Orca3D News

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  • Licensing: Implemented a newer version of the Licensing libraries, allowing self-service activation through a user website for cases where Internet activation is not possible, because the computer where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.