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Thread: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

  1. #36
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan H View Post
    For heavens sake, it's a 12-14 foot dinghy. Did everybody read his post ?

    ".....there will be major corner cuts since I'm 15 and broke and my intention is just to build something that floats and sails for a year or two.)"

    He's not trying to build a freaking masterpiece. Seriously, you want him to learn how to calculate prismatic coefficient and get the sheer absolutely perfect, at 15 years old, knocking out a cheap plywood boat to sail around with a polyester tarp as a sail, for a year or two? You want the kid to spend six months or more reading books on design, engineering and advanced math in order to build a plywood skiff to go bang around in the creek with?

    No.

    Just.........no.
    If he's "broke" and is hoping for something that will get him on the water, I'd think that its worth his while to invest a little time learning about centres of bouyancy, lateral plane, and effort . No more than that though. He'd have a much better chance of a satisfactory outcome that way.
    I dont think that there is any need for computer software, or even a planimeter, just some battens and weights, graph paper and a pencil.

    John Welsford
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  2. #37
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    In my opinion (not worth much) I would advise to download any of the previously mentioned free software and spend a few nights messing about with shapes.
    If the 15 year old progresses to a build of any of his designs that is great.
    In my experience, teenagers enjoy anything computer related. Get him hooked via the screen then he will find the information to increase his knowledge if he so desires.

  3. #38
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    ^+1.
    "... the door was ajar, and the game was afoot." Lawrence Block

  4. #39
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    OK I'll bite again.

    He wants to get the plank shapes out via CAD...he thinks that will be more accurate, Good for him, he's thinking quality. He's watched his parents outsource manufacturing to China...he's watched and learned...so now so he's going to outsource manufacturing of his planks to a CNC machine. Yes CAD etc is a skill, and a skill worth having, but so it should be made clear to him is spilling a plank with a 5 compass.

    Instead of spending 6 months learning CAD, he could invest 20 on 'Building Small Boats' by Greg Rossel (or get it from a library) then take just 20 minutes to read and look at the 3 pages of simple pictorial description of how to use a compass, or compass and a grid, to make planks that will fit his molds on his strongback perfectly. The following page will even show him how to adjust the plank widths and incorporate a bevel if he needs to. So armed he could even plank up a Pilot Cutter his world would be so now his oyster at 15. Even if he only prints out the CAD drawings onto a roll of paper, he's going to have to pick up a batten and join the dots anyway, and they won't accomodate any discrepancy in his real strong back or mold set up.

    Greg's book and the other distillings of master craftsmen, is really a much more pleasant read, than assorted Freeship/ Delftship manuals...followed by an afternoon spent out in the garage. I believe that that would be the quickest, most accurate and most efficient use of his time to get to the finish.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 09-03-2017 at 09:26 AM.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    Edward, your assumption that it will take any 15 year old, with all of the exposure to computers that 15 y olds have 6 months to learn Freeship is way off.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  6. #41
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    Give one 15 year old Greg's book and another 15 year old an Imac with internet connection...The first one will have a plank cut out that afternoon that fits, the other one, I couldn't say...either if he'll get the boat modelled properly, when he'll get to a shop that can print it out on a roll...and then when he's cut it out I couldn't be sure it would fit on his molds.

    No doubt the gaps would be gooped with epoxy and tape...while the first guy realised 'actually this isn't difficult'...hey look it fits exact...learns to trust his simple tools and an established technique gets confident, derives pleasure from his exactness and builds another one...
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 09-03-2017 at 09:55 AM.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    Give one 15 year old Greg's book and another 15 year old an Imac with internet connection. The first one will have a plank cut out that afternoon that fits, the other one, I couldn't say either if he'll get the boat modelled properly, when he'll get to a shop that can print it out on a roll...and then when he's cut it out I couldn't be sure it would fit on his molds.

