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Ship HydroMechanics

Machining ship hull models for towing tank tests

At Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, the Ship Hydro Mechanics Laboratory (part of the Dept of Marine Engineering) is equipped with two large towing tanks. The tank shown has a length of 142 meters, a width of 4.2 and a water depth of 2.5 m. Applications of this tank include Resistance tests in calm water and in waves, Open Water Propeller tests and Upright and heeled sailing yacht tests. Main research topic of the Lab is the motion of vessels in waves.

The modelshop
Milling a ship model
The Lab's modelshop, and milling a ship model (hull only).

In order to perform towing tests for any ship, it is of course needed to have a (physical) ship model to be towed. This is where DeskProto comes in. The hull design is defined using the Universities proprietary vessel design software, and the geometry then is exported as STL file. Calculating toolpaths in DeskProto is easy: the hull models are machined either as monoblock or (in case of undercuts created by bulb keel) from two separate halves.
The Lab's modelshop is equipped with a large size router made by Komplot Mechanics, which can handle the required size without a problem. Materials used are foam and wood.

Towing a ship model
The towing tank
Towing a ship model, and an overview of the large towing-tank.

As the tanks are also used to perform tests for third party ship builders, the Lab is very happy with DeskProto's easy geometry-data exchange: communication with any 3D design software proves to be very easy using STL files.