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Autoship Releases Hull Design/Surface Modeling Program

Autoship Systems Corp. (ASC) has released the Auto ship for Windows hull design/surface modeling program, a system which combines the graphic user interface of Windows with the dexterity of NURBS (Non-Uniform Rational BSpline) mathematics, the high-end CAD standard for surface modeling.

Designed from the ground up based on a survey of ASC's installed base, international dealers and beta testers, Auto ship was designed to be an easy to use, powerful system which eclipses other surface modeling programs. The system reportedly features a user-friendly interface, which allows a designer to work in one or four views, representing three orthographic views (profile, plan and body) and a rotatable 3- D view. The views may be re-sized by using a dynamic re-sizing feature.

Other features include: five-level, two-way zoom with pan and five-level, two-way Oops! which enables the designer to trace and retrace design steps. Gaussian and mean curvature may be depicted visually in color-mapped renderings, and the fairness of curves and surfaces may be graphically viewed using a "porcupine" feature. Auto ship uses a hierarchy consisting of points, curves, surfaces and assemblies. Objects can be linked together so that moving or editing an object automatically updates its dependents, meaning that, for example, a keel or other appendage can be attached to a hull and changes to the hull automatically update the keel/hull connection. To ensure its success, ASC implemented a comprehensive series of beta testing before Autos/iip's release. Bill Wendel of Marco Seattle produced a model of a 125-foot (38 m) Marco trawler designed by Marco chief naval architect Chuck Cannonusing 55 points, 183 curves, 105 surfaces and 84 assemblies. "I modeled everything in Autos/iip right down to the life rails, deck planks, window frames and mast platform and then exported it to 3D Studio for photorealistic rendering," said Mr. Wendel. Auto ship models may be exported in 2-D or 3-D via industry standard DXF or IGES file formats into all major CAD and graphics programs.

The user of Autoship can specify a tolerance and all curves and surfaces are automatically refined to meet or improve the specification, enabling the user to meet 1mm accuracy for NC cutting or to specify greater tolerances to save on computation time for graphical display purposes. Autoship runs under Windows and Windows NT (as a 16-bit application), and ASC is planning to release its entire program suite as 32-bit applications under Windows NT.

For more information on the new program,

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