ShipConstructor News - Nov 2007
In this issue:
ShipConstructor for smaller vessels and shipbuilding teams
Over the past three years, the ShipConstructor production detailing system has been adopted by some prominent Australian ship design & construction teams including Austal Ships, Australian Maritime Technologies and BAE Systems. In addition to these users of ShipConstructor on larger projects, several companies have recently proven that ShipConstructor also adds significant advantages to smaller teams. In previous newsletters we have discussed One2Three Naval Architects who have found that 2D and 3D output generated from ShipConstructor and NavisWorks has been very well received by their customers. This has allowed them to expand the scope and quality of their deliverables to reduce construction costs and rework. In this newsletter we take a look at another example of how the combination of the latest design software, combined with an agile technical team, can help keep Australian companies ahead of the competition.
A Scalable SolutionOne common misconception is that ShipConstructor is only suitable to larger companies and large projects. In fact, ShipConstructor is a modular and scalable application which means that any company can buy a customised solution that suits their needs and meets project size and budget. For example, if you generally design vessels up to 15 m and initially only wish to model structure, then you can purchase lower level structural modules to begin with and add mechanical modules at a later date. For vessels of this size, an office could get started with a set of structural modules for up to 2500 parts for under $A3000. At any time in the future, additional modules can be added or existing modules can be upgraded to handle more parts.
Case Study - Southerly DesignsSoutherly Designs originates from the aluminium fishing boat building industry. Although the majority of their designs are aluminium monohulls, their portfolio includes fibreglass vessels, catamarans and trimarans.The design cycle at Southerly encompasses the complete process from initial concept, right through to production drawings and NC files for cutting. This process is facilitated by the use of a range of software tools including the Naval Architecture modules in the Maxsurf suite and since 2006 also ShipConstructor.
Workshop, the structural definition module in the Maxsurf Suite, is used exclusively for plate, stringer and frame development. As design engineer Andrew Taylor explains; “For hull shell plates we supply the developed shape of each plate to be cut by the yard’s plasma or router cutter along with markings for stringer paths and frame intersections. This means that in many cases the production team can weld the stringers to the unformed plate on the workshop floor before offering it up to the hull, knowing it will fit. Initially the yard was sceptical that the accuracy was going to be sufficient for the formed plate and stringers to slot directly into the frame cutouts, but we manually checked plate and stringer developments in the early days of using Workshop and many boats later we know the accuracy of Workshop is very robust. It is nice to have that level of confidence in the software output.”
Once the design has been refined in the Maxsurf suite to a stage where production drawings are ready to be generated, the model is moved across to ShipConstructor. ShipConstructor is a relatively new addition to their software repertoire. Southerly started with one limited license of ShipConstructor structure 18 months ago and has gradually added licenses and increased the maximum number of parts to adapt to new projects they have worked on since then. Even though AutoCAD had not been used in the Southerly Designs' office prior to purchasing ShipConstructor, the implementation of ShipConstructor has been a smooth process that involved only 4 days of training for each staff member.
Eighteen months after implementing ShipConstructor, nearly all production drawings come directly from ShipConstructor and builders are becoming more likely to use NavisWorks to query design details themselves directly from the 3D ShipConstructor model, rather than asking for more traditional paper detail drawings. “This is a process Southerly is happy to nurture as it allows more time spent designing better boats rather than detailing more drawings.” Andrew said.
Although ShipConstructor has its own automatic nesting module, Southerly’s existing nesting software, SigmaNest, is smoothly integrated in the ShipConstructor suite using data export macros that Formsys developed. A long involvement in the marine industry and extensive use of a range of software packages has allowed Southerly to remain at the forefront of the marine design industry for over a decade. More information on Southerly can be obtained from www.southerly.com.au.
ShipConstructor 2008 ReleasedRecently the latest version of ShipConstructor has been released. Last year the introduction of ShipConstructor 2006 saw a dramatic increase in user modelling productivity, particularly in the creation of plate and stringer parts in the Structure module. The introduction of parametric modelling in ShipConstructor has made it possible to update related structural parts when, for example, a deck height is changed late in the design process. ShipConstructor 2008 builds on that success in the 2006 version and also adds support for AutoCAD 2008. This means the latest drawing and rendering tools in AutoCAD can be used while modelling in ShipConstructor.
A good time to get onboard
With the decline of the US dollar over recent months and a very strong Australian dollar at the moment, there has not been a better time to seriously consider purchasing ShipConstructor to extend your business. This means an effective price reduction of 15% over the past year. This will change from January 1st 2008 at which time ShipConstructor prices will increase.
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