Thursday, February 23, 2012

Balinese House in Watercolor painting

This is a sketch drawing of a varandah of a Balinese house. This is a watercolor painting of an outdoor view that I made during my stay in Bali.. Watercolor is one of the most difficult painting medias yet it was frequently used by architects to visualize their design concept to clients. Today there are a number of BIM softwares that can render a 3D model of a house or a big building.
The use of watercolor as a manual rendering tool is decreasing with the development of more sophisticated BIM software that can visualize design ideas in 3D and render them in more realistic views.

Balinese Architecture
I created the above drawing only as an artistic expression not for architectural purposes. But if you are really interested in Balinese style houses, please, order and read the following book:

Manual Drawing
However, the use of drawing pencils and watercolor painting are still being used by some designers due to their flexibility and ease of use particularly on models that have unique forms and complicated 3D curves that cannot easily be drawn in CAD software. Such curved models include wooden statues, carvings or relief on the legs of chairs and pillars of houses, or hull form of a ship. Although most of the BIM softwares can be used to create models in 3D environments, only CAD software with NURBS features that can visualize such complicated curved forms easily.
For architectural design, the most recommended software is Google Sketchup. Google has provided the free version of the software that can be downloaded from the official website of sketchup. In addition to the free edition, the Google Sketchup Pro 8 which can be obtained for 495 US dollars has got more features that designers and architects can use to model their design concepts in 3D environment. In version 8, Google introduced solid tools that greatly enhance Sketchup as a powerful BIM software. Google Sketchup can be used by naval architects to model ships and boats in 3D if special plugins such as the bezier lines are installed into the software. by Charles Roring

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cruise Ship Costa Concordia Defueling Process

The defueling of cruise ship Costa Concordia is being carried out at the moment. Around 2,380 tonnes of fuel were still inside the fuel tanks of the cruise ship when the accident occurred. Fuel has to be pumped out of the sunken ship to minimize possible marine pollution that may happen anytime. The ship capsized on 13 January 2012 after running aground a rock close to Giglio island of Italy. The removal of fuel from the sunken capsized cruise ship is being done by Neri/Smith salvage team. If the weather is good, it can be completed in March.

Even though the official report about the real cause of the accident has not been released. Experts say that it was caused by human error. The ship had deviated from her usual route when she hit a rock near the island of Giglio. Many lifeboats and life rafts could not be launched because the cruise ship capsized so fast.  This accident has raised concerns among naval architects and marine engineers whether the current IMO or SOLAS regulations are safe enough or should be reviewed for further improvements.
The Costa Concordia accident reminds us to similar accident that happened nearly 100 years ago to passenger liner RMS Titanic that sank after hitting an iceberg. Following the Titanic accident that took more than 1500 lives, the first SOLAS convention was introduced in 1914. Today the amended version of SOLAS 1974 that is used by ship designers, builders and operators regarding the safety of life at sea.
All efforts have been done to ensure that all ships are built in accordance to rules and regulations from classification societies and IMO. The Costa Concordia incident should be reviewed from all aspects of the operation of ship. Even though the rules have been considered safe and adequate for the operation of ships, the factor of human error must not be ignored.
We still don't know what the Costa Cruises are going to do with the ship once the fuel oil has been pumped off from tanks of the Costa Concordia. by Charles Roring

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Yacht Design in 3D View Modelling

