Rob Watson, Vessel Scanning, Ship Scanning, BoatBuilder, Yacht Designer, Custom Yacht Design, PassageMaker, Passage Maker, Custom Yacht Design, Custom Design, Boats, Marine Designer, AutoCAD, Drafting, Lofting, Deck Plans, Part Drawings, Mechanical Animations, Processes, Safety and Training.© 2011 - C.R. Watson, Watson Enterprises

Before scanning the Fairfield Encounter we had to prove the concept and test out the procedure. The scanning crew needed a bit of training as they had never scanned a boat. We set up a catamaran near their office and highlighted the concerns they would face on the dry dock such as limiting where they could set up the scanner and dealing with having to reach so much area in a small distance with the bottom possibly being obscured.


Now that we have the process down and the vessel has arrived and loaded into the dry dock it is time to set up. On the left the crew sets the laser scanner. On the right I have laid out the nomenclature of a scan using the first original scan in AutoCAD. The scanning process uses a triangulation method to create the surface but we need to establish a fore-aft base line and then other identifiers that would be relevant to picking locations and to work around with the new frames.

The scan produces a 3D image from the triangulated cloud of points and applies a photo overlay (left) to identify points of interest. In the right image you can see where plates were welded onto the hull and even small collision dents. The software used to interpret the data and make it work on 32bit computers also allows measuring from point to point and mean surface depths.

Once in the computer the operators cleaned up the image to have only essential information the image was turned off. Here (right) you can see the cloud data points. Where the laser could not scan is a technical shadow. Such as the chain in this image. The chain had been dropped in order to retrieve and repair the anchor. In the image above left you can see the chain hanging from the hawsepipe and the shadow behind it. During cleanup the crew removed the chain but you can still see the shadow.

In the above images you can see reference points on the hull. The points shown are actual balls set on the deck so that the crew could move to the back of the vessel and scan from that side. The two scans were merged together and the spotting points overlaid so that they matched up That data was then taken by me on a HD drive where I used standard AutoCAD to open it and segregate sections so that I could trace the lines in AutoCAD format.
Left is a screen capture where the lines were generated section by section. I will not reveal how I was able to layers these lines but it was time consuming. Two weeks, 12-16 hours a day using AutoCAD. I did not have the $14,000.00 for the software so I had to use what I had. Patience.
Right is the line drawing that resulted. While I had included the location of the pipes using circles, the final decision was to leave the pipes off and trim those in during installation.


Left we have the final assembly generated from the line drawing in Rhino 3D. The image was done to completion and the sponsons made and installed. As simple and unimposing as this image seems, in AutoCAD and Rhino it is to size and detail sufficient to actually build a matching hull of a sister ship.

Thanks to Roger Fyffe, Naval Architect who created the final image. Whereas I could generate the line drawings in 3D my programs would not skin it as he did in Rhino.

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