Boat Hull Design to AutoCad in 3 Easy Steps

Boat Hull Design to AutoCad in 3 Easy StepsHull Designer is a simple, interactive, visual 3-d hull design Windows program for modeling and developing panels for hard chine construction. By using it you are able to find Center of Boyancy, Center of Lateral Area, Length Waterline, and righting moment (pitched or heeled) among other calculations. You can also create patterns for stem, stern, bulkheads, up to 10 chines, and up to 8 frames for construction. Includes a 3, 4, or 5 sheet nesting and hand-plotting capability and output to VRML 1.0, DXF, HPGL, or Carlson plotters. Includes sample designs and Word 6.0 manual.

This tutorial is very usefull for designing your own boat and even for redesigning other boats according to their boat plans which you can find in the DIY Boat Plans for Boat Building guide.

1. Hulls is a great hull design shareware program by Gregg Carlson. First you have to build your hulls drawing. The best way to do this is by using  HulWiz HulWiz Link to get started and then modify your design in Hulls by pulling and stretching each station.  Save your hull and then click the “vrml” button on the Hulls main screen.  It’s important to “save” the file first prior to clicking the vrml button.  When you click the vrml button the software will save a file in your default directory with a .wrl extension.

Boat Hull Design to AutoCad in 3 Easy Steps


2. You then need to open up the .wrl file in another 3d program. The best one to use is Crossroads 1.0.   Since Crossroads is no longer available through the web you can download the zip file here -Crossroads 1.0 Zip File (2MB) Once you install Crossroads you can open your .wrl file in it. Once you open the .wrl file in Crossroads, you can immediately save the file as an AutoCad (.dxf) file.

Boat Hull Design to AutoCad in 3 Easy Steps

3. You are now at the final stage. Open the Crossroads generated .dxf file into your AutoCad and there you have the 3d version of your Hulls design. This little trick works fine with AutoCadLT 2000 so it should work fine with any 3d capable version of AutoCad, and maybe with many other 3d programs as well. Let me know if you tried some.

Be careful not to open the Hulls generated .dxf file – if you do that you’ll get a 2d line drawing, not the 3d segments.

Thanks to Rick Malagodi for providing this great tutorial and a wonderful boating page you can see here.

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