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A GIF image showing the workflow of the bulkhead update in Naval Architect

How topological ship model improves efficiency in ship design

Change is the essence of innovation and the engine of invention. Significant changes occur frequently, especially in the early stages of ship design. They must be managed seamlessly and effortlessly by all members of the complex project environment. In this way, the topological ship model helps to improve efficiency in ship design.

Naval Architect’s vision is to maximize efficiency and reliability in early design stages through our original integrated solution. Our web-based cloud platform is designed to collaborate via a shared digital topological ship model. All geometry is ‘aware’ of its surroundings and adapts to changes made by the user. Changes can be made in a separate version (branch) of the project and easily reviewed by others and merged into the main project stream.

Are you interested in improving efficiency of your ship design workflow and making it error-proof? Then read on!

A real life example

Imagine the usual situation of having to move the engine room bulkhead forward two frames due to newly acquired equipment data. There are also two fresh water tanks in the way, as shown in Figure 1.

A sketch of the required change on General Arrangement Plan
Fig. 1. a snapshot of the current situation in the general arrangement plan

The design team will need to review the impact of this change, which will require at least a number of actions, such as:

  • Marking the required update on the general arrangement plan (GAP).
  • Distribution of the information to the entire project team.
  • Calculation of the new volume and COG of fresh water tanks, review total volume of fresh water, review stability model, review weight calculations, etc.
  • Presentation of the impact to the team: sending emails with sketches and comments or arranging meetings.
  • Discussion of the change with the shipyard, the customer and the ship operator.
  • Revision of the GAP, the tank plan, the space identification plan, etc.

How does Naval Architect improve efficiency?

Now let us look at Figure 2, which shows what is required to apply and deploy the above change in Naval Architect.

A GIF image showing the workflow of the bulkhead update in Naval Architect
Fig. 2. a workflow of the bulkhead update in Naval Architect

And that is really it! But what actually happened?

  • The bulkhead moves forward two frames by simply dragging it in plan view.
  • Consequently, AI adjusts all surrounding structures to the change made.
  • The geometric properties of tanks and compartments update automatically, including weight and COG.
  • As a result, everyone can see the update and its consequences immediately.
  • The project team and other involved parties always work with up-to-date information.
  • Shipyard, client and ship operator are informed and can comment.
  • If everyone agrees, they can merge the changes into the main project stream.

And most importantly, only the first and last points are an action of the engineering team. This is because everything else happens automatically under the hood. Moreover, it is possible to return to the situation before the change and review or undo the changes without affecting the subsequent work. Naval Architect also allows the model to be extracted into common 3D formats for use in other programs if required.


The topological nature of the model in the Naval Architect platform allows for hassle-free changes that all project members can see immediately. The integrated ship model is a single source of truth for the project. Accordingly, Naval Architect can integrate all the platforms you currently use and ensure the efficiency of your ship design workflow.

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