Orca3D News


Friday, September 20, 2013

New WIP Release (1.4 WIP 2013-09-12)

We're pleased to announce the release of a new Work-in-Progress (WIP) version of Orca3D (1.4 WIP 2013-09-12).

This release contains the evolving Stability Criteria Evaluation and the Longitudinal Strength features, both of which were removed from the 1.3 release. Development continues on both of these, and we welcome your feedback.

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:
  • While this version of the 1.4 WIP will function with Rhino 4, future versions may require Rhino 5.
  • 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 Janurary 7th. Either the final version of Orca3D 1.4 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!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Rhino for Marine Design: Rhino Level II + Orca3D Training at McNeel Miami

As the weather starts to cool down in October, why not extend your summer with a visit to Miami? And while you're there, improve your design skills with a Rhino Level II or Orca3D class. Even better, take both!

The class size will be limited, so be sure to register early.

Course Dates and Time:
Rhino Level II: 10/14/2013 - 10/16/2013
Orca3D: 10/17/13
8:00 am - 5:00 pm


Course Description:

The first three days will cover Rhino Level II with a focus on building surfaces from existing data, and it is assumed that the student has at least a basic working knowledge of Rhino. The fourth day will focus on the full suite of marine design and analysis functionality available in Orca3D. It will cover hull design and fairing, hydrostatics and stability, resistance prediction, and weight and cost tracking. Note that you may register for one or both of the courses.

Cost:
Rhino Level II: $795
Orca3D: $350

Location:
McNeel Miami
1538 NW 89th Court
Miami, FL 33172
United States


To Register:
e-mail: Jackie Nasser
phone: 305 513 4445

Monday, July 29, 2013

New Orca3D Release: Version 1.3

We’re pleased to announce the release of Version 1.3 of Orca3D. This version has been through a number of Work-in-Progress (WIP) releases, allowing us to incorporate feedback and suggestions from many of our users. We appreciate all of the comments that we received during this process.

Some important points to know about Version 1.3:
  • This is a free update to all of our licensed Orca3D users and, as a full release, will not expire.
  • Any Orca3D information in a Rhino file that is saved with this new version will NOT be readable in version 1.2.4 or earlier versions. No native Rhino model information will be lost, but Orca3D information, such as section locations, weight/cost information, etc. will not be found by earlier versions of Orca3D. Since this is a free update for licensed users, we recommend that version 1.3 be used to avoid this issue. 
  • This is expected to be the last version of Orca3D that is compatible with Rhino 4. All future updates, WIPs, and upgrades will require Rhino 5.
  • In the event that a critical bug or other significant issue is discovered in version 1.3, there may be a 1.3 Service Release that is compatible with Rhino 4.
  • Some new features which are still in development are not included in Version 1.3 (Stability Criteria Evaluation, Longitudinal Strength).
  • A new WIP (1.4) will be released soon, which will include Stability Criteria Evaluation, Longitudinal Strength, and more.
  • Version 1.3 includes both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the standalone and network license versions.
If you’ve been following the WIP process, you’re aware of the many enhancements, speed improvements, and bug fixes in this version. This release, as the culmination of the version 1.3 WIP process, only contains minor changes to the previous WIP. Please see the Release Notes in the Help file for complete details; highlights include: 
  • 64-bit network license version now available
  • Option to have real-time sections computed from the mesh (as in previous versions) or from the surface (previous versions were computed from the surface only after the control point editing was finished). Rhino 5 has improved the speed of this computation to the point where it is practical to use sections that are computed from the surface during real time editing.
  • Better licensing compatibility with Windows 8
  • Inclusion of short tons in the available options for Weight and Force custom units
We recommend that all of our Orca3D users download and install Version 1.3. Before installing, please uninstall any previous versions. No changes to your licensing are necessary. If you are using both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Rhino, you may have both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Orca3D installed at the same time.
If you have questions as you install and use the new release, remember that you can: 
  • read through the Help file which is available from the Orca3D menu in Rhino, and on our web site here
  • send an email to support@orca3d.com
  • 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!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Creating Smoothly Disappearing Chines

Partial length chines (longitudinal chines that start at one end of the hull, typically the stern, and fade out at some longitudinal location) are becoming increasingly common in a number of yacht hull applications. Rhino and Orca3D offer several tools and techniques to help the user model partial chines, and these are described in the following discussion.

