longer, but it is more flexible, since you can then create a trimming curve made up of a variety of attached curves from different surface intersections or other sources. The advantage of trimming with an attached curve is that you can then edit and fair the shape of the attached trim curve. You do not have to un-trim and then re-trim the surface if any changes need to be done. Trimming with an attached curve also allows you to create trim shapes that are difficult or impossible to create by projecting cutting curves or intersecting surfaces.
     
  10. Polarity
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    Polarity Senior Member

    Thanks everyone

    Everything that Ted has on the boat is on paper and as I mentioned I have now scanned it and I am going to contract someone to do the conversion into cad format, smooth the lines etc.

    Meanwhile I have developed an interior for her in rough plan form . My thinking was that I would like to put it into a program to help me add more detail (like the dimensions!)- and yes, I agree with Stephen and Jeff - almost certainly quicker with a pencil - but I like the challenge - and to be honest the information, help and sw links I have found on this board has encouraged me to look at doing this - so it's all your fault!

    I have to work out how to generate points in space from the paper information that I have and then put them into program - it seems a waste if I can not then generate a rough 3d image from that - even if it is just for personal interest, (yes I could wait for the CAD work and use that)

    I don't want to get into complex surfacing and modelling - just enough to say the bed will be .65m off the sole 2m long, 1.2m wide at the head and .9m wide at the foot. The curve on the hull side can be pulled off the real thing!

    Thats as much as I want. Also I could use one of those 3d models of humans for my desk whilst I go sailing.

    I am checking out Designcad 3d Max (thanks Stephen) which seems to be at a suitable for me - possibly - I may even get away with their cheaper version.

    Hulls did not work out so far - I put all the offsets into a spreadsheet to do the decimal inch conversions (and then to metric), then labouriously entered them but had a lot of problems with trying to define the fin keel. I'm sure I could get it to work but I feel it is designed to work the other way round - as I did have a lot of fun drawing BOC racer look alikes, and a couple of Vogon space craft...

    Thanks Fernando for the second hand sw tip it had never occured to me to look.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  11. Gades
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    Gades Senior Member

    Paul, this is the type of drawings I mentioned in the PM's.

    They're not finished yet, but I think it's OK for an aproximation.

    I did these with 3D surfaces, importing the hull, keel and rudder from Maxsurf.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Stephen Ditmore
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    Stephen Ditmore Senior Member

    Great!

    DesignCAD is popular among model aircraft designers, so designing a (wing-like) keel should be possible. Keep plugging!

    Or, if you have a chance, demo one of the programs at http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/showthread.php?threadid=289
    I haven't yet, so if you're feeling like a guinea pig I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Fair winds.
    Stephen
     
  13. Gades
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    Gades Senior Member

    Here is another view:
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Polarity
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    Polarity Senior Member

    Guniea pig...

    Actually I have downloaded and played around with a few of the products mentioned on the board. - I am not really the target audience for any of these products but for what it's worth:

    Hullform 8
    To high level language wise for me - completely lost! Also It gave me a major system crash - The terminal Blue screen of death - so I quit playing around after that.

    Biodesign
    Looked simple but with almost no help I really could not figure it out.

    Hulls
    See previous comments - lots of fun and a great designer of space craft - in fact if I ever get to grips with the surfacing side of things in another package I'll post one!

    Ayam3d
    Could not get the package to Unzip so no comments there

    3dMax
    Have done some work on it and it looks interesting - I feel an investment in time there would not be wasted. Good tutorial which is important - not just help files. They also have a basic cheaper version that would probably be enough - but iritatingly you can only download a demo of the full version

    Prosurf3Basic
    This seems quite intuitive and I'm just starting to "work" with it. Not sure how far I will go though since this is almost entirely for fun - I can buy a lot of cardboard and superglue for $400! Like 3dMax it seems to have a good tutorial though - that really makes a difference.

    If you are interested I can post "learning progress" reports

    Can I have some fresh straw now please?

    Piglarity
     

  15. Polarity
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    Polarity Senior Member

    sorry...

    oops, sorry- it was Biodesign that crashed not Hullform 8

    Paul
     
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