Shipbuilding designs are transitioning from 2D drawings to those designed with 3D CAD software. Classification societies, whose plan approvals are also based mostly on 2D drawings, are now required to develop a scheme for 3D CAD models from their submission to their examination completion.

This project was performed to examine the technical development necessary in each process of plan approval by JMU, NAPA, and ClassNK to realize 3D model based plan approval.

In the feasibility study, ClassNK conducted a trial evaluation for hull structural design on a 3D CAD model of 300,000DWT ore carrier designed and created by JMU, using “NAPA Designer”, a 3D CAD software application for ship design developed by NAPA, as a 3D model viewer. Plan submission, storage, and notification of examination results were made using the Society's electronic plan examination system “NK-PASS”.

The investigation determined that information required for class approval can be confirmed through a 3D CAD model, and that "NK-PASS" is also compatible with 3D CAD models. The results of this survey will be the basis for future technical studies, and the Society will continue to work with the industry to establish 3D model based plan approval.

Commenting on the occasion, Hayato Suga, Corporate Officer and Director of Plan Approval and Technical Solution Division, highlighted that:

3D based design can be the key to improving digital solutions in the ship industry, including the ship design process, approval process and later fleet maintenance. I hope that the entire industry will also quickly realize the many opportunities and increased efficiency that can be achieved as a result of this initiative