When it comes to advanced modeling, the first place to start is to make sure that you have a thorough understanding of how NURBS surfaces work and how they are manipulated within Rhino. There are a lot of resources available on the web, and here is a link to an introduction to NURBS article that is very well-written: http://www.mactech.com/articles/develop/issue_25/schneider.html

As for the problem of the partial chine, there are a number of different ways to work with it, including using multiple surfaces.

First, let’s look at the single surface approach. The first step is to insert a chine using Orca3D’s “OrcaInsertChine” command. This will result in three rows in the control net, where there was just one before (see “Inserting a Chine” in the Orca3D Help). At each column in the control net, if all three control points (the point at the chine itself, and the points immediately above and below it) are moved as a group, the surface will remain smooth (i.e., they will maintain tangency or slope continuity). However, once one of the three control points is moved without the others, a slope discontinuity (chine) will be created in the surface. Therefore, a disappearing chine can be created by manipulating the control points in this manner on some of the columns, but then not disturbing the relationship of the three points on other columns (by selecting them as a group before moving or rotating them together).

We have various commands available to us in Rhino for editing and smoothing a surface. One of the methods for editing control points on a surface is to use the “MoveUVN” command. This allows us to grab as many surface control points as we’d like and move them in parametric directions across the surface instead of in world coordinates. Let’s say that you want to make a hollow near the bow where you already have the partial (smoothed) chine passing through. If you grabbed a point on the chine as well as the adjacent control points above and below the chine, you can move them in a group either in the U or V parametric directions or normal (N) to the surface while keeping the geometric relationship between the points. Please note that “scale” in the command refers to the maximum amount that the sliders can move the points in document units, so that will need to be updated appropriately. “MoveUVN” also has “Smoothing” sliders, which incrementally move a control point(s) into a straight line with respect to the adjacent control points in either the U or V parametric directions. As the simplest way to ensure tangency across a knuckle in the surface is to create a straight line of control points across the knuckle (see ‘food for thought’ below), you can use this or the “OrcaStraightenPoints” command to create a straight line of control points through the chine where you want it flattened. Note that this approach does not guarantee curvature continuity across the knuckle, however, the curvature discontinuities across the knuckle are not likely to be large and can be faired out if desired by viewing the curvature maps of surface isoparameters in way of the knuckle and editing the second control point above and below the knuckle row.

What if we tried using multiple surfaces? We could make up an entire hull form with three surfaces: bow (no chine), aft body above chine, and aft body below chine. This can take more time, because we would need to make three distinct surfaces and mate them with untrimmed edges. However, you might start with a single hull surface and split the surface transversely and longitudinally as shown below to obtain a topologically consistent model. Assuming that we get that far, now we have the option to keep both aft surfaces in positional continuity with each other while working with tangential or curvature continuity between the aft surfaces and the forward surface. Now, we know exactly where our chine will end and we continue to have control over the forward (bow) surface. While doing this, you should use the “MatchSrf” command to ensure continuity across surface boundaries.

Finally, another option is to look into trying the Rhino plugin T-Splines, now owned by Autodesk. T-spline surfaces do not have all of the restrictions imposed by NURBS surfaces and allow for discontinuous rows and columns of control points, meaning that you can explicitly have a disappearing chine within a single surface. Their website is http://www.tsplines.com/.

Finally, we offer this brief review of surface/curve continuity as just a little food for thought; let’s assume that we have two 3rd degree curves that we want to match tangent to each other. At the ends of the curves, each curve is coincident with its last control point (assuming they have open knot vectors as is typical for Rhino curves), while the control point next to that controls the slope of the curve at the end. If we match the two ends of our two curves together, they may or may not be tangent to each other. Now, if we take the adjacent control points to our matched end and move them into a line with our end points, we are guaranteed tangential continuity across that connection. We may not have curvature continuity (the next level of continuity from tangential continuity) with this, but we will not see a knuckle between the two curves either. The figure below can be helpful when thinking about how to hand-fair the chine into a clean surface.


