Saturday 19 January 2013

About CAD and CNC

I think the first milestone of the project has been achieved. I have redrawn the botas hull (frames, floor, stem and stern) in Autocad Inventor. I have then drawn the planks using the loft function. The plan was then to "unroll" the 3D surfaces resulting from the lofting procedure to obtain 2D flat shapes for subsequent CNC cutting (alongside the frames, floors, etc..).

Here's how the hull frames line up in Inventor:

 Unfortunately I found out that the "unroll" feature is not provided as standard in Autodesk Inventor and if I wanted to obtain 2D templates of the planks I had to look elsewhere.

I eventually found a viable solution after looking around on the web. I ended up redrawing the boats frames on another software for which a 60 day trial version is available free on the net. This software called Rhino 3D comes with an unroll feature for 3D surfaces. Having imported the frames (and the plank overlap offsets) from inventor I used Rhino's own loft function to draw the planks and then unroll them to Finally obtain the 2D flat templates of the planks I was after!

 Here's the hull modeled in Rhino. The plank overlaps of this beautiful clinker hull shape are visible. Rhino allows to click on a 3D surface and "unroll" to a flat template...

Great, now the whole boat is drawn in 2D . I will now use a third CAD program,  AutoCAD to compose the 2D shapes and arrange them within the typical size of ply sheets. The objectif is to efficiently nest the shapes to minimize costly marine ply waste.


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