Aluminum Boat Design

I am currently a SOLIDWORKS user and I have learned that SOLIDWORKS is not boat design friendly. Everything I see is that Rhino is more suited for this application. Before I purchase, I am wondering about how Rhino handles translating the formed/rounded/bent front of the boat into a flat pattern to be made out of sheet stock. Also, I heard something about a feature that would calculate how the boat would sit in the water. Can anyone help me with this?


Hi Travis - I would download the evaluation version and have a try - the workflow is very different from SW, much les constrained, for better and for worse. The commands you are asking about are UnrollSrf (works on developable surfaces, does not know anything about materials) and Hydrostatics.


I sort of half remember a tutorial for modeling a developable hull work boat, but I can’t seem to find it.

There are manyany resources for all of the hull design in rhino.

For developable surfaces specifically you can start here: Tutorial 2 Developable Hull Shapes in Rhino3d - YouTube

And this is metal kit boats: Rhino Tutorial - Designing Boats With Rhino - 02 Deck Slots - YouTube

While we do have some level of hydrostatics, the real marine experts with Rhino are the Orca3d people that have advanced analysis:

Thanks for the replies. They are very helpful.

Hi Travis,

Rhino has various tools and workflows to flatten 3D (plate-like) shapes. It will take some effort to learn the skills.
However this community is always very helpful and a great resource to learn and get personal help.
Smaller projects can be perfectly done in Rhino.

As I’m all into boatbuilding these day:
FWIW if you are concerned about creating a building package from you 3D model you could also check out our solution. We have automated the flow from 3D model to 2D building package in our online app.
Not free but on a pay-per-part basis. Free registration and model upload for testing.