Marine Design Plug-in for Rhino


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Albert Sedlmayer
Albert Sedlmayer Sedlmayer Associates Pty Ltd

Orca3D is used extensively right from the first hull sketch, to monitor and optimise displacement, hull coefficients and areas curves. We use Orca3D’s Holtrop analysis to calculate resistance and determine engine power and optimum speed range. We have found excellent correlation between Orca3D’s Holtrop results, tank testing and deployment feedback of our ships in service, and are very confident in these results.

We assign weights to fitout and general arrangement components from early on using Orca3D weight and cost features. These are refined and updated as the design progresses. We assign weights to all structure components as they are developed in Rhino, and thereby keep extremely accurate running weight and CG control.

Chuck Neville
Chuck Neville Charles Neville Associates

I have known the developers of Orca3d for close to 30 years. What is important is not the long link that I have to them, but the vast amount of experience they have had developing software for Naval Architects and Yacht Designers. This group was among the first to appreciate the advantages of NURBS in the development of fair hulls. They did so in technical papers on the subject as well as in the software they developed. And it was all a period where others were still using less controllable objects.

Unfortunately their first software and the sophisticated hardware (for the day) that it took to run were much more expensive than this then young Naval Architect could afford. Though even in those days I knew them and their work I grudgingly purchased a significantly less expensive well known software. And I grew to hate it. I never felt like I was able to craft a hull to meet my planned specifications. What I did do was get tired of trying when I had reached a point of ‘good enough’. Luckily after only a few years of frustration the cost of software and the hardware had come down. I jumped to their software and have used it moving along with them as new platforms and versions developed.

Building on top of Rhino has allowed them to create a whole new generation of hull development tools including the best features of the past along with a seeming endless array of new possibilities. It has also allowed them to focus even more on the Naval Architectural needs of their clients. Orca3d currently offers a great number of improvements and utility features over products previously available and it grows with each new release. The tools are there to help build the hull shape you want quickly and easily. That hull can be as simple as you like, or as complex as necessary and the final geometry will not only look nice on the screen but can be readily analyzed to assure that it is both ‘fair’ and buildable.

You can also evaluate the results with their suite of performance, weight, stability and other tools. I have found that even outside of boat design they have provided many new and useful controls that add to Rhino’s overall functionality on all kind of projects.

Beyond the tools themselves the developers at Orca3d have always offered great support whether it’s understanding the program itself or helping you to figure out the best way to perform a necessary task. And that is probably the bottom line. Orca3d is software designed for Naval Architects and yacht designers by a group of practicing Naval Architects. They understand not just how to write software code, but what tasks need to be done and how a design professional will likely want to do them. Often that kind of experience and sensibility is a rare thing.

Steve Killing
Steve Killing Steve Killing Yacht Design
Orca3D has been my hydrostatics program of choice since its inception and I use it along with Rhino3D for all my marine design. You will find that it is equally accurate for craft as small as 36 inches and as long as 72 feet (the limit of my experience), from skinny canoes and catamarans to powerboats and sailboats with more beam. As well as being impressed with the software, I have to congratulate Bruce and the team on their timely response to requests for enhancements and bug fixes. They are open to suggestions, have added many of the requested features and solved most of my problems.

The hydrostatics have been tested here against FastShip and for consistency when switching units (I use both imperial and metric) and there are no flaws that I have found.

Jim Pauling Jim Pauling Yacht Design, Ltd

Previously I had been designing on another yacht design software package. Although it was very good yacht design software, it did not do everything that I needed it to do and therefore I required a 2D AutoCAD software for working drawings plus a rendering software for presentation. For rendering I used Rhino as it is superbly user friendly and very versatile. Once I found I could use Orca with Rhino it meant that I no longer needed any other software. Orca took care of the naval architecture/hull lines, stability, hydrostats and Rhino took care of rendering and 2D drawings. This made life so much simpler and I have been very happy with the accuracy and the hydrostatic data output from Orca for my boat designs. It wasn’t long before I transferred all my files over and now solely use Rhino/Orca3D. I wouldn’t use anything else.

