Minimum hardware required: same as Rhino v6
Operating system(s): Windows 7/8/10
Most recent version date & number: WIP v2 - December 2019
Number of installations:


Other plug-ins for Rhino3D

- Bongo
- Flamingo
- Penguin
- T-Splines



Orca3D Marine Design Software

Orca3D streamlines your design work with a suite of powerful applications that run within the Rhino 3D environment. Conceptualize, model, and analyze, all without transferring files or learning a new program..

Building on Rhino's powerful 3D modeling capabilities, Orca3D provides marine-specific tools for hull design and fairing, hydrostatics and intact stability, and more. With the Orca3D plug-in, you can conceptualize, model, and analyze your design in a single environment, without the tedious and error-prone task of transferring your design from one program to another, or the need to learn a new user-interface.

Orca3D is broken into modules which can be purchased as bundles:

  • Hull Design and Hydrostatics/Intact Stability
  • Hull Design, Hydrostatics/Intact Stability, Speed/Power Analysis, and Weight/Cost Tracking



Hydrostatics and Intact Stability

The process of hull design is more than simply aesthetics; the hull must meet various other requirements, including overall dimensions, displacement, center of buoyancy, and stability. Therefore, the process of hull design and the analysis of hydrostatics and stability must be closely linked. In Orca3D, the model for these tasks is one and the same; the hull is designed using one or more NURBS surfaces, and these same surfaces are used in the calculation of the hydrostatics and stability properties. In fact, they are so closely linked, that the hydrostatics can be updated in real time, as the hull surface is modified.

What calculations are included?

Orca3D computes intact hydrostatics at one or more waterlines, or multiple displacement/center of gravity combinations. In addition, at each of these conditions, the righting arm curve may be computed. Computed values include:

  • Overall and waterplane dimensions
  • Integrated values: volume, displacement, center of buoyancy, wetted surface
  • Waterplane properties: waterplane area, center of flotation
  • Maximum sectional area data
  • Hull form coefficients: block, prismatic, vertical prismatic, max section, waterplane, wetted surface
  • Stability parameters: transverse and longitudinal inertias and metacentric heights

What kinds of vessels can be analyzed?

Because Orca3D computes the hydrostatic properties based on the surface model, using first principles, there is really no limit to the type of vessel or object that it can analyze. Monohulls, multihulls, vessels with propeller or bow thruster tunnels...basically, anything that floats, or even sinks, can be analyzed with Orca3D.

What output is available?

Orca3D produces a report that includes tabular data at each flotation condition, as well as plots of appropriate parameters. The report is created and displayed using Microsoft Report Generator; the file may then be printed, or saved in Adobe Acrobat ? (pdf) or Microsoft Excel ? format. Examples of portions of the output are shown below.

What are the model requirements?

Since Orca3D uses the surface model to compute the hydrostatics and stability, it is very forgiving with regard to the model. The requirements are as follows:

  • The model must consist of one or more surfaces.
  • The surfaces need not join perfectly.
  • As long as a region will not become submerged, it need not be sealed. For example, a deck is not required, as long as the deck edge will not become submerged during the analysis.
  • The transom is not required, if the assumption of a flat transom, perpendicular to centerplane is adequate.
  • The surface normal direction for all surfaces must be pointing into the water (otherwise, their volumes will be negative).
  • Stations are only required to compute the prismatic coefficient, sectional area curve, and max section coefficient.
  • The model may be a half or whole model.



Orca3D Hull Design & Fairing

The design of a vessel in Orca3D begins with the hull model. Hull design is a unique combination of artistic expression and engineering analysis, combining to form a creative process to meet the aesthetic and performance requirements of the vessel.

The software that you use to transform the hull from an idea to a 3D computer model should enrich the creative process, with guidance provided by precise and detailed analyses. With Orca3D, you have complete freedom to create any type of hull, beginning with a concept and carrying through to final fairing, while ensuring that the hull meets your target hydrostatic properties.

In Orca3D, the hull is created as a NURBS surface. While Rhino provides many important surface creation and editing tools, Orca3D adds capabilities that are specific to hull design, such as:

  • Hull Assistants, for instantly creating hulls according to a range of input dimensional and shape parameters
  • Easy definition of the sections to be displayed on your hull surface; stations, buttocks, waterlines, and other planar curves. The user may specify the color of these sections, together with the layers upon which they should be placed.
  • Real-time update of the sections as the hull surface is modified
  • Real-time update of the hydrostatics as the hull surface is modified
  • Control over the shape of the forefoot of the hull, ensuring a curvature-continuous transition from the stem to the bottom
  • Easy positioning of the surface's control vertices, either interactively, or via Orca3D's vertex control dialog

Any type of hull and hull feature may be modeled. Hulls may be created as a single surface, or when appropriate, multiple surfaces. Tools like blending, trimming, and filleting provide tremendous capability and flexibility.

An example of a large commercial ship. This model consists of three surfaces; the hull, the deck, and the transom. Note the integrated bulbous bow, perfectly faired into the main hull, since it is all part of the same surface.
Chine hulls are easily modeled and analyzed, with as many chines, knuckles, or style lines as desired.
This sailboat model shows the importance of a smooth transition from the stem to the bottom; not just slope continuity, but also curvature continuity. Orca3D makes it simple to ensure this higher degree of fairness.



Speed/Power Analysis
"How fast will it go?" The Orca3D Speed/Power Analysis module uses the Savitsky method to predict the speed/power curve for chine hulls. We have integrated the HydroComp Drag Prediction Library, to ensure reliable, accurate results.
Most of the required input parameters are automatically computed from your model, although the user can input or override the values. Results are quickly generated and professionally formatted, and include checks to ensure the validity of the results. Any parameters that are outside of the ranges of the prediction method are flagged.

In addition to predicting the performance, the analysis gives insight into how to improve the performance, with a Drag Reduction Analysis. Four key parameter are evaluated, and recommendations given on adjustments to optimize your design; Planing Beam, Deadrise Angle, LCG location, and Shaft Angle.




The files in the list below are self-contained screen videos, demonstrating various features and functions of Orca3D. You may watch them by clicking on "View" next to the description, or you may download them to your computer by right-clicking on 'View," and selecting "Save Target As...".

Please note that you can pause, rewind, fast forward, and play any of the videos, using the control at the bottom of the screen.

Category Description File
Hull Design Lines Drawings and Offset Tablest View
This video walks through the steps of creating a sailboat hull, using the Sailboat Hull Assistant View
A demonstration of defining locations for sections (stations, buttocks, waterlines, etc.) View
Easily and precisely place Orca control points to fair your model View
See how Orca3D can automatically produce slope and curvature continuity at the forefoot View
See the sections and hydrostatics update in real time as you modify the hull View
Quickly produce a traditional 3-view lines plan with labels, border, and title block View
Learn how to create a table of offsets in Microsoft Excel View
Hydrostatics & Stability Outward Normals View
With a single click, compute the upright hydrostatics of your model at the design condition View
Compute complete intact hydrostatics and stability for your model over a range of drafts or displacements, and a range of heel angles View
Weight & Cost See how stock materials are added to the library, and then assigned as a property to an object in the model. Create a weight point object, and finally create a weight and cost report. View
General Learn to set various parameters, including unit, water density, etc. View
Licensing An explanation of the licensing process, including moving a license to a different computer View





Link to Orca3D.com

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