At the Sea Japan Maritime Exhibition and Conference, one of Japan’s foremost analysts of the shipbuilding industry identified a simple process for the Japanese shipbuilding industry to transition from 2D to 3D ship design using commercial off the shelf technology. He said that he has found a marine drafting tool capable of providing the necessary bridge to leverage data in a 3D model in order to create 2D drawings.
Japanese Shipbuilding Authority
The authority figure making this pronouncement was Dr. Chanik Shin, Professor Emeritus of the University of Science Nagasaki. He is currently the director of the Laboratory of Practical Technologies, a shipbuilding efficiency consultancy.
Flaws of 2D Design Approach
In his presentation Dr. Shin noted several flaws with the current 2D design approach. He said that it takes many years to learn how to represent 3D objects by creating 2D drawings with specific symbols. More importantly, it takes years to learn how be able to read these special 2D drawings. This is too long. There are also too many errors.
It would be more efficient and much more intuitive for Japanese shipbuilders to use 3D computer modeling to represent 3D objects. This would also lead to higher quality because there would be less chance of miscommunication.
Special Software needed to aid in transition
Dr. Shin noted that there would have to be a transition period. Several organizations such as classification societies would insist on drawings in 2D. Therefore, what Japanese shipbuilders need is software that can create 2D drawings directly from a 3D virtual model and then remain linked so that changes to the 3D model update the 2D drawing files. The only software that can do this using the AutoCAD standard DWG format is SSI’s ShipConstructor MarineDrafting application. Dr. Shin recommended this software for Japanese shipbuilders.