Orca3D News


Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Technical Support Schedule

Our office will be closed for the holidays from December 21st through January 7th. During this time, limited technical support will be available. In addition to contacting us at support@orca3d.com, we encourage you to take advantage of the other available support resources: 
Best wishes for safe and happy holidays from the Orca3D team!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Windows 8 Issue

Microsoft and Nalpeiron have identified an issue with Windows 8 and the Nalpeiron service that is included in Orca3D. The Nalpeiron service is part of the licensing mechanism in Orca3D. The version of the Nalpeiron service that is in the current release of Orca3D will prevent updates to Windows 8 from completing successfully, and prevent you from adding features in Windows 8. Microsoft's knowledgebase article on the issue is here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2787752

Nalpeiron has created an update to the service, which can easily be installed to resolve this issue. Visit www.updatemyservice.com to download the update. Another option is to temporarily stop the Nalpeiron service while you are updating Windows 8 or adding features. This process is described in the Microsoft knowledgebase article.

Future Orca3D updates and WIP releases will include the updated service. This issue is only with Windows 8; other versions of Windows are not affected.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Rhino 5 has been released and is shipping!

Bob McNeel has announced the release of Rhino 5, which is now shipping. Rhino 5 has over 2,000 enhancements, handles large projects much faster, improved display modes and enhanced rendering, and much more.

Orca3D has been updated to be fully compatible with Rhino 5. Get the latest release here, or the latest work-in-progress (WIP) here.

If you're using Rhino 4 (or an earlier version), now is the time to upgrade to Version 5. The upgrade is only $345 (save $150 until February 26, 2013). The prices for new licenses have not changed.

Contact your reseller to get the upgrade, or if you're in the U.S. you can order directly from us: 
  • Click here to order a commercial upgrade to Rhino 5 from Rhino 4 or Rhino 3 ($345)
  • Click here to order a new commercial license of Rhino 5 ($995)
  • Click here to order an educational upgrade to Rhino 5 from Rhino 4 or Rhino 3 ($95, proof of student status required)
  • Click here to order a new educational license of Rhino 5 ($195, proof of student status required)
 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rhino 5 and a new Orca3D WIP

We're pleased to announce the release of a new Work-in-Progress (WIP) version of Orca3D. This new version (1.3 WIP 2012-11-06) has been fully tested with Rhino 5.

For our US-based customers: You can order your Rhino 5 licenses from us now:
  • Click here to order a commercial upgrade to Rhino 5 from Rhino 4 or Rhino 3 ($345)
  • Click here to order a new commercial license of Rhino 5 ($995)
  • Click here to order an educational upgrade to Rhino 5 from Rhino 4 or Rhino 3 ($95, proof of student status required)
  • Click here to order a new educational license of Rhino 5 ($195, proof of student status required)
Outside of the US, please contact your reseller.
This release contains the evolving Stability Criteria Evaluation functionality, which now includes the "From" criteria limits, redefines the "Between" limit, recognizes hydrostatics-based keywords, handles non-standard model orientations, and handles unit globalization properly. Development continues on the Longitudinal Strength command, and the OrcaAssignWeightCost and OrcaMergeMaterialLibrary commands are now scriptable. The RhinoMarine translator now includes 64-bit support.
A bug in the Lines Drawing command that could sometimes cause a Rhino crash has been fixed. A change has been made to speed up the loading of the Hull Assistant Library.
As a WIP, there will certainly be feature additions, changes, or removals before the final release, but this is your chance to give us feedback and suggestions. A few important notes to be aware of:
  • Only one version of Orca3D may be installed at a time. Therefore, you must uninstall Orca3D from your computer before installing this WIP.  
  • No change to your License is required. The new version of Orca3D will find your existing License.
  • Portions of the Help file may not be entirely up to date.
  • This WIP will expire on January 7th. Either the final version of Orca3D 1.3 will be released before then, or a new WIP will be released.
If you have questions as you install and use the new release, remember that you can: 
  • send an email to support@orca3d.com  
  • read through the Help file which is available from the Orca3D menu in Rhino, and on our web site here
  • post a question on the Orca3D forum
To download the new version, please visit www.orca3d.com/wip.
Thank you very much for using Orca3D, and we look forward to hearing from you! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Rhino and Orca3D Workshop at IBEX


This workshop is separate from the Rhino/Orca3D training that we will be providing. It is a free, one-hour presentation on what's new in Rhino and Orca3D. If you're not planning on going to the training, the workshop is a great way to get up to date on new developments, and speak to some of the developers of both programs.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Orca3D and Rhino Training at IBEX

Join us in Louisville, Kentucky for Rhino and Orca3D training during IBEX 2012, and receive a $50 discount if you register by August 24th!