    No doubt the gaps would be gooped wit epoxy and tape...while the first guy realised 'actually this isn't difficult'...hey look it fits exact...learns to trust his simple tools and an established technique gets confident and builds another one...
    A plank that fits what? He has to design it, measure off the offsetts and loft it before he can develop the planks.
    You are so determined that computer aided design don't work you are forgetting where this thread started - a blank sheet of paper.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  8. #43
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    Planks? I thought he said he was going to build a plywood boat...
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  9. #44
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmd View Post
    Planks? I thought he said he was going to build a plywood boat...
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  10. #45
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    He says he doesn't need help with it's design, his problem is...

    "I don't know how I can take a hull contour and turn it into into a flat shape that will bend into the right curvature. I want to know what cad programs there are that will let me take a model of a boat hull and then lay out a shape i can print and then cut out of plywood."

    Since it's not a dug out, it's going to be planked, and I'm explaining that he can achieve what he wants to and even more accurately without CAD. Unless his jig is geometrically perfect, and his software perfectly predicts how his plywood will take the curve, his printouts will be less physically perfect than just quickly learning manual spiling from Greg's book. An uncomfortable fact for some. But a fact nonetheless. The human race technically mastered this some millennia ago.

    We'll all have to beg to differ, I have to get back to bevelling some arc'd thwarts against the planking, just because that's a fun Sunday. It's the same technical process with a bevel gauge, bevel board etc as putting a bevel on a carvel plank wouldn't you know...I'm not against CAD and CNC, what Chase, Vivier & CLC do by engineering the whole boat and jig is truly excellent commercial work.

    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 09-03-2017 at 11:30 AM.

  11. #46
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    Nor does he say what state the design is. Back of a fag packet, cardboard model made from a corn flake packet? Something from a book?
    All of those have to be lofted before you can develop the plans. That is either full size on his fathers garage floor, or in virtual reality in a computer. One is long winded tedious and only as accurate as you can be before boredom sets in. The other is blob on accurate with no effort from the loftsman.
    He specifically asked for CAD, we answered his question.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  12. #47
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    He says he doesn't need help with it's design, his problem is...

    "I don't know how I can take a hull contour and turn it into into a flat shape that will bend into the right curvature. I want to know what cad programs there are that will let me take a model of a boat hull and then lay out a shape i can print and then cut out of plywood."

    Since it's not a dug out, it's going to be planked, and I'm explaining that he can achieve what he wants to and even more accurately without CAD. Unless his jig is geometrically perfect, and his software perfectly predicts how his plywood will take the curve, his printouts will be less physically perfect than just quickly learning manual spiling from Greg's book. An uncomfortable fact for some. But a fact nonetheless. The human race technically mastered this some millennia ago.

    We'll all have to beg to differ, I have to get back to bevelling some arc'd thwarts against the planking, just because that's a fun Sunday. It's the same technical process with a bevel gauge, bevel board etc as putting a bevel on a carvel plank wouldn't you know...I'm not against CAD and CNC, what Chase, Vivier & CLC do by engineering the whole boat and jig is truly excellent commercial work.

    You are making a massive assumption that he wants to build traditional boat with a jig. If he wanted to use stitch and glue I guarantee he will get quicker and more accurate results with CAD. With regard 'how the plywood takes the curve' provided he looks at a similar designs he will have no problem.

    From your posts in it is clear that you have not used CAD to develop the 'planks' of a boat but claim the inaccuracy of such methods as fact. I have never reversed engineered my boat back into the CAD but I feel it is pretty close, regardless I like the physical result.

    I can create a new design and print it out and create a card model in a little over an hour, it is very quick cheap and efficient to use modern technology. Our mystery 15 year old will likely get very bored manually spilling but could great fun a learn a lot developing a design and multiple models in an afternoon.

  13. #48
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    I haven't commented sooner because the request was specifically for a CAD program. But, you all do realize that such a hull can be designed mathematically (full size with great accuracy) without a CAD program or drafting board? A $20 pocket calculator and understanding of algebra & geometry is all that is required.

  14. #49
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    Quote Originally Posted by W Grabow View Post
    I haven't commented sooner because the request was specifically for a CAD program. But, you all do realize that such a hull can be designed mathematically (full size with great accuracy) without a CAD program or drafting board? A $20 pocket calculator and understanding of algebra & geometry is all that is required.
    May things can be done with a bit of maths but there are now quicker and more efficient ways that will inspire a 15yo.

