FASTSHIP FAQ

DISPLAY DRIVERS.

After selecting the OpenGL display driver, FastShip displays a series of error messages on startup? How do I fix it?

In Release 5.101, the user was given the option of selecting the OpenGL display driver when using FastShip. According to the HOOPS documentation, "The Windows OpenGL driver supports OpenGL v1.1 under both Windows95 and Windows NT 4.0 ... The driver should run properly with any OpenGL 1.1 compliant graphics hardware." If the user attempts to use the OpenGL driver with a non-compliant graphics card, FastShip will display a series of error messages. To restore the default Microsoft Windows Driver for FastShip operation, use the Task Manager to end the FastShip task, open the Windows Explorer, navigate to your FastShip installation directory, and double-click on the file called 'RestoreMSW.reg'. This will make the appropriate entry in the system registry to reinstate the Windows driver. (download RestoreMSW.reg)

Can I change the specific gravity value that is used in the FastShip hydrostatics calculations?

Yes, the specific gravity can be changed in the Units tab of the Preferences dialog (in the File menu). You may enter either a specific gravity or a mass density.

Note that this value is saved with the surface file (in the aux file), and is also saved as a system value.

DXF EXPORT AND IMPORT.

1. When I export polylines in DXF format from AutoCAD 14, the FastShip DXF translator doesn't translate the polylines. Why not?

As of AutoCad Release 14 a new entity called the "lightweight" polyline (lwpolyline) has been introduced, which is a smaller more efficient form for the 2D polyline. The FastShip dxf2idf conversion routine only recognizes the standard polyline entity used in earlier versions of AutoCad and still supported in Release 14. Any lwpolyline entities encountered in a DXF file will be ignored by the FastShip converter. Therefore, if a user wishes to export a DXF file from AutoCad in a form which can be translated by FastShip, he/she must ensure that all polyline information is stored as standard polyline entities. If the AutoCad 14 user wishes to ensure that the AutoCad PLINE command creates standard polylines (and that when opening older drawing files, standard polylines are not converted to lwpolylines) set the PLINETYPE flag to 0. If the AutoCad 14 user has a drawing file which already has lwpolylines in it, choose the ACAD R13 export option when exporting to DXF to have lwpolylines converted to standard polylines in the DXF file. Please see the AutoCad R14 documentation for further details.

2. When using the file conversion tool to convert a DXF file to an IDF file I encounter one of the following messages, "Maximum number of points exceeded", "Maximum number of curves exceeded", or "Maximum number of layers exceeded". What should I do?

Beginning with FastShip 5.030, the user can control the maximum limits on points, curves, and layers when converting a DXF file through settings in the FastShip initialization file, ‘fs5win.ini’. A new section was added to the initialization file called "Import Parameters", and this section contains three keys called "DxfLayers", "DxfCurves", and "DxfPoints". The default values used for these three parameters (and the values used if these keys are not found in the .ini file) are 150 layers, 150 curves, and 150 points per curve. You can change these values to increase/decrease these limits. However, the you should be warned that increasing these values will require more RAM memory to be allocated by the program during the DXF file conversion process. Hence, you should consider reinstating the default values after converting a given DXF file if system RAM is limited.

3. The file conversion tool successfully converts my DXF file to an IDF file. However, when I import the resulting IDF file into FastShip, the offset data seems to be oriented incorrectly. How do I correct this ?

The CAD model from which the DXF file was generated had some inherent coordinate system which was different from that used in FastShip. FastShip assumes x is the longitudinal coordinate, y is the transverse coordinate, and z is the vertical coordinate. It will be necessary to transform the CAD model coordinate system to the FastShip coordinate system. The file conversion dialog box allows you to specify the coordinate transformation to apply when converting a DXF file. There are six possible coordinate transformations. The transformation defines which axes in the CAD model correspond to the FastShip longitudinal, transverse and vertical coordinates. So for example, the transformation ‘yzx’ means that the CAD model y coordinate corresponds to the FastShip longitudinal coordinate, the CAD model z coordinate corresponds to the FastShip transverse coordinate, and the CAD model x coordinate corresponds to the FastShip vertical coordinate.

4. Upon importing an IDF file generated by the DXF to IDF conversion tool it seems that portions of the offsets are in the wrong coordinate system while others are ok. What is happening here ?

At least some of the information in the DXF file is 2D polyline data. The DXF translator built into FastShip is a fairly simple one. Strictly speaking it only imports 3D polylines or 3D polygon meshes. However, it can also import 2D polylines with the following caveat. The DXF file specification requires that vertex locations of the entities in DXF files are saved in each entity's own Object Coordinate System (OCS) to conserve space. For 3D polylines and 3D meshes, the OCS corresponds to the World Coordinate System (WCS). However, for 2D polylines, the OCS is not necessarily the same as the WCS and therein lies the rub. The translator does not currently take into account differences between the OCS and WCS. Two things can be done in this regard. First, all of the lines in the original CAD model should be defined in the same User Coordinate System (UCS). If this does not solve the problem change the lines from 2D polylines to 3D polylines in the original CAD model before exporting them to a DXF file. Then they will be exported to DXF with WCS coordinates.

HYDROSTATICS CALCULATIONS.

Why is my volume of displacement reported from the hydrostatics calculations so different from what I expected ?

It is likely that one or more of your surfaces have their positive normal directions pointing in the wrong direction. FastShip assumes that the positive normal is pointing into the buoyant fluid. This can be checked by turning the surface curvature calculation on (via Measure, Surface Curvature in the main menu) with the curvature type set to ‘None’. For surfaces with an incorrect normal direction use the Flip Normal command under NURBS to correct it.

PRINTING HARDCOPY.

When I try to print a hardcopy from FastShip of a solid shaded image the disk seems to grind away for minutes with nothing happening on the printer side. What can I do to get this to work ?

Check to make sure you do NOT have software z-buffer on. Although this is a generally useful way to expedite rendering of a shaded model it should not be used when printing a hardcopy.

SECURITY (HARDWARE LOCK).

Why does FastShip start up in demo mode ?

There are several possible causes for this behavior, both hardware-related and software-related. First is there anything else on your LPT1: parallel port other than the FastShip lock? Although the FastShip lock is generally compatible with other locks from Rainbow Technologies, locks from other manufacturers may not be. Try removing any other locks to see if this corrects the problem. If a printer is connected to the parallel port behind the FastShip lock, it must be powered on or disconnected for the FastShip lock to function. As a final hardware issue, it is possible that the hardware lock or the parallel port is bad. Try printing something directly through the parallel port to rule out the latter. To check the former try running the utility program 'FastLock’ which was installed with FastShip and which resides under the FastShip 5 Program Group. If FastLock reports that it cannot read the hardware lock it is likely a bad lock. Assuming none of the above items reveal the cause of the problem it is likely that you are trying to run a version of FastShip released after your maintenance contract expired. Use FastLock to determine the support expiration date programmed into the lock. If your support is up to date but is not reflected in the hardware lock or if you wish to renew your support, please contact Proteus Engineering.

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