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Computer Design

Understanding capabilities and advantages of the computer in your own boat design work.

Tuition: $825

Requirements: You will need a MAC or PC laptop that is within 10 years of age; 4MB RAM; video graphics capability; and a free 90-day trial version of Rhino 5 loaded and ready to go. Minimally, a 15½″ screen size is recommended, as is a comfortable mouse with pad. Students should have solid experience with lofting or drafting table. WoodenBoat School’s LOFTING or ELEMENTS OF BOAT DESIGN course provide excellent prerequisite information for this COMPUTER DESIGN course.

Designing on a computer

What is the computer-aided design (CAD) program called Rhino that is so popular with designers? How does one use it to model a boat on a computer? What all is needed to cut with a CNC machine? By the end of this course with designer/boatbuilder Clint Chase, you will have a better appreciation of these essential questions and some of the answers. Moreover, you will end up with a toolbox full of computer skills and a 3D model of a boat hull. Clint will share his unique knowledge and skills in bringing boats to life from Rhino to the shop floor.

The week will be busy but fun as you learn the many facets to drawing your own boat design on the computer. Everyone will be starting with an existing lines plan—perhaps one you’ve drawn in the ELEMENTS OF BOAT DESIGN course or on your own. You can also start with a refined lines sketch of the boat of your choice. The boat can be any hull type, but for learning computer design, a simpler hull form like a multichined or lapstrake hull is easiest for the beginner. Whatever plan you choose, it must come to class scanned into your laptop as a JPEG file. This is our starting point.

Designing on a computer

As the week progresses, we will virtually build a 3D model of the hull and deck of your design. Students will learn to navigate in Rhino and become proficient with its tools and the list of commands that enable the lines to take shape on the screen. Demonstrations and discussions of the basic and more subtle aspects of computer lofting, 3D modeling, hydrostatic calculations, creation of layouts and CNC cutting files, and problem-solving will flow together through the week. You’ll print your work on a large-format printer on Friday, and we’ll visit a nearby shop and see how a boat kit can be cut on a large CNC router.

Everyone in the class will be bringing a variety of experience and knowledge and a willingness to help each other so each student leaves with new friends and the fundamentals of computer design.

Clint Chase was one of the absolute best instructors I’ve had here in my 17 years of taking courses at the school. I would take the COMPUTER DESIGN course with him again.”
T,B., Kenosha, Wisconsin