Process Tab (Manufacturing Plate Properties Dialog Box) - Intergraph Smart 3D - Help

Intergraph Smart 3D Structural Manufacturing

Intergraph Smart 3D

Processes are rule-based and can be customized by each manufacturing facility.

When you select multiple objects, you can change the properties that those objects have in common. If the value of the property is the same for the objects that you have selected, that value displays in the ribbon bar. If the values are different, the box for that value is blank. Changing the value of a property makes that the value for all of the selected objects.


Select a manufacturing plate process type from the list. This list is the same as the Process List on the manufacturing plate ribbon.


Displays the parameters for the process that you have selected.


Specifies modifiable parameter values.


If the value of the parameter is rule-based, a check box displays. Clear the check box and then select a different parameter value if necessary.

Catalog Value

If you modified the value, the original catalog value for the process displays.


Neutral Axis

Some facilities make the neutral axis position a function of thickness. This determines the position based on material, thickness, and bending direction where there is no change in length when unwrapping.


The side of the part that is facing up while it is being cut.

Unwrap Algorithm

Select the unwrap algorithm:

  • Developable - Useful for unwrapping knuckled plates and single curved shell plates. Bending lines are evaluated on the curved surface.

    Unwrapping is done by unbending at the bending lines. The first two bending lines define the plane that the shell plate is unwrapped into. The unbending is then done by rotating a part of the shell plate around a bending line. By doing this rotation around all bending lines, the shell plate is unwrapped into a plane.

  • Flat - Useful for unwrapping flat plates. There is no unfolding done with this algorithm. The contour curves and markings are simply transformed into a plane.

  • TwoDirUnfold - Minimizes the change of curve length after unwrapping the curve to a plane. Because this approach is based on minimizing the change of curve length, it does not handle extremely curved surfaces (for example, bending angles larger than 120 degrees) which includes most closed surfaces. For a curved part with a great degree of curvature (such as near the nose), split the plate into several pieces before unwrapping it.

  • Geodesic_Merge - Depends on n-surface merge as it uses iso-u and iso-v meshed points to evaluate normal and derivatives to derive local geodesic. The algorithm then uses the meshed points to derive one-to-many corresponding u-v parameters for unwrapping curves on the surface. The quality of this method largely depends on the accuracy of the merged surfaces and the parameterization. This method can handle closed surfaces if n-surface can generate a good result.

    This method uses an approach similar to finite element modeling, where the surface to unfold is approximated into a regular mesh of points and normals. The objectives are to preserve the geodesic length and minimize the deformation of the mesh. This method produces accurate results when unfolding developable surfaces such as cylinders, cones, or developable ruled surfaces.

  • SNU - Useful for unwrapping hull plates. All of the patches comprising the hull shape, along with the contour and marking data, is sent to a third-party unfolding algorithm developed by Seoul National University (SNU).

  • SNU_Single_Surface - Similar to SNU, except that the patches are merged into a single b-spline surface before the software sends it to the SNU algorithm.

  • SNU_FourSided_10 - Adds material to all four sides to create a rectangle which provides a 10 mm margin around the original contours.

1 - Margin dimension

2 - Newly calculated contour

  • SNU_FourSided_50 - Adds material to all four sides to create a rectangle which provides a 50 mm margin around the original contours.

  • SNU_FourSided_100 - Adds material to all four sides to create a rectangle which provides a 100 mm margin around the original contours.

  • SNU_Thermal - Indicates that the shop applied heat to shape the plate using steel contraction.

  • SNU_Cold - Indicates that the shop used pressure rolling to shape the plate using steel expansion.

  • SNU_Neutral - Indicates that the shop used hydraulic presses to shape the plate using linear bending. This method does not induce expansion or contraction.

  • SNU_Thermal - Rev - Similar to SNU_Thermal, except that the spine is reversed by calculating perpendicular to the auto-spine direction.

  • SNU_Cold - Rev - Similar to SNU_Cold, except that the spine is reversed by calculating perpendicular to the auto-spine direction.

  • The spine direction on a surface determines how that surface unfolds. The base position of the spine determines the its elongation size and direction.

  • The spine direction depends on the shipyard fabrication practices. The facility determines whether to use an auto-spine or a reverse spine, and applies that direction to the algorithm. For example, if the spine is parallel to the longer side, the curvature of the surface is ignored, and the spine is positioned parallel to the longer side. However, this process might not be right for every shipyard.


The facilities need to handle the bevel information depending on their capabilities. They can have a continuous bevel, a bevel within increments, or a fixed bevel. The deviation angle determines when a segment of a physical connection should be created to provide new bevel information for that segment.

Roll Lines

Specifies the roll line calculation process.

User Defined Values

Shipyards can control certain values used during the unfold process of plate parts.

Weld Tab

Automatically specifies a weld tab based on the assigned custom rule. These can be partially solved by replacing the feature by an alternative representation defined for scallops.

Feature Tab

Automatically specifies a feature tab based on the process rule.

Knuckle Tab

Automatically specifies a knuckle tab based on the process rule.


Specifies margin values for the manufacturing object based on the process rule.


Specifies shrinkage values for the manufacturing object based on the process rule.


Specifies marking lines for the manufacturing object based on the process rule.

Cut Mark Control

Controls the behavior of cut, mark, and ignore behavior for all features, openings, and hole traces.

Marking Validate

Controls the validation of marking lines. You can merge overlapping marking lines or connect disjointed markings.

Plate Custom

Stores custom manufacturing plate part attributes that will be exported to the final XML.


Shipyards control the way the plate features are processed during unwrap. Some openings must be unwrapped with the plate. The rest should be reapplied after the unwrap process is completed.

Some facilities are using this in their analysis software to determine if they are influencing the strength of a plate and therefore should or should not be included in the unwrap process.