- Need to combine models and outputs from different design and analysis systems into a single coherent 3D model that can be used to present ideas to customers and sent to them for design review purposes
Smarter ship design
“There is no other 3D communication tool more capable than CADMATIC eBrowser.” – Cor Lettenga, DEKC Managing Director
DEKC Maritime (Design Engineering Knowledge Center) is not a run-of-the-mill ship design and engineering company. In the early 2000s, a conscious decision to grow smarter, rather than bigger, set the company on a path to become an independent knowledge center for the maritime industry in the Netherlands and abroad.
This evolution was accomplished by investing in brainpower and cutting-edge software tools. Cadmatic is an important part of DEKC’s software landscape from the early design stages to detailed engineering and project communication.
DEKC “does everything” according to DEKC Managing Director Cor Lettenga. This is supported by a review of the company's references and service scope. With an integrated design approach and an in-house skillset to back it up, they can start from scratch on a ship design project and take it all the way to class approval, all with in-house resources.
"We perform motion analysis as well as CFD optimization with parametric models and FEM calculations. But we don't overlook detailed engineering because we see it as an important part of the overall engineering package we provide," says Cor.
Because of the company's technologically oriented and innovative approach, they have even ventured into the gaming world to train drone pilots with flythroughs in 3D Cad models. DEKC designs a wide range of vessels, but has particular know-how in the design of offshore vessels, offshore wind vessels, and dredgers.
"We are usually involved as soon as designs become a little difficult or out of the ordinary."
A recent project completed by DEKC was the detail design of the NIOZ research vessel for Thecla Bodewes
Shipyards. Cadmatic was used for the construction as well as the system outfitting design of the vessel.
Cor says this design project was particularly interesting because it is an aluminum vessel, with a lot of specific requirements from the client to perform their research in the Wadden Sea.
3D model side view of the NIOZ research vessel
3D model top view of the NIOZ research vessel
Cadmatic is already used at DEKC in the early stages of projects to design the first mainframes in the basic structural model. After that, the structural model is updated with block drawings, and later production information is added. At the end, you have a full logical 3D model," Cor says.
He indicates that Cadmatic is “logistically strong” and that it creates a solid database from which to build.
“That's a big plus for Cadmatic, but what really stands out to me is the software's ability to combine so many elements from various systems into a viable model. For example, we can combine Rhino® and Cadmatic models in a single eBrowser model. eBrowser is a very powerful tool to present our designs and ideas to our customers.”
He adds that eBrowser is a powerhouse tool not only for new designs and concepting, but also for modifying existing designs, revamps, and retrofits.
DEKC's customers benefit from increased flexibility thanks to eBrowser. Shipowners and operators of wind turbine installers, for example, value flexibility because vessels are frequently modified for each new wind farm project.
"In these cases, we send the customer a new deck layout, for example, in eBrowser, and they can walk through the model, double-check everything, and comment on the design. We share the updated model with some clients at the end of each workday. They check and make comments with markups, and the next day we can implement these comments and continue working," Cor says.
DEKC Maritime team members using CADMATIC eBrowser in a design review meeting.
DEKC commonly laser scans vessels in BWTS or scrubber retrofit projects and integrates the point clouds with Cadmatic models. Not being a company to shy away from challenges, Cor says they sometimes scan entire vessels.
"This is necessary, for example, if there is doubt about the accuracy of a casco. Then you scan the entire casco to compare the build's accuracy to the model."
The conversation drifts to the use of 3D models in ship delivery, where Cor believes we are entering an era in which 3D models will play a larger role.
The large amount of intellectual property contained in ship design packages, for example, distinguishes shipbuilding from plant construction. The design packages include sensitive information about hull shapes, propulsion, and fuel efficiency, all of which are closely guarded secrets by naval architects. Cor suggests overcoming this challenge by converting the ship model to an eBrowser model or a geometric model in a gaming environment.
"When the ship is delivered, it becomes quite interesting to use these 3D models, and I believe we will see more developments in this area in the future."
Read more about Cadmatic ship design solutions.