We typically model “fair” 3D structures as a 3rd degree NURBS surface (some structures like car bodies or jewelry use up to 5th degree). The “order” (= degree + 1) of the NURBS object is directly related to the extent of the surface influenced by each control point, and while there is more to it than this, we can safely say that the order of the NURBS object tells us the number of adjacent control points that have an influence over the shape of the object at any one parametric point. In short, with a curve with order=4, if you pick and move a single control point, the curve will change up to (order/2) = 2 control points away on either side. We make use of this property to determine where we want our chine to disappear. To demonstrate this, the figure below shows a smooth sailboat hull with a chine inserted, and just one control point on the chine moved. You will see that this made a distinctive chine at the one point pulled far away from the hull, and this chine seems to disappear between 1 and 2 control points away from the irregularity. As previously described, we know that the chine is fully faired back into the hull by the 2nd control point away from the irregularity, because this is a 3rd degree surface.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

New Orca3D WIP Release (1.4 2013-06-20)

We're pleased to announce the release of a new Work-in-Progress (WIP) version of Orca3D (1.4 WIP 2013-06-20).

This release contains the evolving Stability Criteria Evaluation and the Longitudinal Strength features, both of which were removed from the 1.3 release. Development continues on both of these, and we welcome your feedback.

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:
  • While this version of the 1.4 WIP will function with Rhino 4, future versions may require Rhino 5.
  • 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 24th. Either the final version of Orca3D 1.4 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!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Recovering Weight & Cost Library Data from a Model

We recently had a support request from a user who had lost their Orca3D Weight & Cost Material Library due to a hard disk crash, but they still had a model (3dm file) that contained many of the materials. The question was whether the material properties in the model file could be used to rebuild the Material Library. The answer is "yes," and the steps to do so are described below.

First, it's worth explaining the relationship between the material properties that Orca3D maintains in the model file and those in the Material Library. When a model is read into Rhino, Orca3D compares the materials used in the model file to those in the library. If there is a match, the properties from the library are used. This is so that if you have modified the data in your library (changed the weight density, for example) your design will reflect the updated data. A match is determined by a unique identifier (UUID) that is maintained for each property, not by the name of the material.

If a match is not found for a material, then the properties which are stored in the 3dm file are used, and they become static (i.e., they cannot be changed). An advantage of this system is that if you send your model to another Orca3D user, the materials in your model will not be changed by the values in the other user's library, even if there are materials of the same name.

So, you find yourself with a 3dm file that contains Orca3D materials that you'd like to add to your library, either because your library was lost (e.g., in a hard disk crash), or you received a model from someone else with some useful material data in it. These are the steps to follow. Don't be intimidated by the number and detail of the steps; it's really quite simple.
  1. Open the model in Rhino, and generate an Orca3D weight report using all objects.
  2. From the weight report, export to an Excel file using the ReportViewer's built in export capability.
  3. Copy sheet 3 of that export to a new Excel workbook.
  4. The data in this new workbook must be edited to match the format required to import it into the Orca3D Material Library. The easiest way to do this is to export the current Material Library from Orca3D (you will probably want to make sure you have at least one material of each type in your Material Library before exporting, even if they are "dummy" materials, just so you have something in the export to use as a reference):
    • In Rhino, in the Orca3D menu, select Weight/Cost -> Export Material Library
    • In the Save As dialog, set the "Save as type" to CSV files, and save the file
  5. Copy the data from the new workbook created in Step 3 into the CSV file created in Step 4, formatting it to match the data in the CSV file. Be careful not to inadvertently modify any of the existing materials in the file or these changes will be reflected in your library after merging the file. Note the header information containing units, which shows the conversion to SI from the unit system that your data is in. Your data should be entered in the second unit shown (e.g., if it says "m^2 per ft^2," your data should be in ft^2 for surfaces). Also note the column labeled Material UUID. This column must be there, although you don't need to enter any information in it. In the Material Type column, allowable values are "point," "curve," "surface," or "solid." This format is rigid, but should be easy to follow. Save this as a CSV file.
  6. In Rhino, in the Orca3D menu, select Weight/Cost -> Merge Material Library and select the new CSV file.
  7. The original data that was exported into the CSV file, as well as the new information that you entered, will now be part of your Material Library. During the import, any items without UUID's will be assigned one. Note that the materials used in your model are still static; if you wish to associate them with the new entries in the Material Library, you must do that manually.
If you have any problems with the procedure, you can send us the 3dm file, and we can do the conversion for you.

