At the heart of the ShipConstructor suite of products is a single relational database residing on a Microsoft SQL Server. Any project's CAD, attribute and production information can be maintained in real time and accessed from any of the production design disciplines. In addition to design, engineering, planning, purchasing and scheduling activities, ShipConstructor's repository of information can be used for lifecycle activities including repair, maintenance and refit. This Marine Information Modeling concept is driven by an open architecture with extensive APIs to enable customization and interoperability with other applications.
ShipConstructor uses AutoCAD and other AutoCAD verticals such as AutoCAD P&ID as the foundation for shipbuilding and offshore specific capability. The software maintains the familiar AutoCAD user experience across all engineering disciplines.
AutoCAD is widely used as a 3D design and drafting tool in other industries which has led to a significant number of exchange formats (IGES, STEP, DXF...) that, in addition to DWG, allow interoperability with other software and processes. Additionally, the longevity of AutoCAD has led to continual improvements in the software so that it is now widely considered to have the best available drafting capabilities. These tools can be applied by any ShipConstructor client to further detail the automatically generated production drawings available in ShipConstructor.
AutoCAD contains extensive capabilities for customization and software development. There are more than 2500 3rd party developers, including SSI, using the AutoCAD Object ARX API to develop and customize products on the AutoCAD platform.
Production output is automatically created in DWG format and remains intelligently linked to the 3D product model even once it has been customized. The types of output ShipConstructor generates include 2D shop drawings, 3D assembly drawings, pipe and HVAC spool drawings, arrangements, profile plots, and plate and profile nests. Each of these drawings can be generated based on user configurable templates and included information such as bills of materials. As the 3D model changes, production documentation can be automatically updated on demand which allows them to be created earlier in the design process.
ShipConstructor models can be opened directly in the Autodesk Navisworks 3D visualization program and a Navisworks model can be created directly within ShipConstructor using native AutoCAD technology. The Navisworks model contains all of the attribute information available from within ShipConstructor, e.g. clicking on a valve provides information about the manufacturer, system, TAG number and more. This intelligent virtual reality model can be used for interference checking, client walkthroughs and personnel training as well as design review, effectively shortening the design process and reducing costly errors that might otherwise make their way to production.
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Database Driven Relational Object Model is a trademark of ShipConstructor Software Inc.