I only just started to test this nice program and judging from a lot of posts I read in the forums I believe that many people are interested in "simulating" their design. At least to determine the trim, weight and waterline. If the design is split up into different layers I can adjust the specific weight (density) and material thickness in the layer properties-window for each section of my design.
And here, in the layer-propoerties-window, an additional simple dropdown-list with standard boat-building materials (e.g. AlMg3, AlMg4,5Mn, steel,...) and their corresponding density would be a nice feature. You can just easily select the desired material from the list and the according density(specific weight) will be set accordingly for the selected layer(s). This way it will not be needed anymore for every user to search the internet for these values. Of course it should also be possible to enter custom values like it is right now.
Also it would be nice to be able to select serveral/all layers in the layer properties-window at once (pressing Strg/Ctrl or Shift) to modify some of their values (except the layer name) together. This could speed up things a lot because in most designs there will be several layers using the same materials or the same thickness.
Together with my main feature-request (dropdown-list) you could easily select several layers at once and assign a different material or material thickness. For example to compare in a quicker way what will be the difference regarding weight and waterline if I use aluminium, steel or epoxy plywood for the hull.
Also if I end up with a chined design and want to develop plates I can select all desired layers and set the checkbox "Developable" at once - thus again saving time.
I guess it will be easy to include these features (especially such a dropdown-list) as they have nothing to do with the actual calculations but are only additions to the surface of the program.
If anybody else thinks this is a nice feature they might post their favourite boat-building material with its standard-density.
I'm not sure if it's possible for non-metallic boat-building materials to name a standard density. This will for sure partly depend on the thickness. (Just think about stuff with a foam core..) But maybe a table with different non-metallic materials and their standard-density corresponding to the thickness could be created.
I hope at least part of this will be included in the next version.
As nobody answered to my post until now I started to program these features by myself.
When they are finished I will send them in to (hopefully) be released in the next release.
I already added the mentioned dropdown-list to select the standard-material which are loaded from a file (FreeShip.mat).
But I get new ideas all the time... - and thus change my code all the time.
As I did not program for a long time and have never used Delphi or a similar Program it is all rather slow.
What I did not yet start about my idea is to look how to select and modify several layers at once.
This might not be as easy as I described it because of the status informations displayed at the bottom (weight, center of gravity, area).
Right now FreeShip only calculates these parameters for ONE layer. If I select several layers there are several possibilities:
1. Don't display anything. (easiest way :) )
2. Calculate area and weight for each selected layer and show the sums. But don't show a center of gravity as this is more complicated.
3. Separately calculate these values then write these into a table - also showing the sums of area and weight at the bottom
4. Wait for the next release and hope that the calculation of the center of gravity for several layers is included.
I guess for now I will stick to a combination of possibility 2 and 3. :)
But first I have to finish this stupid dropdown-list.
If somebody didn't see it:
In the users forum I wrote a step-by-step instruction about how to compile FreeShip with a Delphi 30day trial that can be downloaded from Borland.
I don't know whether you received my direct mails in the last days.
Would you mind sharing the source code for your layer handling features?
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