3D based design can improve digital solutions in the ship industry

3D based design can improve digital solutions in the ship industry
Photo: NAPA

Leading Classification Society ClassNK, Japan Marine United (JMU), and NAPA have completed a joint feasibility study on 3D model based plan approval using 3D CAD models as part of their technical investigation project.

Shipbuilding designs are gradually transitioning from 2D drawings to those designed with 3D CAD software. Classification societies, whose plan approvals are currently based mostly on 2D drawings, are also required to develop a scheme for 3D CAD models from their submission to their examination completion.

This project was conducted to examine the technical development required in each process of plan approval by JMU, NAPA, and ClassNK to realize 3D model based plan approval. In the feasibility study, ClassNK conducted a trial evaluation for hull structural design on a 3D CAD model of 300,000DWT ore carrier designed and created by JMU, using “NAPA Designer” (*1), a 3D CAD software application for ship design developed by NAPA, as a 3D model viewer. Plan submission, storage, and notification of examination results were made using the Society's electronic plan examination system “NK-PASS” (*2).

The investigation concluded that information required for class approval can be confirmed through a 3D CAD model, and that "NK-PASS" is also compatible with 3D CAD models. The results of this survey will serve as a basis for future technical studies, and the Society will continue to work with the industry to realize 3D model based plan approval.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Hayato Suga, Corporate Officer and Director of Plan Approval and Technical Solution Division said:

“This study has proven the future potential of 3D model based approvals. 3D based design can be the key to improving digital solutions in the ship industry, including the ship design process, approval process and later fleet maintenance. I hope that the entire industry will also quickly realize the many opportunities and increased efficiency that can be achieved as a result of this initiative. The vessels of the future will be able to accommodate much better and safer designs in shorter amounts of time.”

Tapio Hulkkonen, NAPA Design Solutions Director, Product Management, said:

“3D model-based approval is an essential part of naval architecture’s future. By continuing to rely on 2D drawings the sector wastes hundreds of thousands of manhours each year, as well as increases the likelihood of avoidable errors in their designs. Ships are three-dimensional objects, and we need to be able to assess them in every plane. This study demonstrates that the technology is ready to go.

NAPA Designer is the perfect tool for viewing and evaluating 3D designs, enabling designers, engineers and class societies to rely on a single source of truth. 3D model-based approval also opens the door to greater use of digital twins for safety and optimization, where real-world data can be compared against a virtual model of a ship, and vice versa, to identify problems and validate performance data.”

*1 3D CAD software for ship designs developed and sold by NAPA. For more information visit www.napa.fi
*2 Plan review system provided by the Society which can be used to send plans, check/ manage review progress, and receive returned plans.