  15. #50
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    Quote Originally Posted by W Grabow View Post
    I haven't commented sooner because the request was specifically for a CAD program. But, you all do realize that such a hull can be designed mathematically (full size with great accuracy) without a CAD program or drafting board? A $20 pocket calculator and understanding of algebra & geometry is all that is required.
    I'm tempted to ask you to show us one that you did earlier.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  16. #51
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    Doh, got my tans and cos mixed up




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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?


  18. #53
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    That's very pretty.
    Someday, I'm going to settle down and be a grumpy old man.

  19. #54
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    OK I'll bite again.

    He wants to get the plank shapes out via CAD...he thinks that will be more accurate, Good for him, he's thinking quality. He's watched his parents outsource manufacturing to China...he's watched and learned...so now so he's going to outsource manufacturing of his planks to a CNC machine. Yes CAD etc is a skill, and a skill worth having, but so it should be made clear to him is spilling a plank with a 5 compass.

    Instead of spending 6 months learning CAD, he could invest 20 on 'Building Small Boats' by Greg Rossel (or get it from a library) then take just 20 minutes to read and look at the 3 pages of simple pictorial description of how to use a compass, or compass and a grid, to make planks that will fit his molds on his strongback perfectly. The following page will even show him how to adjust the plank widths and incorporate a bevel if he needs to. So armed he could even plank up a Pilot Cutter his world would be so now his oyster at 15. Even if he only prints out the CAD drawings onto a roll of paper, he's going to have to pick up a batten and join the dots anyway, and they won't accomodate any discrepancy in his real strong back or mold set up.

    Greg's book and the other distillings of master craftsmen, is really a much more pleasant read, than assorted Freeship/ Delftship manuals...followed by an afternoon spent out in the garage. I believe that that would be the quickest, most accurate and most efficient use of his time to get to the finish.
    Stitch & glue boats aren't built on a stongback, and if he wants to generate planks that will define the shape, that's probably the best way for him to build.

    What programs have you used to generate planks, and in what way did they fail to produce accurate results?

  20. #55
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    This!!!!! So well said.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan H View Post
    I'm all for this.

    I'm 100% in favor of people using some software to design small boats, say <15 feet, spending less than about $800 in materials. Those numbers are not hard-and-fast, just general guidelines. Go to it. If you have any sort of eye for simplicity and elegance in design, you will almost certainly come up with something that will float, look reasonable, and go in the right direction when you pull on the oars or set some sails. Will it be the newest, hottest race design? No. Will it be fun and satisfying? Sure.

    Now, take some free software and design a 40 foot cruising boat? No. That's a whole different thing in terms of expense and risk.

    But for heavens sake, a 12-14 foot, three or four-panel plywood stitch and glue pram or skiff? Come on. It doesn't take a degree in naval architecture to come up with something that will work just fine. If you get something wwrong...like get some lee helm, just move the mast. Cut out the pertners, move 'em, put in new ones. It's not black magic.
    A ship is safe in the harbor, but that's not what ships are for.

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  21. #56
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    The boats that I have built over the years have all been designed with CAD, even the first one that was launched in 1978. They have all been highly satisfactory boats, in my humble opinion!

    These days I use Solidworks for boat design, or for drawing pretty well anything else that I am building or thinking about building.

    Solidworks is a very capable 3D design program, but there are alternatives - Autodesk 'Inventor' does a fairly similar job, as does Catia, Siemens NX and a few others.

    Solidworks produces a 3D 'model' that you can look at in perspective from any angle, turning it around on the screen as though you were playing with a physical model in your own hand, so there is no need to make a physical model, at least I dont think so. And the digital model is so much easier to modify and refine than a physical model could be - even with 3D printing. Solidworks will make moving parts move, you can waggle a tiller or steering wheel with your mouse pointer and see the rudder turn and this really helps to make sure no part fouls any other part when things start moving.

