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3D CAD Brings Battleships to Life

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Rob Spiegel
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Great model
Rob Spiegel   12/16/2011 11:16:56 AM
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Nice story, Beth. For a kid who liked building models as a kid, this would be the perfect toy. This reminds me of James Cameron building a large replica of the Titanic for the movie. I would imagine these 3D CAD model tools will become useful in the movie and gaming industries.


Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Great model
Ann R. Thryft   12/16/2011 12:30:45 PM
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What a fun use of 3D modeling tools. But I also found interesting the mention in the article about "leveraging a full-scale CAD model of a complex assembly like a plane or ship to create a representative model form", for the purpose of making design mods, to help reduce cost and time. Any idea if this is being done yet?


Beth Stackpole
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Re: Great model
Beth Stackpole   12/16/2011 3:24:03 PM
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Actually, this is nothing like a toy. This is years worth of painstakingly recreating the battleships in professional 3D CAD tools and then building scaled, but still pretty significant, physical models using steel and other real materials. The idea is these models will be museum quality and will be used to showcase to the general public how these ships functioned.

I too found the idea of building a full size 3D digital model and then scaling it down to create a representative physical model an interesting technique. One of the gentleman involved in the project who spent his career in aerospace engineering said it's a process that is starting to take root in product development, but not yet on any wide scale.

Charles Murray
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Re: Great model
Charles Murray   12/16/2011 4:59:29 PM
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What a great and amazing story. Although this is clearly not a toy, it's a labor of love -- a project that's rooted in his passion for building model ships. The engineering community could learn lessons from his use of SolidWorks on this project.

EricMJones
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CAD
EricMJones   12/19/2011 9:15:53 AM
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Not to be too picky, but CAD drawings and models are ALWAYS full scale.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: CAD
Beth Stackpole   12/19/2011 9:18:58 AM
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Hi Eric,

Good point. It's the process of using the full-scale CAD models to create the 100% accurate scaled, representative models that was interesting in terms of potential for unearthing design problems much earlier in the process without going through the pain and expense of creating a full-size, and in this case, humongous, physical prototype. As it is, the scaled model is over 28 feet.

Alexander Wolfe
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Re: CAD
Alexander Wolfe   12/19/2011 6:53:29 PM
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Two battleships on one page is almost more than I can take, but that's for traffic reasons. As for the story, this is an excellent, fascinating, and valuable example of historical archaeology brought to life via CAD. Kudos to McKinney. I wonder if there's other work going on regarding ships built centuries earlier, where the CAD tools may help uncover/illuminate mysteries regarding their construction.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: CAD
Beth Stackpole   12/20/2011 6:37:28 AM
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Absolutely, CAD is playing a role in other historical explorations--ship building or otherwise. We've reported in the past on 3D tools like CAD and visualization packages being used to reconstruct archeological sites like the Great Pyramid of Kheops. Specifically, French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin tapped Dassault's 3D solutions to recreate the pyramid construction site in 3D.

EricMJones
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Re: Battleships
EricMJones   12/19/2011 9:41:25 AM
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For those battleship aficionados out there. see:

http://www.periheliondesign.com/downloads/yamatomusashi.pdf

Eric

Lyngengr
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Mighty Mo still alive
Lyngengr   12/19/2011 12:59:37 PM
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The actual battleship is anchored in Pearl Harbor next to the Arizona memorial.  It is possible to take a tour of the inner workings of the ship which will let you see inside the gun turrents and engine room.  Highly recommended!

Jack Rupert, PE
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3D Modeling -> Printing
Jack Rupert, PE   12/26/2011 1:48:03 PM
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To combine a couple of Design News articles....  I wonder if it would be useful, in this case to utilize a 3D printer?  Depending upon the material that the printer makes (and the size capability), this might be a good application for it.  Here he as the 3D model created and might be able to go directly from virtual to real with a push of a button.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: 3D Modeling -> Printing
Beth Stackpole   12/27/2011 8:22:05 AM
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That's definitely an interesting idea, Jack, and one that's likely viable. It would really depend on whether this crew has access to 3D printing technology, which you know is expensive. I don't think the size or the materials would preclude the use of 3D printers, although the intricacy of all the modules and interconnected components and systems might make it difficult.

Jack Rupert, PE
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Re: 3D Modeling -> Printing
Jack Rupert, PE   12/27/2011 12:02:28 PM
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That might be a good marketing opportunity for the printer companies, to partner with somebody like this.  The battleship model will probably get a lot cross-market media attention and they could demonstrate what their products can do.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 3D Modeling -> Printing
Ann R. Thryft   12/27/2011 12:20:15 PM
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I think Jack's question is an interesting one. Beth, do you think 3D printing is capable of handling such a complex CAD model? For that matter, what is the most complex CAD model 3D printers can handle? In interviews for my December feature on AM

http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=236261

vendors suggested that "complex parts" meant components of large systems like aircraft, not an entire plane or ship.


Beth Stackpole
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Re: 3D Modeling -> Printing
Beth Stackpole   12/28/2011 7:24:34 AM
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I think that was what I was getting at in my comments earlier. I think you're right Ann--I'm not so sure current 3D printing capabilities could produce an entire ship of this complexity. Even though it is a scaled model, it's still pretty complex in terms of components and integrated systems.

I'm not sure what the most complex 3D printed model/component has been. I do know we've reported on the Urbee EV vehicle from KOR Logic, which was 3D printed for the prototyping stage. But even with that example, it wasn't all the components of the vehicle that were 3D printed--just the main body components.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 3D Modeling -> Printing
Ann R. Thryft   12/29/2011 12:00:36 PM
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Thanks, Beth, that's what I thought. It would be interesting to find out what, if any, upper limits there are on complexity for 3D printing. Does anyone know if there's some kind of gauge to use?


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