PipeChat Digest #671 - Monday, January 25, 1999
Re: CAD Software/AutoCad for pipe organ design.
  by <MWORGLBAU@aol.com>

(back) Subject: Re: CAD Software/AutoCad for pipe organ design. From: MWORGLBAU@aol.com Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 04:43:30 EST   Dear Lists, Since similar postings appeared on 2 lists, and to insure that everyone that was interested gets this I'm posting the following message to both of the lists.   "You can use a CAD program to do sample layouts; produce circles that match the pipe diameters and then move them around to see what seems to work. Then, print or plot a full-sized version and stand some pipes on it to see what it *really* looks like! Or, you can use the time-honored scheme of making cardboard circles (again, matching the pipe diameters) and placing them into various configurations to see what you can make fit."   In actuality, there is even a simpler way. There is a computer programme called "Ktesibios" which is put out by the owner's son of Gladder-Gotz organ (the company that recently built the new organ for the UCC church in Claremont California). The programme can layout a 5 stop windchest in about 10 minutes (mind you this is a slider chest but the information can be useful for other types of chest layouts; and they plan to make some changes where you will be able to layout different types of chests in the future). Once the layout is done the layout file can be save as a .dxf file, and be imported into a CAD programme (such as AutoCAD), and be manipulated as needed. It is an expensive programme, but if you are a professional organbuilder that does build their own chests, it's worth the price. I know that it's being used by Organ Supply, Casavant, and Glatter-Gotz (as well as ourselves) If you are interested in the programme they have a web site: www.techsoftdesign.com.   "In some notes here many years ago, organ builder Allan Onkto suggested much thicker toeboards, on the order of 1-3/4" or so"   I would agree with this, no matter what style of chest is being built.   "Speaking of CAD programs, does anyone know of any available specifically for pipe organ layout and design?"   Other than what I mentioned above, I don't think so.   "So, I've simply produced my own symbols as needed."   That's wonderful. It would be nice if someone would host a site that everyone could share each others symbol library's. In AutoCAD, a symbol is saved as a 'block' which can be inserted into any drawing, and can be sized before insertion. It can be as simple as a magnet to an entire windchest or case section. Also Heuss offers .dxf files of all of their tracker parts.   "It might be fun to produce 3D drawings of a proposed instrument and then "fly" through it, but that is much more complex."   I have a 3-D drawing of a recent instrument that we worked on that I would be willing to share, but I think that most people would find a 3D drawing of one of our pitman chests more interesting. Those of you who want a copy, just ask. Don't worry if you don't have AutoCAD to view it. I will include the directions for where you can download a free utility from AutoCAD that will allow you to view, pan, zoom, and rotate to different views the chest.   "Can anyone suggest a good CAD program for WINDOWS 95-98?"   I use AutoCAD 14.01, and am quite happy. It's a very complex programme (the most complex programme that I own), and the learning curve is quite steep, but it's well worth it. It really does a lot, but has a hefty price tag. Would recommend it to any organbuilder.   Hope that this helps.     Michael R. Williamson Williamson-Warne & Associates Hollywood Ca.