Shipbuilding projects today are different from and more complex than in the past. Using technology to simplify some of that complexity results in a direct impact on your organization’s bottom-line. With accessible collaboration, information sharing, and change management more critical than ever, the enhancements in SSI 2021 R1.1 focus on addressing these new project realities. 

SSI 2021 R1.1

Sister ships are one of shipbuilding’s toughest challenges. But since we’ve introduced WorkShare Transfer, we’ve had fantastic feedback about how it’s helped our clients simplify how they approach their sister ship workflows. For SSI 2021 R1.1, we’ve continued to build in more and better ways to work across projects. Graphic Preview makes it possible to visually see exactly what is going to be transferred by anyone within the project and we’ve added Space Allocations to the ever-expanding list of what can be transferred. Rework is another project reality that can jeopardize timelines. Small reductions in the amount of rework can be the difference between meeting a deadline or risking it. In this release, we’ve worked to make it easier to avoid creating profiles that are longer than the maximum stock length available that can result in rework later on. Being able to visualize change is a major advantage. It makes it possible to identify and communicate those changes at a glance to any stakeholder. We know that every shipbuilder and project is different, and that goes for how changes should be visualized across revisions. In SSI 2021 R1.1, it’s now possible to define custom comparison criteria that are tailored to exactly the needs of your team, department, and organization. These enhancements stand alongside the user experience, interface, and performance improvements we include in every release. Each one of them pinpoints a real-world way that a common project or organizational challenge can be made to work better or more simply. A detailed list of the changes we made is below, but make sure to join our webinar and ask the team behind the development this release any questions you may have

Detailed Enhancements

Visualize WorkShare Transfer Selections with Graphic Preview

With Graphic Preview, ShipConstructor users can now visualize the selected changes from within WorkShare Transfer prior to approving the transfer. This saves time by removing the need to navigate a list and allows for the proposed changes to be viewed by all users within the project via ShipExplorer.

Avoid Excessive Lengths and Rework When Modeling Profile Stocks

ShipConstructor will now provide a warning to the user when creating profiles over the maximum stock length. With this warning, the risk of rework as the result of lengthy profiles is minimized.

  • Profile length warning can be turned ON/OFF in Project Settings
  • Profile length warning for a specific drawing can be turned OFF in Drawing Options
  • Drawing issues Palette (SCADVSHOWDRAWINGISSUES) will display profiles with warning.

Transfer Space Allocations Between Projects

With this release of WorkShare Transfer, users can now transfer and synchronize space allocations between projects. Selecting space allocations is possible through several available methods and workflows including the Load Manager, ShipConstructor Tasks, or directly from your model.

Compare Revisions with ShipExplorer

Users can now define comparison criteria with any part properties when using the improved Compare Revisions capability of ShipExplorer. A configurable XML file is included with the installation of the SSI 2021 R1.1 version of ShipExplorer, whereby users can now define the comparison criteria including Category and Name of the property along with a Tolerance value. Users can also include UDAs in the comparison criteria.

Structure Modeling User Interface Modernization

In SSI 2021 R1.1, it’s now easier to model stiffeners. In the Structure Parts Create and Edit Properties Windows, we added the ability to resize the Stiffener Properties and Plate Properties windows and make what you want to see more visible. In the Stiffener Properties Windows, Dropdown fields are expanded to display the lengthy end-cut name, Green standard name, and stock name.

System Requirements

Supported Client Operating SystemsWindows 10 (64-bit)
Supported Server Operating SystemsWindows Server 2019, 2016, 2012 and 2012 R2
.Net Framework.NET Framework 4.7 (installed automatically)
SQL ServersMS SQL Server 2019, 2017, 2016. SQL Server 2017 Express is included with the installer. Note: Express editions are suitable for projects with 5 or fewer users only.
Supported AutoCAD Platforms2021, 2020, and 2019:
AutoCAD, AutoCAD Mechanical,
AutoCAD Plant3D (for ShipConstructor P&ID Design Validation functionality of Pipe)
Supported Navisworks Versions2021, 2020, and 2019:
Navisworks Simulate, Navisworks Manage
Side-by-side Installation CompatibilityShipConstructor 2021 can be installed side-by-side with any previous major ShipConstructor version; each installed version of ShipConstructor requires its own dedicated instance of AutoCAD.

