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 

Thursday 19 November 2009

Dutch Architects meet McNeel

On November 16th RhinoCentre and Arup Amsterdam organised an informal gathering of leading Dutch Architects and McNeel staff. The discussions were focused on the current status of computational use in Dutch architecture offices.

Bob McNeel personally learned how Rhino is integrated in the workflow of several architecture firms, sometimes as a representation tool or in some cases as a generative tool driving the design. Steve Baer, core programmer of Rhinoceros wrote down lots of valuable and useful notes. Giulio Piacentino of McNeel Europe and trained as Architect at TU-Delft, learned about the daily practice in the Netherlands.
A summary of the discussion’s findings:
  • BIM modelling seems to be the trend. But since no one (nor client, nor architect, nor contractor) can clearly specify what BIM is, Rhinoceros does not need to adapt to this methodology of working simply because of the lack of clear requirements of BIM modelling.
  • Most output of architectural offices is still based on 2D drawings. In order to facilitate this workflow, Rhinoceros could be better equiped for this task. It’s platform is mainly focused on digital fabrication. The market however is not that advanced yet.
  • Rhinoscript and Grasshopper have proven to be powerful tools for clever concept design and should become more integrated into Rhinoceros.
The gathering of architects has proven to be a good platform for knowledge transfer in the field of architecture that spans beyond the regular way of working. Tips and tricks on how to use 3D models as contractual elements and how to deal with liability were interesting topics arising from the discussion on dealing with advanced 3-dimensional complex design.

  • de Architecten Cie.
  • Arup Amsterdam
  • Information Based Architecture
  • McNeel & Associates
  • Mecanoo
  • Meyer & van Schooten
  • Octatube
  • Roderik van der Weijden - Architect
  • UN-Studio
The discussion on the current status of computational use in Dutch architecture offices was organized by Pim van Wylick for RhinoCentre with the generous support of Jeroen Coenders at Arup Amsterdam.
Pim van Wylick is RhinoCentre’s specialist for Architecture. He also heads the Form Foundation, an architecture office specialised in complex geometries and computational research. For any questions regarding using Rhinoceros in an architectural environment or interest in a future gathering, please contact him under