Finally, if you ever want to back up your Orca3D Material Library, look for the file "StockMaterialLibrary.xml." In Windows 7 and later, it will be in c:\ProgramData\DRSC3ATC\Orca3D. In Windows XP and earlier it will be in  C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\DRSC3ATC\Orca3D. You'll see some other files here worth backing up as well, including your hull assistant definitions, in the file Orca3DHullAssistants.xml, and stability criteria (Orca3DStabilityCriteria.xml).

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

New Orca3D WIP Release

We're pleased to announce the release of a new Work-in-Progress (WIP) version of Orca3D (1.3 WIP 2013-03-06).

This release contains the evolving Stability Criteria Evaluation functionality, which has had significant user interface improvements, as well as new capabilities added. Minor changes to the grouping functionality of the weight/cost report were made to improve readability, and a bug was fixed in the porpoising calculation in the Planing Hull resistance feature.

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 June 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, February 21, 2013

    Upgrade to Rhino 5 before February 26th, and save $/€150

    Rhino 5 has been shipping for a couple of months now, and the promotional upgrade pricing will end soon. Until February 26th, upgrade for just $/345 (educational users may upgrade for $/95). After February 26th, the commercial upgrade will go up $/150 to $/495.
    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 through 2/26/13; $495 thereafter)

    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)

    Monday, January 28, 2013

    Re-creating and analyzing a 17th-century sailing ship with Rhino, Grasshopper, and Orca3D

    In her senior project at St. Mary's College in Historic St. Mary's City, Maryland, Rebecca Prasher studied ship hull form design methods from the 17th century, and reproduced the rules and methods in a detailed Grasshopper script. Using the script, she re-created the hull shape of the Maryland Dove (a replica of the Maryland Dove is homeported in St. Mary's City), and then she studied the effects of varying vertical center of gravity and beam on the stability of a sailing ship. Her report makes for very interesting reading, with significant background on the historical naval architecture texts that she used, detailed explanations of the rules and methods that she found and the Grasshopper script that she wrote to apply them, and finally an analysis of the stability. It's an impressive look at what can be accomplished using Rhino and the broad range of available plug-ins such as Grasshopper and Orca3D, together with some good research and creativity. You can download and read the entire report here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/43253249/SMP%20Paper%20Prasher%20(Physics).pdf

    New Reseller in Eastern Canada

    Open Shore Maritime in Ottawa, Ontario, recently became an Orca3D reseller. Open Shore Maritime's team are avid sailors, have 25 years of software engineering experience, with the past 12 years involved in power boats and sailboats.  For the past four years Open Shore Maritime has represented Rhino and other naval architecture software, with contacts at major design and production firms in Eastern Canada. With background in hull modeling and stability calculations, you can expect knowledgeable technical support as well as consulting services to clients.

    Open Shore Maritime
    1 Stafford Road East, Suite 307
    Ottawa, Ontario Canada K2H 1B9
    info@openshoremaritime.ca
    http://www.openshoremaritime.ca
    613-276-2628

    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    Orca3D with Windows 8 and 64-bit Rhino 5

    A number of users have reported an issue when installing Orca3D in Windows 8 with the 64-bit version of Rhino 5. During the installation, Orca3D would report that it could not find a valid Rhino 5 installation.

    We have made a change to the release version of Orca3D (now Version 1.2.4) and the WIP (2012-12-18) to correct this problem. Please visit www.orca3d.com/update or www.orca3d.com/wip to download these versions.

    Note that this only affects users with Windows 8 and 64-bit Rhino 5/Orca3D.

    Monday, January 7, 2013

    New Orca3D WIP Release

    We're pleased to announce the release of a new Work-in-Progress (WIP) version of Orca3D (1.3 WIP 2012-12-18).

    Also, Rhino 5 is now shipping, and US-based customers can order Rhino 5 upgrades and new licenses from us now: 
    • Click here to order a commercial upgrade to Rhino 5 from Rhino 4 or Rhino 3 ($345 until February 26th; $495 thereafter)
    • 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 has had various user interface and other minor improvements. The OrcaProperties command is now fully scriptable. A bug in the Lines Drawing command that could sometimes cause curves to not appear in Rhino 5 has been fixed. A bug that would cause the 3DM file size to grow rapidly when using Rhino's Worksession feature has also been fixed.

    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 March 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!