Re: Easy way of creating frames and stringers?

DELFTship forum Hull modeling Easy way of creating frames and stringers? Re: Easy way of creating frames and stringers?


Thanks for that thourough description 🙂

You’re welcome.

Also, while in the layers area, consider color-coding your layers. Be sure to assign material mass/density information. If you are using Freeship/Hydronship AND DELFTship, be sure to note that they shift decimals differently than the other, and you could have wildly wrong density/weight results if you do not make the layer-by-layer changes. This may hamper or frustrate moving files back and forth. FS/HS also has a different idea about where the baseline is, as far as hydros calcs are concerned. Consequently, you’ll need to select your exported model and translate it vertically and do the same each time you import any supplemental/redundant layers — depending on your CAD app of choice. I use Punch! ViaCAD because it has very nice 3D design tools and a crisp, no-need-to-mode-switch 3D view. I hate and loathe the idea that if doing 3D work in a CAD app I must for some reason switch between drawing mode and “display” mode. ViaCAD shows my colors and surfaces and solids very beautifully, even if they are not engineering perfect.

As far as layers go, compared to FS/HS, DelftShip has a very decidedly easier to use layer display and editing facility. It was a very nice change from its previous design. Martjin did a nice, heartwarming job of making things easier.

As for creating stiffeners, since I’m using ViaCAD, this’ll be useful if you too are on ViaCAD or ViaCAD Pro, rather.

— Import your stations into VCP.

— Turn off any layers not needed

— Create in the Stations layer two sublayers: one for stbd, one for port.

— Assign as appropriate; repeat for waterlines and for other layers

— Create layers according to how you work.

In my case, after a couple or more years of experimenting (due to ViaCAD’s current inability to move layers out of their branches) I’ve decided to create master layers by compartment, then sublayers within by deck, then layers for sideshell stiffeners, stringers, girders, and longitudinals. Other layers are created as necessary, say for ventilation and so on. Some things demand to be completely on their own layer, so they are easy to manage than tracking down in deeply nested layers. Also, you may want to create construction layers within each compartment layer so that for visual reasons you can “declutter” your “picture” of your progress. It can be maddening to have unrelated construction lines and aiding surfaces in the way. But, one very, VERY nice feature of ViaCAD Pro is its cursor, named “LogiCursor”. When you attempt to select something, if it is coincident (by model orientation on screen) with some other geometry, a small “ambiguity” popup appears and presents to you the items which you can click on, and their geometry creation number in case you have multiple geometries/pieces same or similarly named.

Another very VERY nice feature of VCP is that even while the other layers are turned off, you can use an assigned shortcut key to “unhide” other layers. Press your shortcut key, then, with the layers dialog box open, right click on a layer of interest, and then select “Select all items in this layer”, and HWALLAH! Those items appear. So, this again is a(nother) strong reason to create things by compartment in a subdivided model with the whole model in one file (if you have the RAM & CPU; my machine is a lowly 4GB RAM laptop with a 2GHz CPU, and I am running it in a virtual machine called Sun xVM (formerly VirtualBox). Incidentally, I give win 7 ONLY 1.7 or so GB of RAM, and I personally feel the graphics in VCP in VirtualBox look better than in native Win7. My model pans, zooms, and redraws reasonably fast. Note, however, that when using the scroll wheel, the model moves jiggly if your cursor is over nested lines/curves. I think this is because the cursor (LogiCursor) is hunting for lines to populate the ‘ambiguity popup’ list. I just move the cursor around, tactically, to get the view I want then zoom in where I know the is not ratsnest of lines or curves to slow me down.

Select as the current layer that which is in the hull area you will do the work. It’ll save time and headaches to always do the work on the desired layer, or some generic “staging ground” that is not going to tangle or conflict with layers unrelated to your intermediate work.

When creating sideshell stiffeners, I select a station of interest. I create a line for the web, either horizontally or at some 20 degree angle, but of appropriate length for that region of the hull or compartment. Some might be 200mm, some 300mm.

I then use one of the rail sweep tools with one of the several sweep methods a given rail sweep tool may offer. I also then create a line for the flange, maybe 80mm or 100mm or 200mm, depending on examples i find on the Intertubes, since I don’t have high-end specialty software. This sweep act creates the surface based on a web construction line. If your angle of choice is decent, the swept surface emanating inboard will be approximately equidistant and reasonably good for modeling, but maybe not for construction of very large ships as they will use their own cutting and nesting tools. For a yacht or something under 100′, you are talking about fractions of a millimeter, nothing to sink the boat.

