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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Electronic Cutout Templates

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As mentioned in the previous post, once you have the curve of the hull in CAD, you can take that curve and make a cutout template for the bulkheads. Well, I did the first one last night. I was initially somewhat nervous as I didnt want ruin a good $500 piece of Coosa board, but things went pretty well.

I used a shareware CAD utility called ABViewer that easily prints out full scale drawings tiled over multiple sheets of paper. I took the curve for the starboard bulkhead between the aft stateroom and the hallway, trimmed it to where it meets the floor and deck, and fitted a rectangle around it to help identify the minimum sheet stock size needs to cut. I then printed it full scale over two sheets of paper using ABViewer. Trim off the edges and lay it against the material to cut. Trace the outline. And cut!

The fit was near perfect. A little hand trimming was still needed as, with the hand layup of the hull, there is the occasional "bump" usually where the edge of a layer of glass roving ends. These bumps were missed by the tick-stick measurement. Cutting a shallow "divet" where the bump is makes it fit nicely.