Orca3D News

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

November Upgrade discounts extended

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the US during the last week of November, some customers in missed the opportunity to take advantage of the Orca3D competitive upgrade discounts. The deadline has now been extended to Monday, December 8th. If you currently use FastShip, FastYacht, or RhinoMarine 4, you can save up to 50%. Please visit www.orca3d.com/order/order.htm for details.

Make it easier to see the control points on a surface

While working in Rhino, sometimes the view can become cluttered, making it difficult to see the part of the model that you're interested in. This can be particularly true when fairing a hull; for example, when working in the Right or Bodyplan viewport and moving control points in the bow, the aft portion of the hull clutters the view.

One solution to this is Rhino's clippingplane command. A clipping plane is a plane in space beyond which any geometry becomes invisible. Clipping planes are specific to a viewport, and any viewport may have multiple clipping planes.

To create a clipping plane, type the command clippingplane into Rhino's command line (it's not available in a menu, but there is an icon on the Viewport Layout toolbar). Click in the viewport in which you want the clipping plane to apply, and then draw a rectangle (the size of the rectangle doesn't matter; the clipping plane is infinite). Now, drag the clipping plane in one of the other viewports to change its location. The clipping plane has a pointer that shows the direction of the visible geometry. Use the flip command to turn it around. By turning on the control points of the clipping plane, you can rotate the plane, and drag it to dynamically clip the view.

A second option to make it easier to see your control net is the cullcontrolpolygon command (the icon is available on the Point Editing toolbar). This command, which is a toggle, hides any portion of the control polygon (the lines connecting the control points) that are in the background. This is easily seen in the Perspective viewport as you rotate the hull with the Orca control points on.

Rhino's Right view will now show just the aft portion of the control polygon (assuming forward is negative X in your model), and the Bodyplan view of the Orca3D viewports will show the forward portion of the control polygon.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Orca3D Update Available: Version 1.0.14

A new version of Orca3D, Version 1.0.14, has now been posted to our website. Please visit www.orca3d.com/download/download.htm. This is a free update for licensed users.

This new version adds features, improves existing features, and fixes a few bugs, most notably issues with European keyboard settings. These are summarized below; as always, we encourage feedback. Please visit the forum at www.orca3d.com/forum, or send an email to support@orca3d.com.

Release 1.0.14 (November 7, 2008)

New Features:

· OrcaInsertChine: A new command was added to allow a user to insert a chine (i.e. slope discontinuity) into a surface along an iso-parameter. The command allows the user to choose the parametric direction, u or v.

Enhanced Features:
· OrcaAssignWeightCost: The form for assigning weight/cost to a Rhino geometry object has been modified to allow the user to create new materials by selecting “Add New Material(s)…” from the dropdown list.

· OrcaAssignWeightCost: The command now allows selection of more than one object at a time for assigning weight/cost properties. A “Clear” button was added to the form for assigning weight/cost properties to allow a user to remove weight/cost properties from selected objects.

· OrcaReportWeightAndCost: Added a progress bar during weight/cost report generation since calculations can be time consuming.

· OrcaCreatePlaningHull: The Planing Hull Assistant has been modified so that the resulting hull surface is degree 3 in both parametric directions. It had been degree 2 in one direction.

· OrcaPlaningAnalysis, OrcaHoltropAnalysis: The resistance analysis commands have been modified to allow the user to export the calculation to HydroComp NavCad and SwiftCraft files.

· OrcaWrapCorner: Added a check to see if the selected surface is trimmed. If so the user is notified that the command will remove trimming information and given the option to proceed or quit.

· OrcaHydrostatics: The OrcaHydrostatics command is now scriptable.

Bug Fixes:

· Internationalization: Made numerous changes to facilitate using Orca3D with international keyboard settings. In order to be consistent with Rhino, Orca3D requires all input using “.” as the decimal separator and “,” as the list separator.

· Hydrostatics: Fixed a unit conversion error in output of righting moment in lb-ft units.

