Chuck's close shave with Bezier curves
My company is having a difficult time locating a Vessel of Convienence for a water pipe job in the Virgin Islands. (It seems the oil fields are heating up again! Vessels are expensive or busy.... not good!)
I am approached late Friday evening...."Can you trace over a drawing or picture with your PowerCADD program?"
"Yes... blink blink??"
"Good... I am e-mailing you right now a jpeg of a faxed, blown-up drawing nobody can read. We know the boat is 218' long x 44' wide and 36' between the bulwarks. How long will it take to trace over the drawing?"
"I dunno, couple hours?" (Is this is a pain with that other program?)
"Really!!!? Well, we need it fast to see if our equipment will fit on deck. Scale drawings are in the mail, but we can't wait four days. To hold the vessel for our job we must pay $2500.00/day. We don't want to pay for a vessel that won't hold our stuff! We have two days to make our decision or the boat is gone!!! We will be burning the weekend oil, can you get it to me tonight?"
"Yep!" I hang up the phone... gulp... I was worried about the curves:
|I get the jpeg and import it into PowerCADD and play with the scale to make it fit on an 17 x 11. Then I squared it to the grid. All that is needed is a line drawing in plan and elevation and send it back in Autoxxx 2000. Then I start placing reference points at line intersections. The drawing is blurry and zooming doesn't really help much. As an ex-tug captain I could probably draw a supply boat from memory anyway...so it was easy to fill in the missing details. I do all the straight stuff and finally come to the curvy part... I think they call it the bow.|
There is only one tool that can make this shape. I know it is the Bezier tool. Even a highly trained and experienced architect I hired recently exclaimed: "I never use the Bezier Tool."
So there I am... big mouth Chuck... shoving PowerCADD down anyone's throat who will listen... with a boat drawing without a bow... and clueless to the next step.
So... I start playing with the tool. It was clear what was needed and obvious when things were not going the right way. I KID YOU NOT!!! It took me FIVE MINUTES!!! of concentration to figger out how to draw a beautiful curve from the side shell to the bow that matches the existing curve!!! It is now one of my favorite tools!!!! SWEET!!!
Lest anyone think I am bragging...I'm not. I'm terribly excited that I can now draw virtually anything I can see. It's one thing to spend time on the computer, but it is quite another to be productive and get paid for it! Kudo's to whoever design the Bezier Tool!!!
My drawing was e-mailed last night and the right people are now free to calculate/plan accept or reject whatever the outcome is.
So then I make the logical conclusion that Beziers might export to DesignWorkshop.... Bezier doodle... convert to polygons... simplify... attach... save as DesignWorkshop.... Open DW... import pict... Poooof!!! There it is. Vertical says 0. So I type in 30'... enter...Wahoo!
Ahhhhhhhh! Life is good!
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