At early design stages is where most part of the decisions and costs are compromised, and where 2D drawings are still widely used. The idea of using a single tool for the whole process, starting with the creation of a 3D model at early design stages has been profusely required in naval shipbuilding. It is not easy to convince the agents involved about the advantage of having an increased work at early phases although that will be largely reused downstream. This paper describes in detail the benefits of changing the process for minor warships design, by means of using an advanced CAD tool from the early stages and explaining the advantage in terms of quality and cost. The most remarkable benefits come from the data integrity and the avoidance of long design periods and cost increases due to errors, re-work and inconsistencies. The main challenges refer to the integration of all stages and disciplines, relying on the use of a single CAD tool that must be effective at all stages, including those in basic design such as the quick definition of the 3D model, as well as in the transfer of a simplified model to the analysis and calculation tools. This paper describes SENER findings in minor warships, as an example of engineering work, by means of an approach based on the use of FORAN, a shipbuilding oriented CAD System.

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