BV, NAPA to facilitate use of 3D model in class approval process

NAPA, a maritime software, services and data analysis provider, has formed a partnership with the classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) to enhance the use of 3D models in the class approval process.

Illustration; Courtesy of NAPA
Illustration; Courtesy of NAPA

The partnership will see the parties collaborate to improve the overall efficiency and accuracy of future vessel design, solve the current challenges associated with 2D drawings and enable more effective and widespread use of 3D models.

While naval architects use 3D models to design ships, the assessment of these designs by class ensure they meet relevant safety and compliance specifications, requiring them to be translated into 2D and then back again into 3D. This is a time-consuming process that slows down communication between class societies and designers which can lead to errors in the design, the partners explained.

Now, NAPA and BV are determined to change this, in line with a shared vision to transform the design process with input from major shipbuilding, engineering and consulting companies.

The partners intend to do so by creating a new process that enables BV to perform its rule checks without needing to recreate 3D models from 3D drawings by integrating the neutral Open Class eXchange (OCX) format.

During this process, the designer shares hull data based on the OCX format from its design software and BV imports it into NAPA Steel to automatically generate the calculation models used in BV’s rule-checking software: MARS (prescriptive rule check) and VeriSTAR Hull (finite element analysis).  

In addition, the classification society will provide access to its web-based collaborative platform (VeriSTAR Project Management) to share the comments and the progress of the design review with shipyards, designers and shipowners in real-time.

The partners noted that leaning on the OCX format, this research opens up 3D model-based approval to a variety of potential users, companies, and software applications. Looking ahead, NAPA and BV are seeking to advance the development by applying this 3D model-based approval process with leading shipbuilders. 

Commenting on the partnership, Mikko Forss, EVP Design Solutions at NAPA, said: ” … software companies all agree that the shift to 3D needs to happen in the approval process as well. We’re proud to be driving that transition forward for our industry with new partnerships and by developing solutions that enable collaboration on the same 3D model throughout the design process, with better results for all involved. We’re looking forward to continuing to innovate with BV and are excited to see the benefits of the solution realized on a real-life project”.

“The shift to 3D approval is important as it underpins what will be the next generation of vessel designs. It also means we will be able to collaborate more closely and more efficiently with designers to better iterate vessel designs to meet the safety and sustainability challenges of the future”, added Laurent Leblanc, senior vice president of Technical & Operations at Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore.