Ship design is based on a 3D approach in some design stages, recently for the Initial Design (barely surfaces) and especially during the Detail Design and Production. However, there is the intermediate Class/Basic Design stage, still widely based on 2D drawings, despite being the time when most of the relevant decisions are made. This way of work was the result of the traditional shipbuilding reluctance for change, put together with the lack of continuity within the information at the different design steps, and made it really challenging the transition from the 2D to the 3D approach. But this was the past.

This paper describes how a ship design project has been developed successfully in 3D during the basic/class design, detail and production, having generated the required class drawings as mere outputs from the 3D model. The main important advantage of this approach is the smooth transition to further design stages, by reusing all the data which is then generated just once. Other related benefits are the consistency of the information in the 3D model, avoiding very costly errors in production, while designers can work concurrently. In particular, this project has been developed entirely from remote locations, having real-time access to the database thanks to a technological solution based on Terminal Server. Security aspects and a very good performance have made this approach possible, which has leverage the competitiveness of the shipyard to a new standard.

This project, an articulated tug barge (ATB) has been developed at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in partnership with Guarino & Cox, LLC by using the advanced shipbuilding CAD/CAM/CAE system FORAN, in all design disciplines.

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