Monday 6 February 2023

Rhino Vessel Hull Design and Fairing Training

Fair hull for production for Fr. Fassmer GmbH&Co.KG by RhinoCentre

More than a decade ago, naval architect and RhinoCentre founder Gerard Petersen, developed the "Hull Design and Fairing training for Rhino". In the development of this training, which started in 2012, he was supported by maritime Rhino specialists Tobias Nagel and Bas Goris.

The aim for this training, was to teach the industry about the following themes: Class-A Fairing – Final Design – Fairing for Production – Hull Optimization – Reverse Engineering – Hull from GA/ Lines-Plan – Advanced Analysis – Modeling Strategies – Developable Hulls

The learned lessons have to be applicable to a wide variety of types of vessel hulls of Ships, Yachts, Workboats and Multihulls. More than 10 years later, we can conclude that this has been successful as many vessels since then have been designed, engineered and manufactured based on the teachings.

The development of the training lead to three training modules, that were carefully published in three booklets:

For many years, this training was mostly delivered in-company to shipyards and design offices, mostly in the Netherlands. But also to Chantiers Piriou in France for example. However, many companies don't have that many employees to be trained in these specific competences of vessel hull modeling, fairing and reverse engineering. Also many people around the world were interested in this training but did not want to spend too much time and money on traveling to our training center in the Netherlands.

For that reason we developed an online self-study training of the three training modules. This is offered since October 2017 on the RhinoCentre website training pages. Up to January 2023, more than 150 people followed the online training.

However, we found out that many trainees never finished the training due to busy schedules in the company and busy private lives. Therefore we added the 'Live Sessions' variant in May 2020. With four additional live sessions of two hours each via online Zoom. Then the trainees follow and finish the training within one month and that became very successful. The trainees are always very enthusiastic about the interactive live sessions and it motivates them to finish the training.

For Fr. Fassmer GmbH&Co.KG, RhinoCentre did the fine fairing of the hull of a pair of survey vessels.
Image © Fr. Fassmer GmbH&Co.KG

In the live sessions, the trainees learn how the training is set up and they can ask questions when they run into problems with finishing the exercises. Trainees are allowed to send in their own hull projects and then it is nice to teach more about these specific shapes and strategies to become successful in modeling and fairing. Also it is a pleasure to show more Rhino functionality like:
The advantage of the online training is that one person of a shipyard anywhere in the world can follow the training and use the competences in their office or shipyard. This lead to many satisfied trainees. Also some companies hired RhinoCentre to teach their team in an online in-company training. This can be useful when the trainees of that company like to share confidential projects.

In this training we've had trainees from one man companies, like kayak builders, up to well known shipyards and design offices with hundreds of employees. What we like is that the whole industry embraced Rhino as a professional tool for vessel hull design, fairing and reverse engineering.

Some of the companies that attended the training are:

Monday 9 January 2023

Shine Your Light on Grasshopper


Shine Your Light on Grasshopper

Underwater Lights™ Limited invited RhinoCentre to offer a Rhino Level 1 Training. As their office is South of London in the UK, I was happy to travel to them and offer a training to two of their employees.

Underwater Lights™ Limited manufactures underwater lighting that is mostly installed on mega yachts. For designing a lighting plan layout, they used often 2D top view, This way they spread out the lights in such a way that the light is evenly distributed. Underwater Lights™ Limited develops their lights, which they call inserts, with 3D Solid Works and also manufactures them inhouse. As you can image, today all the inserts contain LEDs.

They want to use Rhino to start designing lighting layouts in 3D Rhino based on a 3D model of the yacht hull. During the Rhino Level 1 training, that focuses on manual modeling, I found out that positioning the inserts at a specific position on the yacht hull is very labor intensive and repetitive work that is prone to errors. Therefore I decided to develop a simple script with Grasshopper that does the job in an automated way. At the 3rd day of the training, the script was doing a part of the job, still together with some manual modeling work.

After the training, RhinoCentre received a budget to develop the script further into an integral design tool. The total job took 53 hours of which 46.5 hours was for scripting.

Some aspects of the Grasshopper Script:

  • The end result creates the positioning of the inserts in a 3D hull shape at the proper orientation.
  • All the light insert data parameters are managed in a spreadsheet. The script reads and writes from this spreadsheet. In the spreadsheet, each insert can be specified individually: the position, light direction, and type of insert.
  • Most challenging was to script the different orientations in a robust way in all circumstances and types of ship hull models:
    • First creating a line normal to the ship hull shape at the specific light insert position.
    • Then orienting the desired weld orientation of the insert in the hull. As the front face of the insert has an angle, it is possible to rotate beam of light to another direction. When the orientation is 0 degrees, the insert has to be horizontal at any position in the hull shape.
    • As most inserts have a ball clamp for the LED, it is possible to orient the LED between 0 and 20 degrees in any direction.
    • To program all these degrees of freedom in any circumstance is quite challenging
  • The script writes the X,Y, Z coordinates of each insert to the spreadsheet.
  • Some overall parameters of the design are set in the script.
  • The script show in Rhino the inserts, the light ray direction and a hull section at each insert position. Also a light cone shows the dispersion of the light.
  • Editing parameters in the spreadsheet, results in an update calculation time between 5 to 10 seconds which is very reasonable.
Shine your light on Grasshopper and contact RhinoCentre when you like to automate your Rhino workflow.

The Grasshopper preview in Rhino 

The Grasshopper script

The Spreadsheet with all the light inserts data and the library of insert types