The latest release of ShipConstructor, a 3D CAD/CAM software toolset for the shipbuilding and offshore industries, is specifically targeted for use on large-scale projects. ShipConstructor 2009 is compatible with AutoCAD 2009 and includes numerous enhancements designed to increase efficiency when working with complex 3D product models as well as features aimed at reducing production costs.
ShipConstructor 2009 will allow 64-bit capability on the Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows 7 platforms. This added capability will allow modellers to load larger portions of the 3D model into a single working session at a greater level of detail with increased program stability.
Another enhancement is significant improvements involving the creation of 3D Virtual Reality (VR) models. With only a few mouse clicks, any designer can now more easily create a detailed VR model from the product model. Numerous visualization options are also available.
ShipConstructor has improved its automated nesting capabilities with the introduction of an enhanced nest optimization engine. Test results have shown clients can expect up to a six percent improvement in overall plate utilization.
ShipConstructor 2009 includes a new intelligent Distributed Systems Supports module which is a rule-based program for the creation of distributed system supports such as pipe and HVAC. In line with the company's other efforts to enhance Design for Production (DFP), the software allows an experienced designer to inject knowledge-based rules into the library of supports which are available during the 3D modelling process.
This enhanced module offers parametric design based on a broad range of industry standard supports. Each support is associated with a set of pipes and pipe hangers as well as foundational structure, allowing the support to be constrained and automatically adapt to design changes as the project progresses. This provides a smooth transition from engineering to production.
Another DFP-based enhancement allows for the standardization of commonly used assemblies, including items such as simple panels, ladders, pipe manifolds, handrails and equipment complete with standard foundations. In addition to allowing common items to be modelled once and used many times, these standard assemblies include the production documentation required for fabrication. The production documents include 3D assembly drawings for each stage in fabrication. When changes are made to the Standard Assembly definition or the related construction documents, all instances where it has been used are automatically changed as well. This reduces the time needed in the design process, especially on large-scale projects.
This latest version of ShipConstructor provides a set of tools that allows modellers to allocate space for the various systems (pipe, HVAC, electrical etc.) well before they are modelled. The allocated space is parametrically associated with the wireways in the upcoming ShipConstructor Electrical module. Changes to the allocated space will be automatically propagated to the detailed electrical system model, providing a bridge between the earlier stages of the design process and the final production design.