(When convenient or expedient, I take of copy of the “T” web & flange, and just translate-copy it to each station where I’ve decided there will be sideshell stiffeners.)

The rail sweep work of each of these lines relative to the station in question is a one-at-a-time affair. (Unfortunately, no scripting, no array sweeping.) So, in my case, having 15 compartments, with some 5-8 s/shell stfnrs, i have a lot of work. But, I don’t want to always mirror, so my work may be additional. Fortunately, VCP has a Mirror copy, so if I change the line lengths of the web on starboard, my port mirror changes.

(Rant On: Oh, I detest bow-to-the-right, so in DS/FS/HS i painstakingly mirror copy everything and z-axis rotate the hull, and then destroy the port side. Rulers (other than arch/engineering rulers) read from left to right. Most of us read from left to right. Most of us pull tape measures from left to right, and other than in drafting class, my brain goes NUTS stacking up numbers from the right side of something going to the left. I understand that propellers were drawn first, and on the left of the roll of paper in the olden days, but sometimes “tradition” is a major PITA — particularly when computers don’t care but humans DO… (rant off)

Similarly, do the same for the stringers, using waterlines. Nicely, since I don’t break waterlines, I can start a T stiffener at the stern on the CL, then tell VCP to sweep it along that curve. Once the curve ends, the sweep ends. I can use a cutting plane to lop off excess material once i’ve drawn all the stations and stringers i need.

I also thicken the surfaces. While still in the sweep mode for a given surface, i use the “Ctrl” key when I need to “flip” or throw the thickness to the opposide side of the swept surface.

Periodically, I use the materials properties facility to assign (in my case) SAE steel type to get the massprops, CGs, and moments. VERY, VERY BEAUTIFULLY, VCP gives two types of mass props info, depending on whether you select just ONE solid or whether you select multiple solids. Actually, it displays MOMENTS according to whether you’ve selected a single solid or multiple solids.

Now, note that all of my model is in ONE HUGE drawing. WHY? I want to be sure that my CGs and moments info stay consistent. Yes, I could break down the hull across files to reduce file sizes, save times, and opening times, but layer mangement could become a royal PITA if I ad-hoc wanted to rename a layer. I’d rather go through the pain in one file rather than 15 or more.

Plus, if you want to place + marks at each CG, VCP will do that. You could put them all on a single layer, then show ONLY those CG + marks and visualize your model that way, if that tickles you. Some people I know do each compartment in an ACAD file, and don’t care that the dwg has x=0 for each compartment. I cannot STAND that. If I take a measurement or imagine that I will receive a laser scan, i want the scan refs to very closely track the model’s notion of the BHD ref along X. It just makes future calcs less tedious and appear more thought out.

Also, if I want to see the whole model, it is there. I’ll later on save a copy, then progressively delete whole layers and resave, progressively resizing the drawing file downward. That wholeness of the model also means my mass properties information is in one place. The mass information can be exported, and it is far more spreadsheet and .dbf ready (either text file that you can easily turn to relational database model) than that I suffered under in ACAD 2008. I havent’ bothered to see if ADesk bothered to revamp their massprops tool and its output, but it was maddenign for me since I don’t do scripts/macros, and I don’t suffer crappy text layout that demands the use of a programmer when mass information should be IMMEDIATELY useful on export, that is columnar and row data need to not be intermixed with formless information that has to be manually stripped or reformatted…

(An aside: For a CAD app not aimed at naval architects, VCP does rather well for me (I’m not a naval architecty by ANY stretch of the imagination, but i CAN create GAs that worry some people. In Tokyo in 2004, some Mitsubishi people who saw my drawings didn’t know what to make of me when I tried to show my PAPER drawings, and our meeting was very short. All the while, one (a senior person) kept saying “NASHHUNAL SEEKRETS”. And, they refused to look at my drawings, eyes averting. Maybe they thought I was attempting to set them up for idea theft or something. Others who were engineers in my hostel kept asking me what Naval Architecture program I graduated from. That despite scrawls and bad linework, hehehe… end of aside)

Anyway, ViaCAD Pro will set you back some USD $250 prior to any coupons or 3rd party reseller offers. VC 2D/3D is about $99, but lacks some 3D tools that are in VCP. Sure, Rhino/Orcad is a well known (but costly to me) path but not all of us are designing for build, but PRETENDING to design for build. Anyone who got a hair to build my ships would import them and re-rationalize the bits they like by using their own shop tools or yard tools to avoid going crazy with my naming conventions and layers names.

If anything, VCP makes for good pre-vis in color. I get mesmerized looking at shell and deck plating work when it reaches as stage of panning and zooming and mass information.