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Propeller Design for Manufacture


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Taking You From Concept to 3D Model

Prepare limitless designs of any marine propeller with PropCad’s comprehensive geometry definition. Enter a propeller style from PropCad’s Builder library, target blade area ratio, the amount of skew or rake, thickness rule, or a number of other design targets. PropCad builds the entire geometry – chord length, thickness, skew, rake, and all section offsets.

Full-featured Design for Geometric Modeling of Marine Propellers

PropCad’s interface provides full control over the blade parameters and hydrodynamic section shapes. It’s powerful and fast. A library of standard designs and distributions allows users to rapidly develop new designs and design variants. The feature-rich tool automatically prepares 2D design drawings, 3D CAD models, construction data and offset reports – as well as class society thickness calculations.

Propeller designers and manufacturers use PropCad to increase their productivity, producing better propeller designs in less time. PropCad keeps your drawings, reports, and 3D geometry together within a single project.

Users can design, save, and import their own section blade definitions. These blade sections can be modified by adding camber or cup. Designers can create advanced blade shapes with progressive pitch. PropCad displays local pitch values ensuring the design accurately meets the total overall progression.

Used by/Industries 

Propeller designers and manufacturers

Hydrodynamicists and CFD/FEA specialists

Research institutions and model tanks

AUV, ROV, and thruster builders

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PropCad Premium

The Premium Edition includes advanced features for feature extraction – enabling users to quickly import their existing blade designs from inspection points or a full 3D CAD file. The Premium Edition also includes tools for manufacturers, with robust utilities for creating foundry patterns and machining models for CNC toolpath generation. 

Design Library Integration

Utilize existing library designs for any geometry. You specify your propeller parameters and select the distributions from common library propellers to generate a complete set of propeller geometry data. The design library includes many of the world’s popular geometries (including B-series, Kaplan, Gawn, MAU) as well as cleaver and tunnel thruster blade forms.

PropCad Software Builder Wizard

PropCad Edition Comparison Table


Comprehensive tools for propeller design and manufacture


Integrated geometric designer


Traditional 2D design drawings


Multiple 3D views and graphics


Design wizards for rapid development


Build from scanned blade data


Supports any custom geometry


Classification thickness calculations


CAD/CAM file export

Technical Specifications

Builder Parameters
  • Section profiles
  • Camber
  • Cupped region
  • BAR Pitch distribution
  • Blade outline
  • Expanded area ratio
  • Rake & skew angles
  • Blade thickness
  • Hub envelope
  • Edge thickness and radius
  • Shaft dimensions
  • Root fillets
Builder Library Propellers
  • B-series
  • Gawn
  • Kaplan
  • SK
  • Wedge
  • AU
  • MAU
  • MAUw
  • Custom geometry files
Thickness Rules
  • ABS
  • LR
  • KR
  • NK
  • CCS
  • Baltic
  • IR
  • Supplemental rules for Ice Class and naval vessels
File Exports
  • Drawing: DXF, PDF, DOC
  • Reports: PDF, DOC, CSV
  • CAD/CAM: SolidWorks, Rhino, PTC Creo, Siemens NX, Mastercam, SURFCAM, Delcam PowerSHAPE, Point Cloud, IGES, STL, VMRL
Supplemental Calculations
  • Total weight
  • Mass inertia
  • Added wetted inertia
  • Skew angle
  • BAR
  • BTF
  • Mean pitch
  • Local pitch

Give yourself a competitive advantage. Register for a HYDROCourse!

Related Video and Tutorials

Importing legacy files Into PropCad

This video reviews how to import legacy PropCad 4 files (from PropCad 2011 and earlier) into the latest version of PropCad. This procedure is used in PropCad 2014 and newer…

Exporting a PropCad design to Solidworks

This short video demonstrates how to prepare a PropCad propeller design for export to Solidworks. We will export the geometry from PropCad and run the macro within the Solidworks software…

PropCad – Adding r/R sections and root fillets

This video reviews how to add new radial positions to a propeller project in PropCad. Sections can be added to intersect the blade and the hub geometries, and finally root fillets can be defined and visualized.

Scan Converter for Propeller Feature Extraction

HydroComp PropCad is often used to interpret existing propellers, patterns, and scan reports in order to recreate legacy designs. The Scan Converter utility – which is now a part of PropCad Premium Edition – is used to extract propeller features such as pitch, chord, skew, rake, thickness and section offsets using 3D data points collected from a physical propeller or pattern.

Design of Patterns with PropCad Premium

HydroComp PropCad features a new Premium Edition utility for creating propeller patterns and mold geometries. The new “Pattern Corrections” utility allows users to rapidly create casting patterns, mold geometries, and machining models by specifying the machine stock and shrinkage factors to be applied to the original PropCad design model.

Recreating a Propeller Design from a Drawing

Propeller builders and marine engineers will find value in this review of recreating a design from a drawing. This PropCad session reviews manual entry of distributions (pitch, skew, rake, chords) and section shapes and culminates in a new 3D model and 2D drawing.

Propeller Thickness, Class Societies, and Compliance

(Note: there is a 1:30 minute audio delay at the beginning.)
In this webinar, HydroComp will review an important subject for propeller builders: compliance with classification society thickness rules. We will discuss selection of classification societies, rule applicability, materials, variations and similarities between society rules, and important “need-to-know” caveats that anyone using these calculations should master…

Speed design productivity

Prepare limitless designs of any marine propeller with PropCad’s comprehensive geometry definition