Sailing yacht model that is presented below is a boat that is propelled by wind and to certain extend by a small diesel engine. Today, ship and boat design software can be used to visualize the hull form of a yacht in 3D view. Ship designers or naval architects can use the available hull forms and modify them according to the principal dimension of the new hull which they want to design or create from scratch. Please check the official website of to get download the demo version of the software.
In fastship software, the visualization of the hull of yacht initially is given in half-breadth view. It can be confusing for the customer who has ordered the design. First time user of Fastship can easily present a complete hull form of the yacht by pressing Reflected Image button in the toolbars to show both sides of the hull form.
Another naval architecture software that is available for free is Delfship. Ship or yacht designers can download the fully functional free version from its official website at Although designing yacht can now be done by computer software, a comprehensive knowledge about hydrostatic and hydrodynamic principles of yacht have to be studied by designers to ensure that the marine vehicles which they design are safe and stable. Yacht Design According to Perry is a recommended book for anybody who wants to design, build or buy a yacht.
To see the effect of the reflected image, we can rotate the hull of the sailing yacht by pressing the spin button and then with the computer mouse we bring the cursor to the hull and begin dragging it to left or right and up or down. Now, look at the above picture of the yacht that I have rotated to the left. The main deck covers the whole top area of the hull. This sailing yacht model has got a long vertical keel or fin to balance the wind force on the sails and mast of the yacht. by Charles Roring
Also read:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Gun Boat Surface Visibility Viewing Options in Fastship Software

Today I am not going to discuss reviews about cruise ship such as the Oasis of the Seas or the Allure of the Seas. I will talk about ship or boat design from the perspective of a naval architect. In this post, I want to explain a little bit about Surface Visibility Viewing Options in Fastship. Fastship is a ship design software for naval architects. In naval architecture, the software that are usually used for designing ships are Maxsurf, Delfship, Autoship, Orca, and Fastship. For home design or BIM architecture, such softwares as Revit Architecture, Archicad and Sketchup are the most common tools. I wrote some articles about Archicad in this blog. If you are looking for tutorials on the use of Archicad, please, check the old archives of this blog.
Fastship - as ship modelling tool has been developed by Proteus Engineering. If you have never heard about it, you can go to and download its demo version software to see how it works. When a ship has been designed from NURBS curves and surfaces, her whole drawings can be presented on the computer screen using several surface visibility option toolbars such as perimeter, sections, intersections, mesh, solid, and lights.
By pressing each toolbar, we can see the appearance of the fast patrol boat on the computer screen.
The first toolbar that I pressed is the Mesh one. When the Mesh is activated, the hull of the boat is presented in isoparametric lines that have been computed directly from the control points (Net).
As you can see on the above image, the hull of the boat is shown on the profile plan where only the curves or contour of her buttock lines are visible. Her waterlines and sections can only be seen as grids.
Then I go further by pressing the Solid and Lights viewing options located on the toolbars of the Fastship software. Now the gun boat design looks more 3 dimensional if the toolbar button of solid and lights are pressed as shown on the following picture of the hull design.
Gun boat is a type of fast patrol boat that is used by maritime countries to protect their waters against pirates, smugglers or foreign fishing vessels. To achieve high speed, the hull has smaller block coefficient and knuckle lines. In modern warfare, sometimes fast patrol boat is not only equipped with guns but also torpedoes. Another software that is good for designing hull, superstructure and appendages of ships and boats are delftship.
Propulsion unit
Today, most gun boat and fast patrol boat are powered by at least 2 marine diesel engines with 2 small diameter propellers to boost the speed of the boat of up to 30 knots. Marine engines are small and reliable in all operational condition of the boats. In certain designs of naval vessels, the exhaust pipes are installed on both sides of hull plating below the water line to avoid the heat of the exhaust gases from being detected by heat seeking missiles. Special valves are installed on the hull plating of the boats to prevent sea water from entering the exhaust pipe to the marine engines.
Piping Materials
Naval vessels use high quality pipes to save weight. While in most merchant ships the pipes are made of steel, the piping system in fast patrol boat uses CuNiAl pipes that are more resistant to corrosion and are light.
Hull Materials
To achieve high speed, gun boats and fast patrol boats (FPB) have to be constructed from light materials such as light steel, aluminum, fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) and plywood. The use of carbon fiber is also being considered even though the cost of such material is quite expensive. Most often when the hull is made of steel, the superstructure will be constructed from aluminum to keep the center gravity (VCG) in lower position.
Also read: Fastship and Delftship for Naval Architects