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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Design Tools and more Shop Prep

So, there has not been much physical building done on the WestSail lately. Rather, much time has been spent on design tools and cleaning up the shop (garage). Design Tools We purchased a copy of "Rhinoceros NURBS modeling for Windows" (NURBS stands for "non uniform rational b-spline"). Apparently this is a popular 3d modeling and visualization tool. Though it has CAD like features, it does not replace CAD as much as it complements it. Imports and Exports can be made to your favorite CAD software. Lets just say this is a really cool piece of software. I am only half way through the 250 page "Level 1" tutorial and it is clear that one can model anything with ease. I was apprehensive about the user interface as it is patterned after AutoCAD's interface (which I dont care for much) but it turns out to be a bit better than the AutoCAD interface. Also purchased with it a CD ROM with a tutorial that teaches marine design applications with Rhino. It includes methods for manually and precisely tracing hull curvatures to get an accurate fair surface. Here is a sample. The model below was generated from the original plan drawings I have been working on in 2D CAD.

Shop Prep

We are continuing to clean out the garage to make more room for shop related stuff. The old big servers I had sitting next the work bench are out and ready to be sent off to the highest eBay bidder, or, sent to the PC recycle center. Plastic tubs of old parts that came with the westsail have been sorted through. Some thrown out, some will be auctioned on eBay, some we will save.