· OrcaCreateLinesDrawing: Fixed a bug in display of block and prismatic coefficients when length and volume units are not consistent. Fixed a bug in display of wetted surface area value.

· OrcaReportWeightAndCost: Fixed a bug in which cost item output was sometimes denoted as having been set directly when it was computed from the associated geometry properties.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Orca3D Discounts during November

The response to the initial release of the Orca3D marine plug-in for Rhino has been fantastic. If you haven’t already taken advantage of the competitive upgrade pricing that we’re offering, now is the time to act. Through the end of November, we are offering a discount of up to 50% to current users of specific competing software.

For more information:
Pricing: www.orca3d.com/order/order.htm
Software description: www.orca3d.com

-from a local reseller: http://www.orca3d.com/order/order_reseller.htm
-directly from DRS: http://www.orca3d.com/order/order_direct.htm
(The price is the same whether you purchase directly or through a reseller. We encourage you to purchase through a reseller if there is one close to you.)

For technical questions:

Remember, the discount will not be available after November 30th, so don’t wait; purchase now.

Design Hydrostatics: What is the Design Condition for?

Simply put, Design Hydrostatics is a subset of the complete Hydrostatics & Stability calculation. The idea is to make it possible to compute hydrostatics with a single button click.

Without Design Hydrostatics, the usual steps to compute hydrostatics are:

1. Select the surface(s) and/or mesh(es) to be included in the calculations
2. Start the Orca3D Hydrostatics & Stability command (Orca3D->Stability->Compute Hydrostatics & Stability)
3. Define the flotation condition (weight/cg or flotation plane, etc.)
4. Set the options (Mirror about Centerplane, etc.)
5. Click Calculate

While this gives you a lot of flexibility and options, many times while you're shaping the hull you just want the hydrostatics at a particular flotation plane or weight/cg, and you don't want to have go through each of these steps every time. The Design Hydrostatics allows you to define a special condition (the "Design Condition") once, and then while you're working with the hull you only need to click the Compute Design Hydrostatics icon to get hydrostatics computed in that condition.

To define the Design Condition, go to Orca3D->Stability->Define Design Condition. Select the surface(s) and/or mesh(es) to be included, define the flotation plane, and check any options (such as Mirror about Centerplane). The Design Condition is now defined, and to get hydrostatics quickly just click on the Compute Design Hydrostatics button.

Keep in mind that if you delete one of the surfaces or meshes that were included in your Design Condition, you will need to redefine the Design Condition. Also, the surfaces or meshes that you select for a standard Hydrostatics & Stability calculation will now become the surfaces and meshes for the Design Condition, unless you redefine it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Orca3D has been released!

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." And, a journey of a thousand lines of code begins with a single line, which is exactly what happened 18 months ago when the development of the Orca3D marine design software began.

Developed entirely from scratch as a plug-in to the popular Rhinoceros 3D modeling program, Orca3D includes many powerful and innovative features for naval architects, whether they are designing ships, yachts, or other floating structures.

The release of Orca3D began with the first Work-in-Progress (WIP) release on February 29th. After four more WIP's, downloads by over 1000 users worldwide, lots of feedback from users, and addition of new features, Orca3D 1.0 is ready for commercial release. But this doesn't mean that it's finished. Development of the software is on-going, and the naval architects who developed Orca3D have plenty of plans for future releases. Many ideas for new features and improvements will come from the user community.

This release includes functionality for Weight & Cost Tracking, adds the Holtrop resistance prediction method for displacement hulls, and has a number of minor fixes and improvements.

Information on pricing and purchasing Orca3D is available at www.orca3d.com/order/order.htm. During the month of October, we are offering deeply discounted competitive upgrade prices for users of RhinoMarine and FastShip/FastYacht. Note that the upgrade price will increase on November 1st, and will no longer be available after November 30th. Details can be found on the order page. You will also find information on resellers; if there is a reseller in your area, we encourage you to purchase through them.

