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June 23, 2015
Best PracticesShipbuildingShipConstructorTips & Tricks

ShipConstructor Tips & Tricks Clash Management

Fixing issues on the waterfront due to interferences is extremely costly and can be the main contributor to why your project is late on delivery or went over budget. To some, it may seem surprising that interferences on the production floor still happen even though today’s 3D CAD tools have native clash detection features. However, the challenge with interferences is not with managing interferences within the same tool but when there are multiple different authoring tools. This can happen if you subcontract a portion of the project to a designer who uses a different tool or if you are using a previous design which is in another format. In this ShipConstructor Tips & Tricks I will show you a strategy to manage interferences when there are different authoring tools as well as when you are only using ShipConstructor.

ShipConstructor has several ways to manage clashes but if you need to include foreign authoring tools, the best strategy is to use Navisworks Manage. Using Navisworks Manage has several nice benefits:

  1. Can read virtually any CAD system data. There is no other tool that can read rich data from so many CAD systems. This means that you can use the same strategy even if projects never use the same combination of CAD applications.
  2. Very quick and accurate clash detection. You can run clash detection for an entire ship (~80m) in under a minute.
  3. Good visualization. After identification of the clashes Navisworks provides many options for you to select how to view the interference.
  4. View, comment, and manage your clashes on your mobile device or in your browser. I discussed and demonstrated this in my previous post A solution for a distributed team using disparate CAD authoring tools: Part V
  5. No authoring CAD tool needed. Depending on how you are managing your clashes it is entirely possible that you will not have both authoring tools. With Navisworks you can initiate, view, comment and manage the clashes without any authoring CAD tool. The clashes and attributes are stored within the Navisworks drawing allowing other users who have the source CAD authoring tool to be able to make the corrective changes.
  6. Remains linked to the source authoring tool. When you add native CAD files in Navisworks, Navisworks creates a reference link to the source file. This allows Navisworks to automatically update (Refresh) when the source files changes. This is especially important in managing clashes because after you fix a clash you will want the changes to be reflected in Navisworks.


A video is worth a thousand words so I decided to create one demonstrating this Navisworks clash detection strategy. I ended up just using ShipConstructor; however, you would use the same strategy when using multiple different CAD tools.

For those who do not have access to YouTube click here.

Closing Remarks

Finding Interferences on the waterfront can add significant delays and cost to your project. To ensure that your project runs smoothly you will want a strategy to solve all your clashes in the detail design phase and not on the production floor.

The main challenge some of you have is when you have CAD information from several different authoring tools. Using Navisworks Manage is a very efficient, accurate and cost effective way of managing clashes for any of your projects no matter the authoring tools.

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