We're going to be busy at IBEX this year; in addition to demonstrating Orca3D and Rhino in booth 2118, holding a free exhibitor workshop on October 2nd, and being part of the Hull Design Software panel session sponsored by Professional Boatbuilder, we're also hosting a 2-day Rhino and Orca3D training class on October 2nd and 3rd. Each day will have a four hour session, from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. This will leave attendees plenty of time to attend the exhibition and seminars.
The first day will cover Rhino, but it won't be a beginner's "how to model a flashlight" course. It will be geared specifically to marine designers who already have some basic Rhino experience, and are looking for instruction on modeling geometries that are specific to marine design. In addition, marine rendering techniques will be presented. This part of the course will be led by Paul Fuchs, a naval architect who is a recognized expert in Rhino modeling and rendering.

The Orca3D class will be geared towards new users, covering the basics of hull design and fairing, hydrostatics and stability calculations, weight and cost tracking, and speed/power prediction. This part of the course will be led by Larry Leibman, a naval architect who is the lead developer of Orca3D and well known in the industry for his many years of experience in developing marine design software.    

Visit our website to learn more and to register, and if you register by August 24th you'll save $50!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Planing Craft Analysis: Static vs. Dynamic Trim

A question that often arises for Orca3D users is whether or not the "Static" and "Running" Trim of a fast planing craft are somewhat "geometrically" related to each other. The quick answer is "No," but it is worth studying the question more closely to understand the answer. Read a white paper on the subject, written by naval architect Martin Monteverde of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Click here to read the white paper.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

New WIP Release (1.3 WIP 2012-06-26)

We're pleased to announce the release of a new Work-in-Progress (WIP) version of Orca3D. This new version (1.3 WIP 2012-06-26) has only very minor changes from the previous WIP; this release is mainly to extend the date on the previous WIP, as none of the changes under development are mature enough to include in the WIP.

As a WIP, there will certainly be feature additions, changes, or removals before the final release, but this is your chance to give us feedback and suggestions. A few important notes to be aware of:
  • Only one version of Orca3D may be installed at a time. Therefore, you must uninstall Orca3D from your computer before installing this WIP.
  • No change to your License is required. The new version of Orca3D will find your existing License.
  • Portions of the Help file may not be entirely up to date.
  • This WIP will expire on September 7th. Either the final version of Orca3D 1.3 will be released before then, or a new WIP will be released.
If you have questions as you install and use the new release, remember that you can: 
  • send an email to support@orca3d.com
  • read through the Help file which is available from the Orca3D menu in Rhino, and on our web site here
  • post a question on the Orca3D forum
To download the new version, please visit www.orca3d.com/wip.
Thank you very much for using Orca3D, and we look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

See what others are saying about Orca3D

Interested in reading what users of Orca3D have to say about the software and the technical support behind it? Users post reviews in the plug-in section of the Rhino website, and we have re-posted the reviews on our site as well. These reviews are from a wide range of experienced professionals, and we're grateful to them for taking the time to give their opinions!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New WIP Release (1.3 WIP 2012-05-15)

We're pleased to announce the release of a new Work-in-Progress (WIP) version of Orca3D. This new version (1.3 WIP 2012-05-15) adds back in the Stability Criteria Evaluation that was removed from the 1.2.3 Release, and includes the beginning of a Longitudinal Strength analysis capability. A few minor bugs were also corrected.

The new command, OrcaLongitudinalStrength, continued to be developed. It has been created to facilitate a simple beam bending model by computing shear force/bending moment using the existing Orca3D buoyancy and weight computation capabilities. This new command should be considered as “under development” and currently has limited functionality. We plan to continue its development through future Orca3D WIP releases. As with all Orca3D WIP releases, your feedback on the Stability Criteria Evaluation and Longitudinal Strength analysis is welcome.

A new command to import FastShip files has been added. Both .pex and .srf files are supported. When using Rhino's open, insert, or import commands, you can select either file type in the file type filter. Surface trimming information is not currently imported.

Also, we modified the hydrostatics CSV output to include a separate condition number and condition name where the number is used as reference in the section and righting arm output. The default condition names are now "Condition x" instead of "Load Case x."

As a WIP, there will certainly be feature additions, changes, or removals before the final release, but this is your chance to give us feedback and suggestions. A few important notes to be aware of:
  • Only one version of Orca3D may be installed at a time. Therefore, you must uninstall Orca3D from your computer before installing this WIP.
  • No change to your License is required. The new version of Orca3D will find your existing License.
  • Portions of the Help file may not be entirely up to date.
  • This WIP will expire on July 1st. Either the final version of Orca3D 1.3 will be released before then, or a new WIP will be released.
If you have questions as you install and use the new release, remember that you can: 
  • send an email to support@orca3d.com 
  • read through the Help file which is available from the Orca3D menu in Rhino, and on our web site here
  • post a question on the Orca3D forum
To download the new version, please visit www.orca3d.com/wip.

Thank you very much for using Orca3D, and we look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New WIP Release (1.3 WIP 2012-03-14)

We're pleased to announce the release of a new Work-in-Progress (WIP) version of Orca3D. This new version (1.3 WIP 2012-03-14) adds back in the Stability Criteria Evaluation that was removed from the 1.2.3 Release, and includes the beginning of a Longitudinal Strength analysis capability.

The Stability Criteria Evaluation functionality is still undergoing some testing, and we felt it wasn't quite ready to be part of the 1.2.3 Release. Also, a new command, OrcaLongitudinalStrength, has been created to facilitate a simple beam bending model by computing shear force/bending moment using the existing Orca3D buoyancy and weight computation capabilities. This new command should be considered as “under development” and currently has limited functionality. We plan to continue its development through future Orca3D WIP releases. As with all Orca3D WIP releases, your feedback on the Stability Criteria Evaluation and Longitudinal Strength analysis is welcome.

As a WIP, there will certainly be feature additions, changes, or removals before the final release, but this is your chance to give us feedback and suggestions. A few important notes to be aware of:

  • Only one version of Orca3D may be installed at a time. Therefore, you must uninstall Orca3D from your computer before installing this WIP.
  • No change to your License is required. The new version of Orca3D will find your existing License.
  • Portions of the Help file may not be entirely up to date.
  • This WIP will expire on May 15th. Either the final version of Orca3D 1.3 will be released before then, or a new WIP will be released.

If you have questions as you install and use the new release, remember that you can:
  • send an email to support@orca3d.com
  • read through the Help file which is available from the Orca3D menu in Rhino, and on our web site here
  • post a question on the Orca3D forum
To download the new version, please visit www.orca3d.com/wip.

Thank you very much for using Orca3D, and we look forward to hearing from you!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Release of Orca3D (Version 1.2.3)

We're pleased to announce the release of a new version of Orca3D. This new version (1.2.3), which is a free update to our users, contains a number of new features, feature improvements, and bug fixes. If you have been following the Work-in-Progress (WIP) process, you're already aware of many of them. Some highlights include: 
  • Native support for 64-bit and 32-bit Rhino 5, as well as Rhino 4
  • Optional Network Licensing
  • InsertNet and RemoveNet commands
  • Improved Hull Assistant controls and user-definable section locations in Hull Assistants
  • Hull Assistant for Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs)
  • Export to ORC offset files
  • "Pre-float" check can be run before hydrostatics are calculated, in order to review the model for errors (this option can be disabled)
  • Real-time sectional area curve display as the model is edited
  • New straighten points command
  • Import/Export Stock Material Property files
  • Support for blocks in Weight/Cost
  • CSV output for resistance predictions
  • Customization of report formats  
A few important notes to be aware of: 
  • Only one version of Orca3D may be installed at a time. Therefore, you must uninstall any previous version of Orca3D from your computer before installing this version.
  • If you have a license of Orca3D, you should not need to do anything other than uninstall any previous version of Orca3D and install the new one.
  • No change to your License is required. The new version of Orca3D will find your existing License.
  • If you don't have a license and are evaluating Orca3D, you can go through the same uninstall/install process. If your 15 day evaluation period has expired, send your Installation ID (available from the Orca3D License Manager) and request an extension.
  • Any Orca3D information in a Rhino file that is saved with this new version will NOT be backwards compatible to version 1.1.0 or earlier versions. No Rhino information will be lost, but Orca3D information, such as section locations, weight/cost information, etc. will not be found by earlier versions of Orca3D.