Every release, we introduce improvements that make it easier for shipbuilders to solve the business challenges they face and let our users complete the task at hand faster, more accurately, and with more information. For SSI 2021, we turned our focus towards automating key activities to reduce the amount of work required on the shop floor, improving change management with sister ships, and risk mitigation.On the shop floor, any way to make the most common actions easier or more accurate adds up to substantial time savings. Plate marklines are critically important for getting welds right and speeding up construction, every time one is incorrect or inaccurate, it means more re-work to get it right. By introducing an automatic process for adding marklines, there is less opportunity for human error, and the entire process takes fewer labor hours than before. When multiple hulls are involved, every individual challenge is compounded. The more that is re-used across sister ships, the more significant the time savings. For SSI 2021, we’ve made our existing WorkShare Transfer feature more robust, by now allowing for plate nests, profile nests, and space allocation groups to be transferred and used across hulls. Another area we focused on with this release was risk mitigation. Lifting and turning are some of the most dangerous activities that happen in a shipyard, any improvement that can be made to the safety of these operations is essential to implement. We’ve improved the data entry workflow when inputting material grades, mitigating the possibility of calculating an inaccurate weight.

Detailed Enhancements

All of the above enhancements stand alongside the ability to trim non-twisted stiffeners and faceplates to plate parts, annual platform upgrade, numerous user experience improvements, and many quality of life enhancements. You can see a detailed list of the changes we made below, but as always, make sure to join our webinar or watch the recording to ask the team behind the development of these features any questions you may have.

Trim Non-Twisted Stiffeners and Faceplates to Plate Parts

ShipConstructor 2021 now allows you to trim your non-twisted stiffeners and faceplates to plate parts to improve your stiffener trims workflow. This new feature reduces human error when you define custom trim planes to trim your stiffener to your desired side of a plate part.

  • A new trim type “Part Plane” is available for selection in the trim window.
  • You will be able to select a plate from a native drawing, M- Link, or Partviews to which you want to trim your non-twisted stiffeners.
  • A plane selector will allow you to select the plane of the Plate Part.

Automated Plate to Plate Marklines

In ShipConstructor 2021, you can now add marklines of a plate to another plate automatically using the contact path, meaning marklines no longer have to be added manually. The automation of this process results in less work at every stage and more accuracy on the shop floor.

  • Use the existing “Add Objects” function to select both target and marker plate and automatically generate markline with your choice of markline styles.
  • Generate marklines that will have the markside, throw direction, NC Process, and Part name of the marker plate added to it automatically.
  • Select standard plates as marker plates.
  • Select a marker plate in a different drawing using M-Link and Partviews.
  • Select a target plate and multiple marker plates in one operation.
  • Edit the markline style and its details from “Edit Component.”

Transfer Plate and Profile Nests between Projects

Like other WorkShare Transfer features, this synchronizing feature allows for the creation, updating, and deletion of plate and profile nests. Nest drawings are used as the entry point to transfer plate nests, meaning all nests within that drawing are synchronized.

Export and Import Space Allocations Groups

Space Allocation Groups are Catalog items, and can now be imported for re-use across projects. When creating a new project from an XML file or .PRO, Space Allocation Groups will be imported during the new project creation.

ProductHierarchy Collapse/Expand Sub-Tree

The ProductHierarchy dialog now supports the ability to expand and collapse selected entries in the ProductHirarchy. This allows you to choose one or more entries and automatically open them along with all their Sub- Trees for more straightforward navigation of complex product hierarchy environment.

Updated Dialogs and Context Menus

Updated styling has been applied to a large number of windows and their grid views to present a more consistent user interface as well as user experience. This includes a consistent theme across these dialogs as well as updated icons /glyphs when present. In addition, all the grids of that styling now offer identical context menu functionality.

UDA Editor Export

Within the UDA Editor Palette, you may now export the list of User Defined Attributes. The Export will save the full set of currently visible UDAs. This allows you to load the required set of UDAs through the Load Manager and then gives you the flexibility to sort or filter the resulting list. The export functionality in the ribbon generates a .TSV file which is easily accessible through Excel or similar applications.

