Revolutionising the luxury yacht building industry with laser scanning

Case study

Author: Reka Vasszi

Listening as the wind fills the sails, feeling the heat of the sun and the wind blowing on your skin while sailing through the oceans. Royal Huisman, a Dutch maritime craftsmanship and superyacht builder, makes sure all this happens in the most luxurious environment possible.

Elfje, the fairy of the oceans, is a 52.36-metre-long eco-friendly luxury yacht, built by Royal Huisman in the Netherlands at their Vollenhove shipyard. The luxury vessel is replete with sophisticated exterior design and engineering by Hoek Design and a graceful interior by Redman Whiteley Dixon.

From concept to completion, the yacht took four years to be designed, built and dressed. To accelerate the workflow, Royal Huisman requested Lido2D3D, a Dutch luxury interior drawing company, to think about a solution to speed up the carpentry work for the deckhouses.

Innovating the building process

Lido2D3D transforms customer’s concepts into detailed 3D drawings to support the work of the interior builders. The company uses 3D laser scanners to map out the ships with millimetre accuracy – the resulting 3D models serve as the basis for creating detailed interior plans.

“Practice, experience and craftsmanship brought us knowledge and perfection, therefore, we use state-of-the-art laser scanning technology to provide accurate results to our customers,” said Folkert Boermans, founder of Lido2D3D.

The carpentry work of deckhouses is a lengthy procedure that requires skilled carpenters and no mistakes are allowed. The deckhouses are made from aluminium and covered with massive teak. To speed up the workflow of preparing individual mould forms for the coverage and preparing the teak, Lido2D3D captured the ship with a Leica ScanStation P20 high-definition 3D laser scanner. The team created a digital 3D model to prepare the parts for Computer Numerical Control (CNC) manufacturing production.

With the combination of the ScanStation P20 and the Leica FlexLine TS09 total station, it took only eight hours to scan both deckhouses inside and out. The point cloud was then registered and cleaned using the Leica Cyclone REGISTER 360 point cloud processing office software. Once the meshed model was ready, the surface model was created and could be transferred into any CAD software. Thanks to the efficiency of the Leica Geosystems solution, the full job, from the initial scanning to the surface model, took only 58 hours for Lido2D3D experts.

Meshed model of Elfje

Having a detailed 3D surface model with accurate measurements, enabled Royal Huisman to prepare all covering parts via CNC, thus saving time and increasing quality of the final product.

The use of a 3D laser scanner is unique in the yacht building industry. It is important to have a very detailed design of the ship because we create most interior drawings in 3D. Our Leica ScanStation P20 3D laser scanner is able to map out the ship with millimetre accuracy. The scanner provides us the best basis possible to create a detailed interior drawing,” said Boermans.

Performing reliable data

Elfje has been optimised to cruise fast and operate at a professional level with the intention of taking part in sailing regattas. Lido2D3D was, therefore, asked to measure the tender hatch for replacing.

This task presented two challenges. First, the team could only carry out the survey once without any mistakes since the yacht was located in Antigua, but the hatch was going to be produced in the Netherlands. Once the new hatch is produced, it will be shipped wherever the yacht is sailing at the time and installed locally. Therefore, measurements needed to be accurate with a maximum deviation of up to 2 mm.

The second challenge was the ship was floating on the water and the team could not use the compensator of the scanner and the total station.

To overcome the challenges, the team used the ScanStation P20 in combination with the TS09 total station. Once Lido2D3D specialists scanned the hatch and the surrounding deck in a closed position, they repeated the same procedure with the hatch lifted above the deck. The deck calking and the outside shape of the hatch was also measured by the total station. To compare the data from the total station with the accuracy of the point cloud from the scanner, Lido2D3D used paper targets to double-check the data.

Analysing the smallest details

To maximise the speed of Elfje, Royal Huisman had to prepare a new rudder. The rudder blades must be the same on both sides to achieve the perfect water flow, therefore the Dutch superyacht builder company asked Lido2D3D to perform an analysis and check for possible deviations.

After scanning Elfje with the ScanStation P40, the new blades were compared to a theoretical 3D model, allowing experts to identify the slight differences between the right and left part of the rudder.

Laser scanning is truly revolutionising the luxury yacht building industry by increasing quality and efficiency for a range of stakeholders. From planning to building and furnishing, laser scanning provides a reliable solution when it has to be right.

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