If you have questions as you install and use the new release, remember that you can: 
  • send an email to support@orca3d.com
  • read through the Help file which is available from the Orca3D menu in Rhino, and on our web site here
  • post a question on the Orca3D forum
To download the new version, please visit www.orca3d.com/update.

Thank you very much for using Orca3D, and we look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Trim Angle in Savitsky (planing) Analysis

We're sometimes asked whether the running trim angle that is reported in Orca3D's planing analysis is relative to the geometry as-drawn (i.e., as it is oriented in the Rhino coordinate system), or if it includes the effect of any static trim (that is, if the weight/CG that is used would result in an orientation different from how the boat is modeled).

The short answer to the question is that the reported trim angles are relative to the geometry as-drawn. Of course, if the boat is modeled such that the hydrostatic condition does not result in any trim relative to how the boat is modeled, there is no ambiguity. If there is significant static trim, it would be best to re-float the model using Orca3D's "Transform Model to Resultant Flotation Plane" option in the Hydrostatics dialog, so that the station shapes that are used in the Savitsky analysis are accurate representations of the vessel at rest.

But there is more to the answer, and it is well described in this post on HydroComp's blog (the Speed/Power library in Orca3D is licensed from HydroComp): http://navcadknowledge.wordpress.com/2008/11/04/savitsky-dynamic-trim/ 

Monday, February 20, 2012

New Orca3D Demonstration Video: Stability Criteria Evaluation

This demonstration shows how a set of stability criteria to be evaluated is defined, and how Orca3D can compute the intact stability and determine if the vessel will meet the criteria. This functionality is available in the Work-in-Progress (WIP) release, and will likely remain a WIP-only function for a while longer while we gather user feedback.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Demonstration Video: Lines Drawings and Offset Tables

We were recently asked how to place a table of offsets on a lines drawing. This new demonstration video demonstrates creating a lines drawing, an offset table, and then placing the offset table on the lines drawing.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

New Orca3D Demonstration Video on YouTube: Outward Normals

We've posted a new demonstration video on the subject of outward normals; why they are important in hydrostatics calculations, how to check them, and how to change them if necessary.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Setting the Fluid Density in Orca3D

When computing hydrostatics, it's important to be aware of the density of the water that the vessel will be floating in. Is it seawater, freshwater, or something in between? What is the water temperature? There are a number of "standard" values for the density, so if your customer (e.g., a classification society) has specified a value, you should use that in your analyses in Orca3D.

Orca3D allows you to specify the fluid type and corresponding mass density. The default is seawater, with a mass density of 1025.9 kg/m^3. To change this, select Properties in the Orca3D menu. In the Properties dialog, click on the Hydrostatics tab. There you can select a Fluid Type of Seawater (1025.9 kg/m^3), Freshwater (999.0 kg/m^3), or Other (which allows you to enter the Mass Density).

If you routinely use something other than the default Mass Density, and/or other custom Orca3D and Rhino settings, an easy way to start each new design is to set all of the settings (fluid density, Orca viewports, Orca units, Rhino units, grid settings, etc.), and then save the file as a template (File/Save As Template). When you start Rhino, type New, and select your template from the list. If you want to automatically use this template each time Rhino starts, check the box next to "Use this file when Rhino starts."