Additions to Dynamic Property Definitions for Labelling

In this release we have added the following new fields available as Dynamic Property Definitions to Property Labels to provide you with more flexibility in labeling:

  • Accessory items on accessory packages.
  • End3 End Treatment and End4 End Treatment for Pipe and HVAC.
  • End3 Profile and End4 Profile for HVAC.

Material Grade Input Improvement

The data entry workflow when inputting material grades has been improved, mitigating the possibility of an inaccurately calculated weight. The result is that now:

  • It is required to enter a material grade value rather than use a default.
  • A warning message is now displayed, and the user is required to enter a value.

Platform Upgrades

Autodesk Products

SSI 2021 is compatible with the latest releases from Autodesk including:

  • AutoCAD 2021/2020 /2019 (Vanilla, Mechanical and Plant3D editions).
  • Navisworks 2021/2020 /2019 (Simulate and Manage versions).

Microsoft SQL Server Products

There have been several changes to the supported versions of SQL Server:

  • No longer supports SQL Server 2014 Full and Express editions.
  • Now supports SQL Server 2019 Full and Express editions.
  • The SSI installer now includes SQL Server 2017 Express.

Operating Systems

Windows 7 is no longer a supported workstation Operating System by Microsoft and Autodesk products.

ShipConstructor Work from Home Performance Tips

Opening/Saving File Performance:
• Remove Xrefs/part views before saving, reducing time to open file/ save.

Graphics Performance:

  • Visual style to only 2D wireframe:
    1. Run command: VSCURRENT
    2. Select Option: 2dwireframe

  • Turn off Hardware acceleration:
    1. Run command: GRAPHICSCONFIG
    2. Turn off hardware acceleration
    3. Click Ok

AutoCAD Remote Desktop Tips

  • The full crosshair (100) can be quite a bit slower than a smaller setting, instead switch to the out of the box setting of 5 (Options, Display tab, Crosshair Size). [set CURSORSIZE to 5]
  • Turn off Dynamic Input in the Status Bar. [set DYNMODE to 0]
  • Turn off Selection Previews (Options, Selection tab, clear the checkmark for “When no command is active”). [set SELECTIONPREVIEW to 0]
  • Change your Automatic Save to 20 or more (Options, Open and Save tab, Automatic Save). [set SAVETIME to 20]
  • Suppress regenerations when you switch between model space and layouts (Options, System tab, Use the “Cache model tab and all layouts” option). [set LAYOUTREGENCTL to 2]
  • Save any drawings that are not used as Xrefs without layer and spatial indexes, used only by the Demand Loading feature (SAVEAS dialog, Tools > Options and then set the “indexing value” to None). [set INDEXCTL to 0] – It can slow performance and increase file sizes because you are maintaining lots of index information you may never use.
  • Type -HATCH instead of using the Hatch tool in the ribbon as the ribbon Hatch tool uses a lot of screen graphics.
  • I would also suggest not leaving the following Properties and Layers palettes “on” (or even docked). They get refreshed all the time (with each selection and when switching between drawings) and it slows things down.
  • Suppress those annoying (and slow) view transitions. [set VTENABLE to 0] Your pans and zooms will respond better. Also available via the VTOPTIONS command – uncheck all.
  • Disable ToolTips and rollover ToolTips (Options, Display tab, clear the checkmarks for Show ToolTips and Show rollover ToolTips). [set TOOLTIPS to 0 and set ROLLOVERTIPS to 0]
  • Disable Selection Cycling and Quick Properties in the Status Bar. [set SELECTIONCYCLING to 0 and set QPMODE to 0]
  • To improve performance set transparency of palettes off. [set PALETTEOPAQUE to 1]
  • When working with large drawings the automatic preview of hatches can cause performance issues. [set HPQUICKPREVIEW to 0]
COVID-19 | Supporting your Business

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) affecting communities and families around the world, this is a difficult time for all of us. At InnovMarine, our priority remains the health and wellbeing of our employees, customers and partners. It is important to us to support how you continue to do business during this time of uncertainty.

