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July 21, 2005
Industry Trends

Albacore Research Ltd. (ARL), the creator of the 3D product modeling software ShipConstructor, is putting the last touches on this year’s new software version, ShipConstructor 2006, scheduled for release towards the end of 2005.

Albacore Research Ltd. (ARL), the creator of the 3D product modeling software ShipConstructor, is putting the last touches on this year’s new software version, ShipConstructor 2006, scheduled for release towards the end of 2005. ShipConstructor 2006 represents a quantum leap in CAD/CAM with the introduction of the Database Driven Relational Object Model™ (DDROM™) technology, as well as an Application Programming Interface (API). While DDROM will provide ShipConstructor users with a ‘better-than-parametric’ technology, the API will make it easier for users and third-party developers to tie into the ShipConstructor product model database.

DDROM and other new features will be presented at the SNAME Annual Meeting in Houston – at the booth as well as during the Innovation Sessions. Furthermore, ShipConstructor 2006 will be presented at NEVA Russia, Kormarine, Europort Rotterdam, Pacific Expo, Workboat Show and Marintec China later this year.


Database Driven Relational Object Model (DDROM)

ShipConstructor’s Database Driven Relational Object Model (DDROM) is an exciting new technology that will transform how shipyards and offshore yards design and fabricate. DDROM is similar to parametric modeling, but does not come with all its ‘headaches’. In contrast to parametric technology, the powerful DDROM will be usable by designers without extensive training – in fact, relationships within the product model are created automatically. Furthermore, the technology works for even the most complex projects while still running on standard PCs. Thus, parametric-like features will be available on a much more comfortable and workable level.

DDROM’s secret lies in storing all geometry in the ShipConstructor database and linking their dependencies automatically. Storing geometry in the database means that all structural, pipe, HVAC and other ShipConstructor entities can be accessed and changed directly in the database. DDROM entities are not only represented in the database with their geometry, but also with their attributes such as materials, weights, revisions, and build strategies. Therefore, all ShipConstructor product model entities such as plates, stiffeners, pipes, ducts, penetrations, etc. can be recreated in the CAD drawings from the database.

The time designers and drafters will spend for modeling structural plate parts will be reduced dramatically (up to ten-fold) due to the many automatic features that replace previously manual drafting operations. Furthermore, the steps involved in implementing late design changes will be significantly reduced due to the fact that the database is aware of the interrelation between parts and changes linked parts automatically.

For example, moving a tanktop up will adjust the height of all frame plate parts under it as those were automatically linked to the tanktop during the design stage. Similarly, exchanging one frame hull trace for another automatically updates all related frame parts, may they be plates or stiffeners.


With the new DDROM, moving a tanktop adjusts the height of all frame plate parts under it automatically. Similarly, a hull trace change updates all related parts instantly.

For user comfort, the new DDROM feature can be initially turned off until a certain level of comfort has been reached. Yet, the user will still gain significant time-savings from the much faster modeling features.


Application Programming Interface (API)

ShipConstructor is well-known for its open design, and many users have successfully interfaced the ShipConstructor product model database with their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), purchasing, and accounting systems. With the 2006 release, ShipConstructor will introduce a fully documented Application Programming Interface (API) providing users and third-party developers with an excellent tool for automation and customization. It is the same API ARL’s software developers are using in-house. The API will not only provide secure access to the ShipConstructor database, but, more importantly, provide users and third-party developers with a stable interface to the ShipConstructor database that will remain unchanged regardless of any changes ARL’s developers make to the ShipConstructor database. Thus users with tight integrations to the ShipConstructor product model database can rest assured their own applications will still work after a ShipConstructor version upgrade.

ShipConstructor’s API opens secure access to the product object model.

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