The backup and support has been absolutely superb with prompt responses to any questions I have had allowing me to get back to work very quickly on the occasional times I have run into difficulty.

I think Rhino/Orca3D is a superb package and certainly has put a lot of enjoyment back into the design process. Easy to use, accurate and versatile. The data from our as-built boats concurs extremely well with the design data so we know the accuracy is right on. When we can take measurements off the drawings and compare them to the boats being built and be within a millimetre, it certainly gives us confidence in the software. We do some very complex designs and the accuracy really does astound me sometimes.

We regularly measure and weigh the boats as they float and compare that back to the design and once again the results are very accurate. I can’t really ask for much more than has been delivered with this software and have full confidence in it.

Håvard Hopland Tomra Engineering AS

Orca3D has been very convenient for quick Displacement versus Curves of Form analysis, and has proven to be a great add-on to Rhino3D for our use.

Alan Johnstone
Alan Johnstone J/Boats, Inc

I have been using the Rhino 5.0 plugin Orca3D for several years for hydrostatics, hull model fairing and analysis, as well as for stability & flotation study for new J/Boat projects. It is a great companion tool for yacht design and the folks at Orca3D are always very helpful.”

Walter Schurtenberger
Walter Schurtenberger Constellation Yachts
I have been using Orca almost from the beginning when the wip versions came out. I think it is an outstanding plug-in for any yacht designer. I do very much appreciate the cost and weight module (which saves creating several separate spreadsheets on the side). I also like the functionality and user friendliness. We design mainly catamarans and trimarans and the performance predictions do not exactly apply to our hulls, but combined with our experience factor, it is still very useful and accurate. I would also like to compliment tech support; anytime I needed their help they were quick and accurate. I would like to thank Bruce Hays and his team for creating this program and  continuing to improve it.

Andrew Williams
Andrew Williams Marine Measurements LLC

If you are a marine user of Rhino then Orca3D will make your life easier. Orca3D is intuitive with helpful video tutorials, which got us up to speed quickly. We find its many features automate and keep our work flowing smoothly. It makes quick work of Hydrostatics and Stability calculations, giving us logical choices with radio buttons and data entry fields for the variations needed. The reports are clean and easy to read.  5 stars from this office.


Graham Radford
Graham Radford Radford Yacht Design

After learning to design using the most basic drafting tools I stepped into a new era and started using FastYacht in early 1985.  I was very happy to migrate to Orca3D when it was first introduced which made it possible to continue to expand the scope of work I can undertake.   Orca3D is an important tool in the development of all my designs.

Doug Shickler Schickler Tagliapietra Yacht Engineering

As an avid user of FastShip, we also recognize the usefulness of OrcaMove features for precise control and very fast cross section updates. This feature was a great time saver in a reverse engineering project we recently performed. Without Orca3D, shifting between the flexibility of Rhino and the precision and response of an external hull shaper was tedious. With Orca3D, we could reach the entire toolbox of Rhino, like Sweep2 or NetworkSurf. Then with PointCloudSection and Orca3D Sections one can quickly compare the candidate to the target.”

Martin Monteverde Naval Architect, Buenos Aires

Orca3D is certainly the perfect companion for Rhinoceros, adding new commands and features that allow you to properly and efficiently deal with virtually any waterborne project.

Hydrostatics & Stability (H&S) built-in code is very robust, accurate and fast. You can analyze virtually any type of hull geometry, no matter whether it is a monohull or multihull of any kind, with a full degree of confidence on the results obtained.

Orca3D’s different approach for processing Hydrostatic &  Stability calculations makes it quite versatile and immune to usual 3D model flaws, i.e. when you finish with naked edges below waterline, or singular  points (singularities) and so, allowing you to override this problem and get H&S calculations for your model, even when the hull is not perfectly modeled.


JF Bedard
JF Bedard Bedard Yacht Design

Not only is Orca3D user-friendly, completely integrated and stable in  Rhino, but I’ve received first-class personalized service to back it up many times in the past, above and beyond what could be fairly expected. Thumbs up!