Accessing ShipConstructor from home.

SSI has created the following knowledge base article that details options for remotely connecting to workstations for use with ShipConstructor: Running ShipConstructor Remotely

One thing that SSI has switched to in recent months is to use a Remote Desktop Gateway. This bypasses the need to allow external users into your network via VPN. It is more secure and has better performance in our experience as well.

Setup Remote Desktop Gateway

Please see the following article:

With this users will be able to connect to their work computers remotely.

ShipConstructor Virtualization Performance

Also, We want to make sure you are aware of this post regarding some of SSI tests with virtualized environments, and particularly the impact of latency for some tasks.


The massive scale of modern shipbuilding means that small improvements to workflows compound in large time savings at the project level. That is what we had in mind for the release of SSI 2020 R2.1 as we made improvements to how planar groups, non-twisted stiffeners, and faceplates interact, enhanced the usability of ShipExplorer, introduced the ability to compare catalogs, made it easier than ever to work with equipment, and implemented several Nexus Wishlist suggestions.

Stiffener and Faceplate Trims to Planar Group Plane

When performing structure modeling design work, any changes made to planar groups can cause a tremendous amount of rework to other objects throughout the project. With the release of SSI 2020 R2.1, ShipConstructor is expanding the capabilities of parametric modeling with enhancements to the non-twisted stiffener and face-plate trim tool.

Now, using the parametric association with planar group planes, modifications to associated non-twisted stiffeners and faceplates are automatically updated, saving huge amounts of time and reducing the possibility for error.

By making use of pre-defined planes already existing within the model, the trim tool now parametrically modifies both non-twisted stiffeners and non-twisted faceplates based on the linked planar group position. This not only reduces the work required but also minimizes errors that are commonly associated with manually making these changes.

ShipExplorer Enhancements

The scale of modern shipbuilding projects makes change management a huge task, especially without a visual way to inspect the model and its associated parts. ShipExplorer allows stakeholders, CAD designers, and non-CAD/CAM users to easily connect and visually interact with exactly what is needed within complex data models.

ShipExplorer is used extensively by many SSI clients for visually inspecting models, providing clash detection capabilities, sharing design information, and communicating changes. However, the complexity of modern ship models requires those workflows to be as clear as possible.

With the release of SSI 2020 R2.1, several new features have been introduced to make it easy for anybody to quickly isolate and visualize specific parts throughout your model, without the need to navigate complicated set structures.

The ShipExplorer Spotlight tool allows you to quickly isolate selected objects and understand their orientation with the click of a button. Once you have selected the part you wish to view, use Spotlight to immediately dim all other components within the model and focus on exactly what is relevant to you.

In addition, ShipExplorer now supports the ability to easily differentiate and display associated parts based on similar ShipConstructor properties and ShipExplorer now allows users to import properties based on values taken from your ShipConstructor project directly, fulfilling a popular Nexus Wishlist request. Together, these enhancements work to help you isolate exactly what you need and make better, more informed decisions in less time.

WorkShare Catalog Compare Technical Preview

How many of us have asked “which stocks and standards are different or missing between my catalogs?” The challenge of determining exactly what has changed is crucial when managing sister ships or starting new projects. It can be a huge and tedious effort, particularly on large catalogs.

With SSI 2020 R2.1, we’ve made it easy to tackle this challenge with the technical preview release of WorkShare Catalog Compare – available as a stand-alone utility and built from the ground up. You can now quickly create and filter reports that list items that are out of sync between your catalogs and create master catalogs to be used with a series of ships.

This initial release of WorkShare Catalog Compare shows items that are missing or different. Missing items, if needed in your destination project, need to be exported from your source project and imported to your destination project.

In this release, WorkShare Catalog Compare is available as a Subscription Advantage Pack feature.

Implementation of Nexus Wishlist Suggestions

One of the major reasons our product vision has resonated with our clients over the years has been our commitment to solving the real challenges they face. One of the ways we do this is through the SSI Nexus Wishlist. For this release, we’ve implemented several requested features that improve the user experience like persistent windows and additional import/export functionality for naming conventions.

