Woodcraft App

Recently I have been exploring the capabilities of a new app for the iPad, from Fasterre called Woodcraft.

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It is in simple terms, a CAD program for the iPad, and probably not too dissimilar from Sketchup (although I have not played with that a lot).

The app is particularly refined – things work as you’d expect, and a lot of attention has gone into its design.

To start, you can either create a new project from scratch, or download one which other users have made and uploaded for sharing.

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Here I am downloading a birdhouse, that I can either build from the design provided, or used as a starting point for further development.

Elements can be added and deleted, dragged and dropped, rotated and precisely aligned with other elements.

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There is a main view on the right, and other elevations on the left.  You can easily switch through each elevation by dragging the one you want to view or work with to the main window.  There, you can add and modify elements, add dimensions, and perform basic woodwork functions (tablesaw , saw, hammer (to join elements together etc)).  You can take a photo in the real word, then overlay your project to see just how it will look with the Photograph function.

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Where it comes to ordering timber for the project, click on “Bill of Material”, and it will provide a list of the components needed.

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As you are designing the project, you may want to work with timbers you already have, or standard sizes that you know are available.  That can be accommodated as well.  Working either with the lumber pile, or the scrap pile.

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And being CAD, and that you are working with solids in 3D, you can therefore view your resulting object in 3D as well – very helpful to visualise where you are at in the project design process, and work out what needs to be designed next.

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It is quite a complex app given its capabilities, but there are plenty of videos available on their website that will help you get started, then develop your skills with the app.

Apps for the iPad are certainly maturing!

Shed Designer for iOS and Android

It had to happen some time, (and the sooner the better!) – shed manufacturers are releasing design programs for mobile devices.  So now you can design your shed while in the field, in the train, or anywhere else you have your phone or tablet device, and have a few minutes spare.

Down under, and it is Fair Dinkum sheds who have taken the initiative and have just released an app for the iPhone and iPad, as well as a version for Android (and a web version for Mac and PC for those playing at home (or at work 😉 )

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I’ve been playing with the iPad app specifically, which is where the screen shots have come from.  Same functionality for the other versions, just different layouts.

The front screen has a number of pages of information (the green buttons), including info about ShedSafe, bit about the company, links to relevant YouTube videos etc.  On the left side, there is a button to take you through to the shed designer package.

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In this current version of the software, you can design one of the first 4 styles of shed – future updates should include the other two styles, and include additional options for positioning of extensions, lean-tos etc.

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The picture of the shed is not static either – as you’d expect for an iPad (etc) app, a drag of a finger can pan the shed around, get a higher, or lower perspective.

Even for a basic shed, there are huge numbers of variables available, including a wide range of roof pitches, changing the span and length, and colour it all as you like.

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Once you have the shed designed, including options you want (skylights, whirlybirds etc), you can submit to to your local Fair Dinkum dealer for a quote, or “share” it on Facebook, Twitter, Email and SMS.

If your shed has features outside the parameters of the software, the dealers have a more sophisticated version of the package to custom design to your heart’s content.  The app is a more simple interpretation of their full design and engineering software. You get to to control the cosmetic features of the shed, which their design software then uses as the basis of its engineering calculations in order to create fully engineered plans and the quote.

The app is free, so you can download and design your current shed, or your next one.

If you visit their web page, there are links through to the app store of your choice (iOS, Android, or web based version for the computer)

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The software itself has a very consistent look and feel, irrespective of your platform of choice.

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ManSpace 2013

It may seem way too organised, but ManSpace is out for 2013 already!  We collectively achieved it by getting the articles submitted mid December, which was busy at the time, but we reap the rewards now 🙂

Problem for me is, the next articles are due mid March, right when I am moving house (and shed!), so I will have to get the next set of articles in early as well.  After a discussion today, I have a plan for the next set of articles, so now I just have to make it happen!

The articles in the current edition include the Melamine blade from Amana Tool and Toolstoday.com, the TURBOPlane from Arbortech, a Borescope that wirelessly displays the image on your iPad, iPhone or Android device, and a step by step on using the Tambour door router bits.

There are a bunch of other articles too – the Navy Steam Club (and their steam truck which I have actually driven while living at the Cerberus Naval Base), urinals for the shed, collectables, beards and a whole heap more.

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Nailin’ those apps

For those than mourn the days of Tungsten Palm Pilots, Pocket PCs and other stylus controlled devices, you don’t have to continue to use fat finger control if you prefer not to.  And if you also want a bit of shed-related peripheral, then you can use a nail to control your iPad/iPhone or other digit-controlled device.

Not exactly any nail of course!  The iPound, from Fred (& Friends).

iPound the iPad

iPound the iPad

It has a silicone-rubber tip, so no damage to the iDevice surface (unlike using a real nail!)

iPound

iPound

Use it to access all your woodworking-related apps!

iPound those Apps

iPound those Apps

And if a nail isn’t your style, there is also a match, and a crayon. (But neither of those are really shed related!)

Woodshop Widget

The Woodshop Widget, an iPhone and now iPad app has had an upgrade.

It is still one of very few woodworking based apps available, and joins an even more select group being able to work natively on the iPad.

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There is a board volume/ price calculator

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A timber comparison, comparing gravity, hardness, tangential and radial shrinkage. The last two is particularly useful when making items combining different types of timber, so assist avoiding splits caused by seasonal movement.

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A fraction converter

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A movement calculator, showing the amount of expected movement based on starting and finishing temperatures and humidity.

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A shellac mixing calculator

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And a square calculator

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It incorporates a decent (and increasing) library of timbers, including Australian Blackwood, Purpleheart, Jarrah and many others.

Available from the Apple app store. Costs around a whole $4 or so.
Woodshop Widget Website

Triton App

Triton was once the quintessential Australian brand, and although the star has faded through a variety of reasons, and it is no longer owned by Australia, it is still mostly made here.

So it is only right one iconic brand appears on another: and now we have the Triton app!

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Listings of products, specifications, features…

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Videos

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Triton news

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And the old Triton projects on a new platform (also still available here fwiw)

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The app is produced by the UK owners, so not all products available here are shown, but it is free (and the nearest dealer tab still works).

It came from Cyberspace

Now I am going to take a small amount of credit for this, not a lot but just a little. So in doing so, I also hope that it works out as well – the peril of enthusiasm!

Last time I spoke with the editors of Australian Wood Review, in particular about their archiving to DVD of previous issues, I strongly encouraged them to consider getting their magazine into the App store, and onto the Newsstand. (And to go and buy an iPad for themselves!) And guess what? They have!

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For an individual issue price of $5, or an annual subscription of $17, you can have the Wood Review downloaded directly to your iPad.

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And it is very cool. You can get issue 68 for free as a trial, which I did (and then subscribed anyway!). Flicked through a few pages, and found my own mug staring back at me from an article I had forgotten I had written.

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You can read it in portrait mode (page at a time), or landscape which looks more like the original magazine layout, depending on your eyesight. Of course, it is on an iPad, so multifinger swipes, zoom etc is all possible.

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So for a look, head to the App store, download the free app for Wood Review, and then preview any issues you want to purchase, download the free trial issue, and subscribe if inspired. (For pocket change I found resistance was futile!)

http://itunes.com/apps/woodreview

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