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Orca 3D Marine Design Plug-In

Orca3D streamlines your design work with a
suite of powerful applications that run within the Rhino 3D environment. Conceptualise, model, and analyse, all without transferring files or learning a new program.

Building on Rhino's powerful 3D modeling capabilities, Orca3D provides marine-specific tools for hull design and fairing, hydrostatics & intact stability, and more. With the Orca3D
plug-in, you can conceptualise, model, and analyse your design in a single environment, without the tedious and error-prone task of transferring your design from one program to another.

Orca3D is broken into modules which can be purchased as bundles:

• Level 1: Hull Design
• Level 1: Hydrostatics/Intact Stability

• Level 2: Hull Design
• Level 1: Hydrostatics/Intact Stability
• Level 1: Speed/Power Analysis
• Level 1: Weight/Cost Tracking

Download an evaluation copy here

Orca 3D Hull Design and Fairing

The design of a vessel in Orca3D begins with the hull model. Hull design is a unique combination of artistic expression and engineering analysis, combining to form a creative process to meet the aesthetic and performance requirements of the vessel.

The software that you use to transform the hull from an idea to a 3D computer model should enrich the creative process, with guidance provided by precise and detailed analyses. With Orca3D, you have complete freedom to create any type of hull, beginning with a concept and carrying through to final fairing, while ensuring that the hull meets your target hydrostatic properties.

In Orca3D, the hull is created as a NURBS surface. While Rhino provides many important surface creation and editing tools, Orca3D adds capabilities that are specific to hull design, such as:

Hull Assistants, for instantly creating hulls
according to a range of input dimensional
and shape parameters.

Easy definition of the sections to be displayed
on your hull surface; stations, buttocks,
waterlines, and other planar curves. The user
may specify the colour of these sections,
together with the layers upon which they
should be placed.

Real-time update of the sections as the hull
surface is modified

Real-time update of the hydrostatics as the
hull surface is modified

Control over the shape of the forefoot of the
hull, ensuring a curvature-continuous
transition from the stem to the bottom

Easy positioning of the surface's control
vertices, either interactively, or via Orca3D's
vertex control dialog

Any type of hull and hull feature may be modeled. Hulls may be created as a single surface, or when appropriate, multiple surfaces. Tools like blending, trimming, and filleting provide tremendous capability and flexibility.

Orca Hull Model - Commercial Liner

An example of a large commercial ship. This model consists of three surfaces; the hull, the deck, and the transom. Note the integrated bulbous bow, perfectly faired into the main hull, since it is all part of the same surface.

Orca Hull Model - Powerboat

Chine hulls are easily modeled and analysed, with as many chines, knuckles, or style lines as desired.

Orca Hull Model - Sailboat

This sailboat model shows the importance of a smooth transition from the stem to the bottom; not just slope continuity, but also curvature continuity. Orca3D makes it simple to ensure this higher degree of fairness.

In addition to hull fairing tools, Orca3D provides a new tree control to help you to organize your model. It's another view into your layers, but with the addition of individual objects. This makes it easy to name objects, select them, change their properties, and drag them from one layer to another.

Another nice feature of the tree is the ability to quickly focus in on part of the model; simply right-click on a layer, sublayer, or object, and select "Set View Part." The rest of the model will then become hidden.

Orca 3D Weight & Cost Tracking

The success of any design hinges on its weight and centre of gravity. These parameters are fundamental to stability, speed, capacity to carry cargo (whether it be passengers, containers, or weapons), seakeeping performance, etc. Weight and CG tracking therefore must be a fundamental part of any design process.

Cost is another critical factor in the success of a design, and good engineering practice calls for cost considerations to be closely tied to the design process.

Orca3D's Weight/Cost Tracking module adds value to your Rhino model by assigning weight and cost parameters to the objects in the model, and summarizing and presenting the data.

For example, a surface that represents a portion of the hull can be assigned a weight per unit area, and as that surface is modified, the total weight and centre of gravity updates automatically. The cost parameter is broken down into material cost and labour cost, and can also be assigned on a per unit area basis. Similarly, curves can be assigned values on a per unit length basis, and solids can have either per unit area or per unit volume values. Also, curves, surfaces, and solids, as well as point objects, can be assigned an absolute value for weight and/or cost, that will not change as the object is modified.

Orca - Weight Analysis

Orca - Stock Material Manager

To simplify the process of assigning weight and cost values to your objects, Orca3D includes the ability to create a library of stock materials, and you can assign a stock material to the objects in your model. For example, you might create "5 mm steel plate," with a unit weight per square meter, a material cost per square meter, and a labour/fabrication cost per square meter.


Orca 3D Hydrostatics & Intact Stability

The process of hull design is more than simply aesthetics; the hull must meet various other requirements, including overall dimensions, displacement, centre of buoyancy, and stability. Therefore, the process of hull design and the analysis of hydrostatics and stability must be closely linked. In Orca3D, the model for these tasks is one and the same; the hull is designed using one or more NURBS surfaces, and these same surfaces are used in the calculation of the hydrostatics and stability properties. In fact, they are so closely linked, that the hydrostatics can be updated in real time, as the hull surface is modified.

Calculation Types

Orca3D computes intact hydrostatics at one or more waterlines, or multiple displacement/centre of gravity combinations. In addition, at each of these conditions, the righting arm curve may be computed. Computed values include:

Overall and waterplane dimensions

Integrated values: volume, displacement,
centre of buoyancy, wetted surface

Waterplane properties: waterplane area,
centre of flotation

Maximum sectional area data

Hull form coefficients: block, prismatic,
vertical prismatic, max section, waterplane,
wetted surface

Stability parameters: transverse and
longitudinal inertias and metacentric heights

Righting Arm Curve: righting arm and trim
angle versus heel, height of any points of
interest above the flotation plane

Vessel Types

Because Orca3D computes the hydrostatic properties based on the surface model, using first principles, there is really no limit to the type of vessel or object that it can analyse. Monohulls, multihulls, vessels with propeller or bow thruster tunnels...basically, anything that floats, or even sinks, can be analysed with Orca3D.


Graphical output consists of a planar surface inserted at the equilibrium flotation plane, with the LCB and LCF annotated.

Orca3D produces a report that includes tabular data at each flotation condition, as well as plots of appropriate parameters. The report is created and displayed using Microsoft Report Generator; the file may then be printed, or saved in Adobe Acrobat? (pdf) or Microsoft Excel? format. Examples of portions of the output are shown below.

Orca - Volumetric Properties

Orca - Tabular Data

Orca - Stability

Orca - Section Properties

Orca 3D Speed/Power Analysis

"How fast will it go?" The Orca3D Speed/Power Analysis module has two different prediction methods: the Savitsky method to predict the speed/power curve for chine hulls, and the Holtrop method to predict the speed/power for displacement hulls. We have integrated the HydroComp Drag Prediction Library, to ensure reliable, accurate results.

Most of the required input parameters are automatically computed from your model, although the user can input or override the values. Results are quickly generated and professionally formatted, and include checks to ensure the validity of the results. Any parameters that are outside of the ranges of the prediction method are flagged.

Orca - Planing Input

Orca - Holtrop Analysis

Orca - Planing Power Plot

Orca - Holtrop Output

In addition to predicting the performance, the analysis gives insight into how to improve the performance, with a Drag Reduction Analysis. Four key parameter are evaluated, and recommendations given on adjustments to optimise your design; Planing Beam, Deadrise Angle, LCG location, and Shaft Angle.