More specifically:

  • The UDA Editors in the Subscription Advantage Pack, Product Hierarchy, and most other ShipConstructor palettes now maintain their size and location between ShipConstructor sessions.
  • Naming conventions can now be reused between your projects, through export/import functionality.

User Focused Improvements to Equipment

Simplifying aspects of every hands-on workflow results in an overall improvement to the entire project. With SSI 2020 R2.1, we’ve included several user-requested improvements to outfitting and equipment that do just that.

When equipment is used together with structural elements, it can take a large amount of drawing switching to adjust assemblies. Now, equipment can be modeled directly in structure drawings, removing the need to flip between drawings.

We made two often-requested changes to the equipment insert jig. Now, the 2nd jig prompt (rotation) and 3rd jig prompt (up direction) in insertion point mode apply default values based on the standard drawing for easier natural equipment insertion.

We also added the ability to insert equipment in end-mode even if a connection cannot be made to the selected end. Before, the insertion would be cancelled if the connection was not valid and the equipment would have to be placed in insertion point mode and moved into place manually.


Prioritizing efficiency, ExpressMarine allows the use of parametric and non-parametric elements in the same model, thus minimizing the disadvantages of the fully parametric approach, where modelling time is wasted on thorough definitions of certain parameters which may never be used later. For this new ExpressMarine release, below are some of the Enhancement/fixes compared to the previous versions.

Force Full Model Update

‘Force full model update’ no longer creates geometry in nodes not previously ‘Applied’ by user.

Update model

Objects in need of update marked in tree. This can also allow the user to update a specific block without updating the entire model.

Search Function

Keeping in mind our goal of increasing productivity, the search function allow the user to quickly find an item without having to search in the tree.

Reimagine Rapid Modeling of Ship Structures in Rhino

Live Webinar | April 2
  • Thu, Apr 2, 2020 7:00 AM ET – 8:00 AM ET
  • Thu, Apr 2, 2020 2:00 PM ET – 3:00 PM ET
  1. How to initialize an ExpressMarine model             
  2. How to create objects that are associative to 2D drawings (e.g., a General Arrangement)
  3. How to create repetitive structure through parametric and associative rules             
  4. How to create non-repetitive structure, such as stringers on the shell
  5. How to export to ShipConstructor 


In this one-hour live webinar, you will see how the ExpressMarine structural modeling plug-in for Rhino is used to rapidly create a 3D parametric model of the structure, with the ability to easily make changes that flow through the model. Beginning with a hull model, we will demonstrate how to create decks, bulkheads, floors, frames, stiffeners, cutouts, etc., with associativity and parametric rules. See instant updates of weight and center of gravity of modules and the entire ship, and export of the data to ShipWeight and a BOM.

You’ll see how you can use your ShipConstructor stock material library while building the model, and then export a complete, attributed model to ShipConstructor, potentially saving hundreds of hours of modeling time.

Attendees will be provided with information to download a free trial of the software and access to exclusive pricing offers.

Spotlight on the Business of Shipbuilding


Visual Collaboration at the Speed of Business

SmartShape enables all stakeholders in the marine industry to visually collaborate throughout the entire lifecycle of a ship. Naval architects and marine engineers can easily and securely share design concepts with owners and classification societies.  Shipbuilders can push smart 3D models down to the manufacturing hall to enable transformational change of their build processes. Owners and operators can dramatically improve operational performance and reduce maintenance cost by providing workers with access to current, reliable as-built 3D models connected to enterprise applications such as asset management and PLM.


Rapid conceptual structural design is the hallmark of the ExpressMarine plug-in for Rhino. Using parametrics, ExpressMarine models decks, bulkheads, floors, frames, stiffeners, and cutouts very quickly, with automated updates as parameters change. The location of structure can be specified in various ways, including by linking to a 2D General Arrangement drawing. The result is an unprecedented modelling speed and an associative topology giving you such a high flexibility to adapt to design changes that it almost makes you welcome them.

Want to learn more? Have something to share with us? Then, be sure to drop by Booth 48 to chat with the InnovMarine team and our solution partners. We’d love to hear from owners and industry stakeholders, exchange a few of our own ideas, and showcase the technology that is enabling digital twin innovation today!