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Orca3D Work-in-Progress (WIP) Version 1.2.2 Released

We're pleased to announce the release of a new Work-in-Progress (WIP) version of Orca3D. This new version (1.2.2) contains a number of new features, feature improvements, and bug fixes. Some highlights include:
  • Hydrostatics and Stability: By default, the "Pre-float" check is run each time hydrostatics are calculated, in order to review the model for errors. This option can be disabled.
  • Hydrostatics and Stability: Real-time hydrostatics and Sectional Area Curve will now update when an entire surface is moved (when the move is complete).
  • Weight and Cost: If the user attempts to edit the weight/cost properties associated with a block instance, a message is provided that only the weight/cost properties associated with the block definition can be edited.
  • Hull Design: Improved performance of Orca section calculation when dragging many objects.
  • Licensing: Implemented a newer version of the Licensing libraries, allowing self-service activation through a user website for cases where Internet activation is not possible, because the computer where Orca3D is installed does not have Internet access.
  • Units Fixes – Fixed bug in unit conversion values for metric mass density units other than kg/m^3.
  • OrcaMove Fixes - Fixed OrcaMove ghosting and an incorrect real-time sectional area curve behavior, in which one move caused two sectional area curve updates.
  • PIAS Export Fixes - Modified PIAS section export to meet the requirement of positive transverse coordinate (regardless of whether port/stbd is modeled). Added logic to join station segments by filling in gaps with straight line segments.
  • Hydrostatics: Fixed a bug in the scriptable version of the OrcaHydrostatics command when using the “TransformModel” command option. Fixed a bug in which “undo-ing” a surface manipulation while real-time hydrostatics/sectional area curve were active did not cause a hydrostatics/sectional area curve update.
As a WIP, there may still be feature additions, changes, or removals before the final release, but this is your chance to give us feedback and suggestions. A few important notes to be aware of:
  • Only one version of Orca3D may be installed at a time. Therefore, you must uninstall Orca3D from your computer before installing this WIP.
  • Any Orca3D information in a Rhino file that is saved with this new version will NOT be backwards compatible to version 1.1.0 or earlier versions. No Rhino information will be lost, but Orca3D information, such as section locations, weight/cost information, etc. will not be found by earlier versions of Orca3D.
  • No change to your License is required. The new version of Orca3D will find your existing License.
  • Portions of the Help file may not be entirely up to date.
This WIP will expire on March 1st. Either the final version of Orca3D 1.2 will be released before then, or a new WIP will be released. If you have questions as you install and use the new release, remember that you can:
  • send an email to support@orca3d.com
  • read through the Help file which is available from the Orca3D menu in Rhino, and on our web site here
  • post a question on the Orca3D forum
To download the new version, please visit www.orca3d.com/wip.

Thank you very much for using Orca3D, and we look forward to hearing from you!


Monday, January 2, 2012

Hydrostatics Tip

In order to compute the hydrostatics properties of your hull model, Orca3D performs a numerical integration on the surfaces that you select for the hydrostatics analysis. This numerical integration is affected by the orientation of the surface, where in this context “orientation” refers to the direction that the surface normals are pointing. By convention, Orca3D assumes the surface normals point into the water (i.e., the normals are on the wet side of the surface). One might be tempted to say that this is the equivalent of assuming the normals point “outward” from the hull surfaces; however, this is not always true. Consider the case of a bow thruster opening in the hull. Here, pointing into the water will have the normals pointing inward. Surfaces whose normals are outward create positive displacement; when surface normals are inward, the displacement of that surface is negative. For the bow thruster example, it’s correct for the buoyant volume of the surface to be negative.

You can use the Rhino Dir command to determine and/or change the normal direction of your hull surfaces. However, an easier way to visualize the surface normals without having to remember to use the Dir command is to use the Rhino backface coloring option. To do this, run the Rhino Options command. In Rhino Options go to Appearance > Advanced Settings > Shaded. In the Shading settings set Backface settings to Single Color for all backfaces and set the Single backface color to a color that you don’t typically use for you surfaces. Now when you turn on shading mode in a Rhino viewport, you can easily see the surface orientation because the backfaces (the side opposite that to which the normal is pointing) are shaded in your chosen backface color. If any of your surfaces have incorrect normal directions, you can use the Rhino Flip command to correct them.