Covid-19 has impacted everyone around the globe, and this was especially true for our friends at Earthling. While developing their electric powered catamaran, lock downs could not have come at a worse time. The main hull structure of the boat was being built in one country, while componentry was being manufactured and supplied from other countries. Without the possibility of travel, it was impossible to put someone onsite at the overseas boat building facility who would be responsible for leading the electric retrofit and determining what components would fit where, and all the necessary structural modifications required to make it all work.
The boat Architect was a little old school, so we were dealing with traditional 2d technical line drawings and plans for the boats entire hull structure. However the manufacturer who specialised in producing the majority of the electrical components used in the build, had a great library containing dimensional accurate 3d models of their products.
With the need to determine what components would go where, such as generators, batteries, control modules, AC inverters, DC inverters, solar generation equipment, water supply and heating, motor's, gearbox's and driveline's ect, we needed to produce a dimensionally accurate 3d model of the boat body from the architects 2d plans, so we could begin placing the 3d models of the electrical components.
The primary purpose of all this was originally to calculate the necessary wiring loom lengths, so that we could provide the overseas harness manufacturer the correct termination lengths, plugs ends and routing schematic in order to build the entire vehicles electrical harness, in order for them to ship a plug and play solution to the boat builder. But as we soon discovered, some of the components were bigger than expected, didn't fit where first imagined, and some structural changes and alterations to the boat body were required in order to fit everything in its place. This was an unexpected hurdle, but the ability to show the overseas boat builders detailed 3d models and visual walkthroughs proved to be vital in communicating what they needed to modify, and how they would need to do it.
After what seemed like an eternity of CAD modeling, me and the team at Earthling became very familiar with an entire boat before it had even been physically finished. And after some lengthily time reviewing all the great CAD models of the boat, the concept of creating some 2D and/or 3D imagery for their website was discussed, and this began our journey into the world of digital rendering.