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Industry News
ORACLE TEAM's new boat uses Dassault software for composites

The AC72, ORACLE TEAM's racing catamaran scheduled to compete in the 34th America's Cup in September 2013, is composites intensive and was designed and tested virtually using Dassault Systèmes' 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

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Posted on: 11/12/2012
Source: CompositesWorld

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AC72 catamaran

ORACLE USA AC72 catamaran.

Dassault Systèmes (Paris, France) reported on Nov. 7 that ORACLE TEAM USA, winner of the 33rd America’s Cup in 2010 and 34th America’s Cup defender in September 2013, used Dassault's 3DEXPERIENCE platform to bring the team’s AC72 racing catamaran from concept to reality. The AC72 is a composites-intensive catamaran that features a massive carbon fiber fixed wing/sail that helped it win the 2010 America's Cup.

Dassault Systèmes’ 3-D software applications boosted ORACLE TEAM USA’s collaboration throughout the development process, enabling designers to quickly and easily make changes to the 72­-ft/22m racing yacht in order to optimize and perfect its performance. In addition, Dassault Systèmes’ 3-D modeling application enabled ORACLE TEAM USA to render the entire catamaran and review it as a whole rather than piece­by­piece.

“After the AC72’s capsize last month [click here for report], we’ve seen how crucial it is that every member of our team be involved in reviewing and adjusting the AC72’s design, sharing their expertise and direct experience to help the catamaran perform better. This boat’s design is essential to our successful defense of the America’s Cup and it came through remarkably well,” says Christoph Erbelding, Structural Design – senior FEA analyst, ORACLE TEAM USA. “To enable that collaborative process we need a strong, reliable solution that allows the entire team – including sailors and designers – to show the full model in meetings, zoom in to highlight certain parts, simulate how they would work, give feedback and make changes in real­time. Dassault Systèmes gives us those capabilities and we rarely have meetings without its tools on screen. As a result, we cut our drafting time by almost 50 percent.”

Settling upon the industry’s only integrated composites design, simulation and manufacturing solution, ORACLE TEAM USA chose Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform applications to design and simulate the boat’s composites layups to optimize its strength/weight ratio. Every ounce counts when designing a racing vessel. From riggings to sails, hundreds of individual parts have to work together properly so that the boat remains fast and light.

3-D virtual design also allowed ORACLE TEAM USA to virtually test every aspect of the AC72’s design before committing real­-world resources to building it. This ensures that better decisions are made and that the development process and associated feedback cycles are fast and efficient – and can influence design earlier in the development cycle. 3-D models and simulation help the boat’s crew quickly and easily review designs in a realistic virtual environment, allowing them to see if there are items that need to be moved or reworked, or if sightlines need to be adjusted. All this is done before the boat hits the water. Using digital manikins to simulate how team members would interact while they manned the boat also saves time that can be used to further refine the design.

“The move from a four-­year America’s Cup cycle to a three­-year cycle put a great deal of pressure on ORACLE TEAM USA – pressure to design the racing catamaran quickly, efficiently and accurately,” says Monica Menghini, executive vice president, Industry and Marketing, Dassault Systèmes. “With this added pressure and compact schedule, ORACLE TEAM USA needed our 3DEXPERIENCE platform to establish global unified collaboration, shorten the design and development phase and simulate key occurrences in a virtual world. These types of marine and offshore industry experiences, delivered to leaders such as ORACLE TEAM USA, illustrate Dassault Systèmes’ continuing commitment to the marine and offshore industry.”

To see a video of the AC72 in action during its first trials in San Francisco Bay, visit youtu.be/zr6nw77I6CQ

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