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General Questions

What does Naval Architect do?

Naval architect is a cloud-based ship design software that enables various stakeholders  to collaboratively work on a digital ship representation.

What problem does Naval Architect address?

Naval Architect treats the shipbuilding process and its participants in it as a whole. Existing software packages work in isolated information silos, making it hard to share the information and designs across all the disciplines and stakeholders involved. Keeping all that info up to date is another challenge on top of it and requires an immense coordinational effort. This way of working is prone to create errors in planning and managing, which can lead to unwanted additional costs in later phases, time delay and even contract termination.

What benefits does Naval Architect offer?

Naval Architect eliminates secluded software that needs to be installed and is thus accessible only to a certain part of the project team. It is easy to use, keeps everyone updated on who made which changes where and when, and ensures that everyone is always working with the correct data.
It can also be used to create presentations, to generate product data or to run project feasibility studies. You can also save time and effort through our rapid modeling approach: you draw and design in 2D, while your project comes to live as a digital 3D design of your ship.
At all times, Naval Architect offers the current project status to easily track progress and stay on top of things. It can also utilize data from previous projects and run plausibility checks against them to minimize the risk of planning errors.

Why is Naval Architect better than existing software?

All major software systems in shipbuilding are approximately 30 years old or even older. Since then, the working environment and requirements have changed significantly – for example, teams are more and more working decentralized. The existing systems were not created for this. While other software tools are mostly specific design and calculation tools, Naval Architect includes both a cloud-based 3D CAD environment as well as an advanced central management system for the properties, functions and characteristics of the ship. All of the key information of a project can be modeled and included in Naval Architect and also shared with other stakeholders to maximize efficiency and productivity. Naval Architect is being developed from scratch based on the latest technologies and is unique for that reason alone. Furthermore, Naval Architect addresses the early planning phase in particular while offering several innovative approaches and thus closes a gap in the existing software landscape.

How easy is it to use Naval Architect?

Very easy! It is a cloud software that runs directly in your web browser, so there’s no installation required! And you don’t have to worry about keeping the software up to date as we will update it automatically in the cloud. After registration, you can immediately start to work with Naval Architect.

Why is it important to focus on (early) ship design?

Over 80-90% of the total project costs are defined and set during the early design phase, whereas the actual costs occur in later phases (e.g. during production). Any errors made in the early design phase makes it almost impossible or too expensive to change later on . Therefore, the highest potential to minimize planning errors and associated risks is in the early design phase.

What is Ship Information Modeling (SIM)?

SIM is a work methodology that consists of the digital modeling of a ship and involves collaborative work between several players involved in the project. In case of SIM, one virtual model contains all the information of the lifecycle of the project, which can be added to and changed in real time.

What are the benefits of SIM?

Thanks to the collaborative work environment and information that can be added in real time to the virtual model, Ship Information Modeling allows the users to have a preview and a wider overview of the project. Thus, the methodology makes it easier to avoid mistakes, interferences, improvisations and refactorings, which reduces the time and cost invested in the project.

Technical Questions

Which data formats/interfaces are supported?

Import: 3DS, 3MF, AutoCAD DWG/DXF, ACIS, CATIA V4/V5/V6 (3D XML), COLLADA, Creo Parametric, DWF, FBX, gITF, I-deas, IGES, IFC, Inventor, JT, NX, OBJ, Parasolid, PDF, PRC, Pro/Engineer, Revit, Rhino, Solid Edge, SOLIDWORKS, STEP, STEP XML, STL, VDA-FS, Universal 3D, VRML

Export: ACIS, FBX, IGES, JT, OBJ, Parasolid, PRC, STEP, Stereo Lithography (STL), Universal 3D, VRML, 3MF

How does the version control and release management work?

All changes made can be easily retraced and viewed, which means that you always know who changed what and when. In particular, this covers a powerful concept called branching & merging. Different versions may exist parallel (branches) and changes might be published between them (merging). This allows for a continuous change management – from change request to release – on the platform.

Can I limit the rights for certain users?

A role-based access control is realized. All information is classified and you may define roles and assign them to users to precisely control which users are able to access which information.

How is data security ensured?

Data security comes in two flavors: we are using data encryption, strong authentication methods, audits, and a role-based authorization to protect your data. What makes Naval Architect by far the most secure data platform, though, is that data is only shared rather than copied. Users will only view the data through the browser without actually making copies on their own devices. Once you revoke the access, it is impossible to access the data anymore and no “backup” copies or the like outside of your control will ever exist.

How is Naval Architect different from others systems in terms of ….

Information Modeling: In Naval Architect you build a digital ship model from items. Each item can be seen as a container for information which might represent the hull, a compartment, equipment such as a pump or a generator, and many more. The key differentiation to other software is that an item is not just 3D geometry with potentially a few selected metadata attached, but rather a placeholder for all information about that particular item. In fact, many items are typically defined without geometry at all, but keep a comprehensive list of non-geometrical information such as weights, power requirements, material specifications, and more. Rather than telling you what your digital model should look like, we provide a flexible framework built around a few core concepts to specify your organization’s information requirements and implement them as project-wide standards for efficient and reliable information exchange.

Computer-Aided Design: Naval Architect is neither a full-featured CAD system nor a CAD data management solution (PLM / PDM). We are the only system that deals with the full range of information that is required and exchanged in shipbuilding projects: this covers geometrical and non-geometrical information such as weights, materials, power requirements, air circulation ratings, noise levels, and many more of which are typically found on data sheets, in technical requirements, tender documentation, or contract specifications. Our platform is built on top of Parasolid, the world-leading CAD kernel used by many high-end CAD systems, and therefore we are able to deal with the full range of CAD data and provide the necessary tools to model a 3D general arrangement quickly.

Cloud Platform: Our cloud-native platform requires nothing more than a web browser to make collaboration across departments, suppliers, subcontractors, and other partners as easy as possible. All stakeholders work on the same digital model and using our role-based permission system you are able to control precisely who can view, edit and export which information in your project. Furthermore, you are able to realize the full range of benefits of software-as-a-service (SaaS): minimal IT costs without the hassles of software installation and maintenance and reduced hardware requirements, predictive licensing as you only pay what you are actually using and scalability with your business demands.

Branching & Merging: The project data is versioned throughout, so that it is always clear what has been changed by which user, thus providing a transparent status for all users. Branches are used to edit the design in parallel, differences between branches can be reviewed and merged together if appropriate. This allows you to implement robust change management in your projects, where for instance a change request is initially prepared in a separate branch and is published only after successful review to the master model.

Do i have to use Naval Architect in the cloud?

We strongly believe that cloud computing will be a core technology for the future development of the maritime industry. It makes accessing and sharing data and visualizations between users and organizations easy and simple. However, it is possible to host our system on your organization’s own server if required. Let us know if you are interested in a locally-based system.