Orca3D is available for download at http://www.orca3d.com/, and you may try it free for 15 days as a fully functional evaluation version. Note: If you used WIP3, your evaluation period has now expired. If you would like to extend your evaluation period in order to try this release, follow these steps:

1. Install this release of Orca3D
2. Start Rhino; you will see a message stating that Orca3D does not have a valid license, and asking if you'd like to activate or extend your evaluation. Click Yes.
3. The Orca3D License Manager utility will appear (it may be behind Rhino on your desktop). Select "Phone/Email License".
4. Send the Installation ID to support@orca3d.com, with a note requesting an extension of your evaluation period. We will email the Unlocking Key to you. In the meantime, you may continue to use Rhino.

If you have questions about purchasing or evaluating Orca3D, please contact us at sales@orca3d.com. If you have questions about the capabilities or use of the software, please write to support@orca3d.com.

We especially want to thank those who have downloaded and evaluated Orca3D. Many of you have provided invaluable feedback, and we hope that process will continue!

I hope we’ll be able to see you at IBEX (booth 1214/1216) in Miami Beach next week, or in Amsterdam at METS (booth # 04.408, Oost Hall / Hall 4) in November.

Orca3D to be demonstrated at METS in Amsterdam

Orca3D will be demonstrated at the METS tradeshow in Amsterdam, November 18-20. We will be in booth # 04.408 (Oost Hall / Hall 4), together with Design Systems & Technologies, Robert McNeel and Associates (the developer of Rhino), and HydroComp, Inc. Please plan to visit and see the latest software. As always, we enjoy seeing old friends and making new ones!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Orca3D WIP 4.1 Now Available

We have posted an update to WIP 4 that remedies some issues that have been reported by users. Specifically:

  • Units: Fixed several issues related to units used in hydrostatics and speed/power calculations.
  • Orientation: Fixed a bug in model orientation settings which occurred when reading in files saved in earlier WIP releases. This could potentially lead to nonsensical results in both hydrostatics and resistance calculations.
  • Formatting: Modified the number format used in the section area and section girth hydrostatics output.
This is an important update, and we recommend that all users download and install this release. The complete Release Notes with the details of the improvements in WIP4.1 can be found at http://www.orca3d.com/support/manual/index.html?orca_release_notes.htm.

Thank you to those who have given us feedback and comments. They are helpful and welcome!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fourth Orca3D WIP Released

We're pleased to announce the fourth release of Orca3D, a marine design and analysis plug-in for Rhinoceros. Orca3D is developed by a team of naval architects and developers who are experienced in the creation, distribution, and support of marine applications, including plug-ins for the Rhino environment. Complete information, including Release Notes, is available at www.orca3d.com/upload/orca3dnews_08_28_08.htm.

With this release, Orca3D is very close to being ready to officially release. Pricing information for new licenses and upgrades is now available on our website, at www.orca3d.com/order/order.htm. Upgrade pricing is significantly lower than list price, and is available to current users of RhinoMarine V4 and FastYacht/FastShip (proof of eligibility will be required; see the website for details). For the first 30 days after release, the Upgrade price has been lowered even further. After 60 days, the Upgrade price will no longer be available.

Before installing Orca3D, please be sure that you are running Rhino Version 4, Service Release 3; Orca3D will not function with earlier versions of Rhino. Please use the menu above or click here to download the installation file.

Feel free to send comments and suggestions as you use the WIP. We appreciate your interest!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Third WIP of Orca3D now available

We’re pleased to announce the third Work-in-Progress (WIP) release of Orca3D, which incorporates many of the suggestions and comments that we’ve received from users of the first WIP. Thank you to all of those who have been providing feedback.

The second WIP expires on July 1st, so it will no longer load. Please download and install the third WIP, which will expire on September 1st. If the commercial release is not ready before then, a fourth WIP will be posted.

For a description of the changes in this WIP, please visit http://www.orca3d.com/upload/orca3dnews_06_30_08.htm.

To download the latest WIP, visit www.orca3d.com, and click on the Download menu.

As always, we look forward to your comments!