    The recent versions of Solidworks do allow you to generate the shape of plywood parts in .dxf format suitable for printing on paper or feeding into a computer controlled cutting machine (I used the services of a waterjet cutting company for that - excellent cutting accuracy, although the dirty water in the machine did stain the wood so not suitable for a bright varnish finish). You just click with a mouse on any flat or developable surface on your model and select an option to export it as a 2D dimensional shape. I then used a separate 'nesting' program to optimise the layout of the shapes on standard size plywood sheets. I think that even if the shapes are not fully developable Solidworks will try to work out a 2D shape that will stretch or twist a bit to fit. This could be used for individual planks in a clinker hull as well as for panels in a plywood hull.

    Solidworks is fairly expensive, but the OP is probably in full time education so may be able to obtain a student copy cheap or perhaps free, I dont know just what is available for students these days.

    John

  22. #57
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    As Clint says, it should be Rhino. But I'm a raw beginner with it.

  23. #58
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    Students at an accredited school can get Rhino for $195. That is such a deal! I would like to learn Solidworks next...esp. for doing certain bits and pieces of the boat. But there is now doubt I'll stay with Rhino for hulls and drafting. Rhino 6 is due out soon and it looks like there are big steps forward in drafting.

    The OP may want to look into the student version of Rhino should he find this work interesting.
    Clinton B. Chase
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  24. #59
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    If he's "broke" and is hoping for something that will get him on the water, I'd think that its worth his while to invest a little time learning about centres of bouyancy, lateral plane, and effort . No more than that though. He'd have a much better chance of a satisfactory outcome that way.
    I dont think that there is any need for computer software, or even a planimeter, just some battens and weights, graph paper and a pencil.

    John Welsford
    Totally agree.

    It's just that whenever I see people get all up-in-arms about how folks have to master all these skills to design a boat that won't kill them, I always think of this.

    THIS boat rows, and goes in a forward direction when the wind blows and the sails are trimmed.



    But you know.....so does this one.



    Is one "prettier" than the other? Well yeah. I mean, I think so. Does one sail better than the other one? Yeah, I would think so. However, do they both go in a forward direction when the wind blows? Can fun be had in both boats, especially in protected waters? Sure. If one is built out of inexpensive plywood and run with a dimensional lumber mast and polyethylene tarp sails does that mean it's bad, wrong, or sinful in some way?

    No.

    If a kid wants to knock out a boat and sail it, then great. Dude, go for it. You won't kill yourself, so do your thing. If it doesn't work, then try again. If a 30 year old guy wants to turn out a work of art that happens to sit on the water, that's fine too, but it's not the same thing.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    BTW, yes, from the nature of his post, I see that he wants to build something more sophisticated than an Oz Goose.

    I also agree that two or three hours spent with graph paper, a pin and some battens to fair lines will pay off. Do that. Yes. Then go to the computer program for panel layouts.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    He has still only posted the OP, probabl forgotten he ever posted.
    Still fascinating to see the debate that he left in his wake

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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    Quote Originally Posted by tink View Post
    He has still only posted the OP, probabl forgotten he ever posted.
    Still fascinating to see the debate that he left in his wake
    Meaning we got trolled.

  28. #63
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan H View Post
    BTW, yes, from the nature of his post, I see that he wants to build something more sophisticated than an Oz Goose.

    I also agree that two or three hours spent with graph paper, a pin and some battens to fair lines will pay off. Do that. Yes. Then go to the computer program for panel layouts.
    You don't even need the battens. Lift some rough offsetts and from a sketch on graph paper, thenfeed them into Freeship, and the software will soon help you to fair the form.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  29. #64
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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoritzSchwarzer View Post
    Meaning we got trolled.
    May be he was driven off by those who answered a question that he did not ask, and then started an argument.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    Maybe he got an answer, in terms of the name of a piece of software. Then he went and bought some plywood and now his mom is annoyed because he's making a mess of the garage.

    WIN.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

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    Default Re: A Boat CAD Program Useful for Making Plans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan H View Post
    Maybe he got an answer, in terms of the name of a piece of software. Then he went and bought some plywood and now his mom is annoyed because he's making a mess of the garage.

    WIN.
    Remember Little Idea and family, that was in the kitchen ,)
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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