App of the Month - Woodcraft

Monday 11 March 2013

Woodcraft is designed to help woodworkers model projects in 3D on screen before committing to cutting timber. The application combines simple elements of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and 3D modelling. Woodcraft is able to tackle basic woodworking projects from decks to benches, furniture to back garden sheds. It is not aimed at obtaining fine detail for cabinetmaking but it does enable users to design the overall shape and size of a project.

As a regular 3D CAD user I found the interface easy to use. It is important to watch the online tutorials first and then to play with the tutorial projects; like any CAD system it takes a little time to learn. The application tries to push the user into thinking of a 3D CAD project in the same way as making a real project by choosing rough dimensioned timber and then by cutting, shaping and joining pieces using various simple tools. Let's be clear here, the range of tools is limited; it consists of measurement and marking tools, a hammer, a hand saw and a tablesaw. Essentially the user appears to be limited to straight, rectangular section joinery, although pieces can be rotated to any desired angle. Despite this limitation, a large range of simple designs can be produced using this software as it stands.

It is possible to align, rotate and move timber precisely and users may also add their own dimensioned rough timber for the times when the app doesn't provide them by default. Users may design in 2D or 3D view depending on preference and it is easy to switch between views. Usefully, the application records a list of the dimensions of each piece used and quantity required. This'Bill of Material' feature can therefore be used as a shopping list when buying timber. Another feature that is helpful is a booklet that shows left, front and top views of the finished piece. It is a pity that these views are not dimensioned though. I hope that with upgrades more functionality will be offered, but overall, for what it is, the application can be used at minimum to work out a reliable cutting list for many cabinet projects.


Price: £6.99 from iTunes Apple Store for iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch