Monday, 26 November 2018

Botnica Vessel as a Luminous 3D Print

Let go is the only way to find the glow

a little story

TS Shipping LTD. ordered a 3D print of their well-known ice breaking vessel Botnica. 

Compared to beautiful 'old skool' scale models of ships and yachts, I believe that just a 3D print is limited and I wanted to add something special to the 3D print. However I didn't had a good idea so I decided to just continue and keep faith in the outcome.

As the real multi purpose Botnica contains a main crane and main crane support that can be removed for more deck space, it was decided that these parts can also be removed on the 3D print. The same counts for the moonpool top- and bottom covers which are removable parts as well as the aft block cover which is removed for towing operations. Last to mention is that the two Azipods are rotatable, as they are in reality. But still I wanted to add something more, but what?
The 3D print is intended for promotional purposes of this versatile ship. It was decided to print the 97 meter long ship at a scale of 1:250 in nylon. This results in a print of 395 mm long.
With a scale model of 1:250, details with a size of 250 mm will result in 1 mm print size. This is the minimum size for free standing details in this type of nylon print which means that some details will not be printed as they are too small. Or they have to be thickened to be strong enough for printing. 
When it comes to preparing a 3D model for 3D printing, a couple of steps have to be completed in the following order:
  1. Make a decision about the scale of the print. This depends mostly on the maximum printer size and desirable price of the 3D print. The bigger the more expensive as you pay mostly the print powder volume.
  2. Decide which small details have to be printed and make them thicker when necessary
  3. Model the hull, superstructure and details in 3D. Especially the shape of the unique ice breaking hull was quite challenging.
  4. Adding a 1 mm wall thickness is neccessary to minimize the cost of the 3D print as the printing price is mostly determined by the print powder volume. This means that a solid print would become way too expensive. However, to model a wall thickness is quite laborious as the total model should be one single watertight closed solid polysurface from a 3D modeling perspective.
  5. Several frames have to be added to strengthen large span surfaces like the deck and sides of the hull.
  6. Creating openings for removing the non printed nylon powder.
  7. Connecting the separate parts (main crane, crane support, Azipods etc.) to the main model with two small connection rods. These parts can be cut loose with a sharp knife at a later time. This minimizes the printing cost as it is considered 'one print' by the 3D print supplier.
  8. Meshing the model and export as an STL file.
At this point, also due to delay in the delivery deadline, I decided to give up on 'something special' for the 3D print. Therefore, the print was ordered at Shapeways and turned out problematic. During shipping, the front part of the heli-deck was damaged. Also several tiny details of trusses were broken during the cleaning of the 3D print. As the printer builds the 3D print up in layers of nylon powder, after the printing process, excess printing powder has to be removed with air pressure. This cleaning and other handling can damage small parts. The 3D printing service company Shapeways was very supportive and immediately offered a free reprint of this valuable print.
As I was examining the 3D print, I found out that a lot of excess nylon powder was still in the 3D print as Shapeways discontinued full cleaning after disapproval of the print.
Then I decided to use an LED light to find out how much and where the excess powder was located. It struck me how nice the light was illuminating the 3D print. It was then that I had the idea to add LED lights to the base to illuminate the 3D print. So this is the story to get to a unique and special result!

It was great pleasure to receive the second 3D print and finish it for the patient client TS Shipping LTD. They are very happy with it and want more!

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Rhino Solution for Den Breejen

Early 2017, Den Breejen Shipyard asked RhinoCentre for a Rhinoceros solution. The idea was to kickstart the integration of Rhino 3D in early ship design and presentation. Another objective is to use the exterior surfaces for engineering in Nupas software. Possible future applications are hull modeling and fairing and using Scan&Solve for strength analysis of details.
Our solution was:
  1. Supplying only necessary software:
    1. Rhinoceros for modeling.
    2. Flamingo for rendering.
  2. Modeling and visualizing a new design of a passenger vessel.
  3. Hand over the 3D model and lighting setup.
  4. Offering Rhino Level 1 training.
As Den Breejen already uses AutoCAD and Nupas for engineering the structure of the hull, Rhino is an efficient intermediate between the 2D general arrangement plan and detailed engineering with Nupas. The idea is that Rhino is used to model 3D designs of the exterior and parts of interior like a staircase, or a guest cabin.
The designs can be presented to the client with Flamingo renderings. Exterior surfaces of the hull and superstructure can be exported to Nupas for further engineering of the ship structure.

In order to kickstart the modeling and visualization, RhinoCentre modeled a new design of a passenger vessel. This was based on an existing rough 3D hull, a 2D general arrangement plan and 3D Nupas model of a previous design.
Advantages for Den Breejen of doing this job for them were:
  • Giving an example of the level of detail of the 3D model for an attractive visualization.
  • Modeling several library objects for future projects like: wheel house, radar masts, deck furniture etc.
  • Show a practical example of model management and layer set up.
  • Setting up attractive lighting and materials for Flamingo rendering.
  • Providing some renderings that can be shown to the client.
After the Level 1 training, which was offered to four Den Breejen employees, the 3D model of the passenger vessel was handed over and tested on a computer of Den Breejen in order to check a proper setup. This proved to be successful.

Are you interested in a tailor made solution?
Please contact us.

To complete this post, we were told that two Den Breejen employees modeled a new design of a passenger ship themselves in a time span of three weeks. This 3D model contained even more details than the vessel that we modeled for Den Breejen Shipyard.  

Monday, 15 May 2017

Unity for Dockwise Float-on Operation

RhinoCentre supported the Dockwise engineering team in creating a Unity 'Interactive Environment' to visualize the float-on operation of the Moho Nord FPU 'Likouf' onto the Vanguard heavy lift vessel.

For this, 3D models of both the Vanguard and the FPU were prepared in Rhino and then exported to the Unity Game Editor.

As the transport is done safe and successful, we are happy to be able to share our small contribution to this unique achievement of Dockwise.

The Unity Virtual Environment, enabled Dockwise to install it on any laptop in order to discuss and present several hotspots of the operation. This means that anyone can navigate in the 3D environment shown in the demonstration below.

An important notice is that the movie below shows an initial design of the operation that lead to the final design of the operation. As you can see in the Boskalis Dockwise movie at the top of this post, the final casing positions were different for example.

Read more about the transport in this Boskalis' article.

Thank you Boskalis - Dockwise for the opportunity to collaborate in this project and also being able to share our efforts in this blog post.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Ship Hull from a Linesplan with Rhino

Rhino hull surface overlay on real vessel

A common demand in the maritime industry is to create a fair 3D vessel hull shape from an existing linesplan. For that reason, RhinoCentre developed a method to do this in Rhino. 
This article explains the method developed by RhinoCentre.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

3D printing of an artificial reef in sandstone for Boskalis

For the Monaco Larvotto Reserve, Boskalis developed an artificial reef. Six of these objects were placed at the seabed in October 2015. The purpose is to stimulate bio diversity with objects that are 100% non toxic for the environment. The size of the objects is roughly 2 x 2 x 1 meter with a weight of approx. 2,5 tons.

Very special about this project is the 3D printing of sandstone technology, developed by Enrico Dini of Dinitech. The printing material is a mix of Dolomite sand and a marine safe binding agent that reacts on salt water which results in the creation of sandstone.

RhinoCentre was asked to be part of the design team for modeling the 3D object. Depending on the shape and design input, there are several strategies to get to a high quality 3D model. In this particular case, it was decided to use T-Splines for Rhino for subdivision modeling of an organic shape that is easy editable. Another challenge is that the printer is not "What you see is what you get" as the material thickness varies. This means that holes become smaller and columns become larger after printing.

Read more about this project in this nice Boskalis article.

Arrival of Reef objects in Monaco

Monday, 12 October 2015

Powerful Ship Hull Design in Rhino with Rapid Hull Modeling Methodology

This is a powerful way to design and generate any vessel hull in Rhino3d, by creating a few master curves which describe the stem, stern, mainframe etc. This methodology is applicable to ships, yachts, boats, workboats and multi hulls.
As the input curves are the DNA of the resulting shape, you can exchanges curves for other curves to make variations of the shape. This is a very important feature to manage your hull design well. Furthermore it is always possible to fair the hull surface later with direct control point manipulation.

  • Easy to the edit shape and size later by using the ‘record history’ feature 
  • Systematic variations possible by exchanging input curves
  • Fair single surface hull 
  • Fast generation of new concepts 
  • High quality bulbous bow and parallel midship section 
  • Free
  • Posibility to parametrize the design with scripts
    • Singularities are possible when two or more control points of the surface are at the same position
    • More difficult to use than Orca3d for sailboat, planing hull and ship without bulbous bow

      Grasshopper Parametric Ship Hull Modeling

      Parametric hull modeling for concept design, requires a flexible and versatile approach. Rhino enables this in combination with Grasshopper scripting.
      Another new application is to create a systematic variation of a ship hull for CFD calculations to find the design with a minimum resistance.

      We are proud to publish two ways to model and design ship hulls with free open source Grasshopper scripts. The two scripts that are published enable you to model a bulbous bow and pram aft body type hull with a press of a button. Both solutions are based on our Rapid Hull Modeling Methodology which is the manual way to design a ship hull in Rhino.

      The first solution (01 RapidHullFullyParametric.GH) is only a script which contains a fully parameterized hull in which also the loft curves are scripted. This is a more academic script that optimizes the design of one type of ship hull. For this you only have to open a new Rhino session and then activate the script. For modeling other ship types you have to fully understand the hull definition in the script and this is not so easy.

      The second solution is a combination of a Rhino file (02 RapidHullPartlyParametric) that contains the loft curves as well as a script (02 RapidHullPartlyParametric) that contains the rest of the solution. The idea here is that the physical Rhino loft curves are input for the lofting in the script. The advantage of this script is that you can create easily new ship type solutions by modifying or even replacing the loft curves. In the Rhino file you'll find several ship types.

      The first script is the result of a collaboration of the following people from their respective companies and organisations:
      • Bas Goris, GustoMSC, started the quest for Rhino hull modeling methods
      • Phil Shapiro, Cadlantique, presented the loose loft 3d curve technique
      • Bart van Oers, TU Delft, put this Rapid Hull Modeling methodology in Rhino Script
      • Julien le Rouzic, GustoMSC, converted the Rhino Script into a Grasshopper Script
      • Gerard Petersen, RhinoCentre, added real time lines plan and displacement functionality

      For us it is important that you share your experiences, changes and additions to the script. So please send them to us and we can learn from you!

      Tuesday, 6 October 2015

      Lapstrake boat hull in Rhino with Grasshopper

      Model and design lapstrake boat hulls like this viking ship with Rhino and Grasshopper scripts.
      Modeling lapstrake hulls in 3D is actually quite challenging. When they are modeled by hand, it is very time consuming to edit the shape at a later time. In order to create more flexibility, a Grasshopper script makes it possible to easily edit the shape and also instantly see some hydrostatics and a linesplan.

      Try out yourself by downloading the zip file which contains a Rhino file as well as three different scripts:
      1. lapstrake-no overlap is the script of the video. Strakes do not overlap.
      2. lapstrake-no overlap-GRP is a script that creates a hull with a smooth inner skin.
      3. lapstrake-overlap is a script that actually creates strakes that overlap. However this doesn't result in perfect solutions.

      Demonstration movie of modeling lapstrake hulls with Grasshopper

      Drawing of a Viking ship that is used as reference

      Thursday, 22 August 2013

      3d PDF plugin for Rhino from Simlab

      A picture tells a thousand words – a 3D model even more!

      Wouldn't it be great to be able to rotate this image and fly through the yacht?
      See for yourself after downloading the 3d-PDF of this design to your computer and opening it with Adobe Reader for example.

      Mind you that a 3d-PDF doesn't work in a web browser. It only works after downloading and opening the 3d-PDF in Adobe Reader for example.

      The Simlab 3d PDF plugin for Rhino is a perfect plugin to send a 3d model of your design to your customer.  The advantage is that you don't give your 3d model away and it is easy to use.

      At RhinoCentre we tested this plugin and created a nice workflow that takes advantage of the features of the 3d-PDF.

      Contact RhinoCentre for training if you like to learn our workflow.

      Test the plugin for free at Simlab or buy directly for $99.

      Tuesday, 6 August 2013

      MARIN integrates Rhino in their process for hull and propeller modeling.

      This page comes from the Marin Report Newsletter of Jan. 2013.

      The Dutch Maritime Research Institute (MARIN) is currently developing several plugins for Rhino for internal use. These plugins will be used for modeling ship hulls, propellers, appendages etc. These models are input for CNC milling and advanced CFD analysis.
      One of these plugins will replace their current inhouse software 'GMS' for modeling ship hulls,  which has been in development for over 20 years.
      RhinoCentre is happy to support Marin in this sensitive process as accurate 3d models are the starting point for any analysis at Marin. By offering software, training and consultancy RhinoCentre has hands on experience in the high tech demands of Marin. 

      Offering knowledge to MARIN is something we are proud at!

      Friday, 5 April 2013

      RhinoCentre supports Dutch Shipbuilding

      Dutch shipyards build or finished a wide variety of commercial vessels in 2012. RhinoCentre serves 50% of these shipyards with software, training, services or consultancy. This list doesn't show our involvement in the yacht industry, marine suppliers and ship designers. Not to mention our involvement in other industries like architecture, industrial design, jewelry etc.

      The 'Infographic' down below shows an overview of these shipyards. The original image was published in the March 2013 issue of magazine SWZ Maritime. This adapted image is published with permission of SWZ Maritime. The total list you can find over here.

      Friday, 7 October 2011

      RhinoCentre at 3d printing event

      RhinoCentre is partner of the 3d printing event in Eindhoven during the Dutch Design Week in the Netherlands.
      Together with Rinus Roelofs and Gijs de Zwart we will show that Rhinoceros is one of the best software tools to create 3d models for 3d printing. During the exhibition we will show 3d print examples which were made with Rhino models. Also we will give a presentation during the seminar to show what Rhino 3d can mean for 3d printing.

      Please visit us at Tuesday 25 October 2011 at the 3d printing event.

      Register now for the exhibition (free) or the seminar (€95,-).

      RhinoCentre modeled the 3d model  for this 3d print of a Diving Offshore Construction Support Vessel for Shipyard de Hoop. The 3d print was very detailed.

      Rinus Roelofs is experimenting with 3d printing for several years now. His models are also printed in all sorts of exotic materials, like titanium, concrete etc.

      Gijs de Zwart models mostly industrial design. Also he's active at Shapeways to manufacture and sell 3d prints. 

      Monday, 26 September 2011

      10 Years of Rhino in Ship and Yacht Design

      For a Dutch Magazine called SWZ Maritime, I wrote this article in Dutch about 10 years of Rhino software in ship and yacht design.
      Published with the permission of SWZ Maritime.

      Monday, 12 September 2011

      Bridge Design with Grasshopper for Rhino

      Royal Haskoning bridge design

      The Westzanerpolderbrug in Zaanstad in the Netherlands was designed by Royal Haskoning a few years ago. When I offered a Rhino training to Royal Haskoning Architects, I developed a Grasshopper script which is roughly based on this design. With this script I showed the flexibility and power of Grasshopper in bridge design. The time to script this bridge was approximately six hours.


      Try out yourself by downloading the zip file containing both the Rhino model and the Grasshopper script. The Rhinomodel includes the handrail post curve. 


      Demonstration movie of the Bridge script

      Monday, 25 October 2010

      Ship Hull Design with T-Splines for Rhino


      T-Splines modeling technology makes it possible to design ship hulls, yachts and free form superstructures in Rhino like never before. In the marine industry there's no comparable modeling tool as powerful as the T-Splines/Orca3d/ Rhino combination. Both high quality as fast results makes it possible to model fair ship hulls in little time. The tight integration with Orca3d offers even more functionality for analysis and modeling power. T-Splines can be applied in preliminary design as well as preparing ship hulls for production.
      Ship hulls made with Rapid Hull Modeling can be used as input for T-Splines.

      Modeling advantages:
      • model every shape you can imagine
      • very low amount of control points offer highest control;
      • due to the low amount of control points it takes less time to model high quality fair hulls;
      • existing hull shapes are easy editable with T-Splines to new types of ship hulls or apply design changes;
      • add shape control only at local regions were it is needed;
      • symmetry option automatically models the other side and takes care for continuity;
      • ability to convert existing NURBS and IGES surfaces back and forth;
      • add creases wherever you like.

      T-Splines integration with Rhino:
      • T-Splines surfaces behave like NURBS surfaces when it comes to trimming decks, bulkheads etc. to a T-Splines hull shape;
      • T-Splines surfaces automatically switch to NURBS surfaces when T-Splines is not installed on a computer.
      Orca3d functionality that works with T-Splines: 
      • real time sections to analyze the 3d shape;
      • automatic lines drawing generation;
      • hydrostatics and stability calculations;
      • speed and power analysis;
      • export to PIAS.

      All these advantages don't come for nothing. Although the price is very affordable and the T-Splines user interface is very friendly it takes a while to understand the inns and outs of working with T-Splines. Also understanding how to come to high quality surfaces containing low amount of control points takes some time, especially for the first time.
      Some sixty hours were invested in the results you see in the video. Now several shapes have crystallized it takes less time to edit these or modify them to other ship hull types.
      If you think T-Splines adds productivity and quality to your workflow it is worth investing in T-Splines training for marine industry now offered by RhinoCentre.


      Monday, 30 August 2010

      Scan and Solve for Rhino, FEM stress analysis; FEA

      Villo retractable roof deflection analysis

      Scan and Solve for Rhino3d is one missing link for concept designers who integrate all aspects of reality in their new product designs. This new plug-in is in development and therefore free to use and test out. The ideas behind this plug-in are brilliant and result in an easy to use strength analysis tool. You only need a closed solid in Rhino and no mesh anymore!
      In a clear and simple Scan and Solve menu you can specify the material, restraints and one or more loads. Depending on the complexity of the geometry your solution is presented quite fast.

      Adding material, constraints and loads
      As we don't have to bother with meshes anymore it is easy to compare design variations or perform other design or engineering strength analysis fast. Furthermore it is inside Rhino so the interface is well known and no import and export time is lost.

      Danger levels according to Von Mises

      With visual representation of deflection

      For the Villo project I tested Scan and Solve in order to analyze the retractable roof. In addition I tested out the differences between hollow and solid geometry. This resulted in some interesting considerations.

      Monday, 28 December 2009

      Rhino sectioning & lines plan drawings

      Sections in Rhino3d are used for:
      • Analysis purposes of fairness and shape of 3d geometry
      • 2d drafting and export to for example AutoCAD
      • Lines plan drawings
      Sections and lines drawings can be made with:
      • Rhino3d techniques (contour, section etc.)  
      • Orca3d plug-in sectioning and lines drawing feature  
      • ArchCut plug-in (free) 
      • Grasshopper plug-in visual script tool (free)
      • Download the Ship Hull Rhino3d file used in the demo video

      Creating sections and lines plan drawings fast and accurate is very simple with Rhino. Commands like section and contour are mostly used.
      In order to create automatic updates of sections and 2d drawings the free ArchCut plug-in does a wonderful job.

      Orca3d plug-in for naval architects is the most convenient solution and also offers hydrostatics, stability and power and speed prediction features.

      Visual scripting with Grasshopper plug-in is a new and very powerful tool to make Rhino more clever with scripts.

      Download a free ship hull script which also generates sections automatically and see a video tutorial.

      Friday, 27 November 2009

      Modeling Developable Hull Shapes in Rhino3d

      Developable hull shapes play an important role in the marine industry. Therefore modeling these types of shapes fast and accurate in Rhino3d is very important. Furthermore is it important to unroll the surfaces accurate and easy for manufacturing purposes.
      At last the free plug-in called 'Developable Surface Construction'  is explained in order to have more control of the ruling lines which define the twist of single curved surfaces.
      Tutorial 1: Several modeling techniques explained.

      Tutorial 2: Unrolling and flattening of surfaces explained as well as the free plug-in Developable Surface Construction.

      Thursday, 26 November 2009

      Model Ship Hulls With Control Point Manipulation

      This technique of modeling ship hulls is more of a sculpting approach.
      Experienced users can design hull forms with direct control point manipulation. This method is based on generating a single surface with rows and columns of control points. Start with a flat plate and sculpt the form by dragging and pulling control points.
      • High quality single surface possible (depending on skills of user)
      • A lot of control to adjust the surface
      • Every imaginable surface is possible
      • Control points have to be positioned in a grid of rows and columns. Therefore too many control points at places where little control is needed and often less control points at places where a lot of control is needed. For example the difference between a straight midship section and a more complex bow area. T-Splines modeling offers more functionality when this aspect is important
      • Labour intensive to model the first hull
      • It is more difficult to edit the hull shape later systematically than with the Rapid Hull Modeling Method.
      The Orca3d plug-in offers a more easy way to model ship hulls with easy hull wizards and extra tools to manipulate the shape of the hull.

      Important Rhino Commands:
      • Move
      • Rotate
      • Scale 1d
      • Shear
      Options and tools:
      • Project on
      • Object Snap on/off
      • Orthogonal on/off
      • Smart track on
      • Nudge option to move control points at predefined steps

      See also this great instructional video of Brian James

      Monday, 23 November 2009

      Status of Rhino in the Dutch Marine Industry

      Leading companies in the Dutch Marine Industry gathered at TU-Delft University of Marine Technology on November 20 to learn from each other and discuss with McNeel staff the future of Rhino.
      As RhinoCentre organized the event together with TU-Delft it was nice to witness the enthusiasm of our guests who priorized this meeting over their daily work.
      Probably they also were that enthusiastic as they learned they can minimize lots of hours with better integration of Rhino in the work flow of designing and manufacturing yachts and merchant ships.
      Several presentations showed the current status of the use of Rhino and level of integration in the process.

      Royal Huisman presented a fully integrated design system which is primarily used for space management of exterior, interior, structure, deck equipment and technical installations in design and concept engineering phase. Furthermore a Rhino 3d production model is maintained containing the building blocks which are gradually swapped with finished Shipconstructor 3d geometry for production. A very important issue is proper process management, standardization of Rhino use and discipline of the rhino users to maintain the quality of the 3d models. Read more

      Nevesbu showed a workflow to export a Rhino model to the PIAS stability software for complex stability calculations. This project was ordered by the Dutch Navy for the refit of the 'Walrus' class submarines. Rhinoscript was an essential tool to make it successful.

      Tu-Delft Marine & Transport Technology amazed us with an inland ship design tool. This tool is based on Excel scripts who drive Rhino in order to create inland ship designs very fast.
      Image courtesy of TU-Delft

      Tobias Nagel Cad Service is a real guru who showed a work flow with the shortest pipeline between sketch design and manufacturing of a ship. As Tobias is a scripting expert, he is able to customize his use of Rhino to the needs of his partners.

       Damen Shipyards Gorinchem pick up the use and integration of Rhino 
      very fast now. They presented both integrated Rhino 3d models for design purposes as well as 3d models used for the production of composite superstructures.

      RhinoCentre is pioneering with real time 2d presentations of 3d models which can be printed out for meetings. Also the application of Grasshopper in ship and yacht design was demonstrated. Grasshopper enables architects to parameterize parts of a design to be able to make quick design variations.

      The presentations where a good starting point for discussions. Steve Baer, core programmer of McNeel and trained as naval architect asked a lot of questions to get a better understanding of the daily practice of using Rhino. Steve demonstrated some features of the 'work in progress' Rhino 5 and explained that the development is also focusing on a better integration of Rhino 5 in complex environments and large projects.

      Other companies who attended were:
       If you are interested to attend marine events in the future, please contact us.

      Images are courtesy of the respective companies