Shift from 2D approach to 3D modeling in structural design delivers significant benefits

Chinese design and research institute uses Cadmatic for the design of container vessels and oil tankers.  

Customer challenge

  • Continuously improve design efficiency. Desire to take advantage of 3D modelling from early design phase and move from 2D drawing focus to 3D modeling.

Cadmatic solution

  • Cadmatic used for structural design from very beginning. Leads to improved drawing efficiency, reduced drawing errors, and reduced rework during changes.

“Using the Cadmatic 3D model for modifications is much faster. It also enables faster calculation of the center of weight and generates better-quality drawings, eliminating concerns about design errors caused by misalignment of the three views.” – Li Xin, Project Team Leader

CIMC Ocean Engineering Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd. (CIMC ORIC) is a subsidiary of China International Marine Containers (Group) Co.,Ltd. (CIMC), a global supplier of logistics and energy equipment. Founded in 2010, with over 100 experts in Asia and Europe, it has become a research institution specializing in the research, design and development of ships and maritime equipment.

With the support of a global business network and industry diversification, CIMC ORIC, the High-tech Enterprise of Shanghai and the A-level technology center of CIMC, provide a "Manufacture + Service + Finance" one-stop solution for customers.

The institute has extensive design experience in offshore equipment, large-scale vessels, and renewable energy vessels. It uses Cadmatic for the design of container vessels and oil tankers.

CIMC Ocean Engineering Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd. offices in Shanghai, China

The CIMC Ocean Engineering Design & Research Institute office in Shanghai, China

Benefitting from early use of 3D modeling in structural design

For many domestic ship design companies in China, the focus is still on traditional 2D drawings, using CAD software to create detailed design drawings, which are then passed on to upstream classification societies and downstream shipyards.

CIMC ORIC, however, sees clear benefits of introducing 3D design from the beginning of structural design. This approach means that the 3D model is the main tool in structural design, while 2D plays a supplementary role. This 3D model serves as the single data source throughout the entire design cycle, enabling the sharing and reusability of model data. According to the institute, the benefits include improved drawing efficiency, reduced utilization of design process drawings, reduced error rates in drawings, and reduced rework during design changes.

CIMC Ocean Engineering Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd. 3D model

Reduce drawing generation time by approx. 15%

In demonstrating improved drawing efficiency, CIMC ORIC points to a 500TEU container vessel case, where the use of 3D modeling to create 2D drawings reduces the time required to generate cargo hold drawings by approximately 15%, compared to traditional CAD drawing methods.

“Using Cadmatic to build the 3D model and generate 2D drawings has greatly increased the drawing speed. The model display is more intuitive, making it easier and faster to show the layout of tight spaces. You can also quickly calculate the weight center, which was almost impossible to accomplish in the previous 2D design mode,” says Guo Haiqiang, Project team Leader.

Additionally, since 2D drawings are directly derived from the Cadmatic 3D models, there is no need to match the three views during the drawing review process, resulting in approximately 10%-time savings in the review process.

Less reliance on design process drawings

With Cadmatic, CIMC ORIC has seen reduced utilization of design process drawings.

“Experienced detailed designers only require input conditions such as general arrangement drawings, longitudinal and transverse sections, and structural specification calculation books to complete modeling. This enables the export of 2D drawings from Cadmatic, facilitating classification society review and transfer to downstream shipyards.”

Ship 3D models by CIMC Ocean Engineering Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd.

Easier change management with less rework

A further benefit of the 3D approach adopted by CIMC ORIC has been the reduction in rework during design changes that require drawing modifications.

The approach means that modifications only need to be made to the 3D model, without needing to simultaneously modify three views as is the case in the 2D mode. For a 11500TEU vessel, for example, modifications due to hull line changes can increase rework hours by approximately 50%, compared to the original design hours. The institute estimates that with a 3D model created in Cadmatic, direct modifications to the model followed by drawing generation can save approximately 30% of the modification time.

“The workload of modifying the structure during design changes is greatly reduced, especially for changes caused by modifications in linework. Using a Cadmatic 3D model for modifications is much faster,” says Project Team Leader Li Xin.

Improving the quality of drawings

CIMC ORIC indicate that the use of 3D modeling to create 2D drawings also greatly improves the quality of drawings.

“There is no need to spend time coordinating and checking the three views, resulting in more aesthetically pleasing drawings. Better-quality drawings attract more design orders and create repeat customers.”

3D design in Cadmatic means that CIMC ORIC can quickly and directly output the weight of steel materials, allowing for early detection and timely remediation of design issues such as overweight conditions before production.

For example, after completing the main hull model for a 500TEU vessel, if the calculated weight exceeds the estimated weight, this information needs to be promptly communicated to various disciplines, including the general layout team. They can then adjust the loading conditions, optimize the design layout, re-examine the structural design, and implement optimizations to ensure that the deadweight of the vessel meets the design requirements.

Read more about Cadmatic solutions

Read more about Cadmatic ship design solutions.