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Cad Software For Organ Design


passion_chorale
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Although currently working in electronics research, I have done several work placements in the engineering industry over the past few years and in each of these have had reason to use various 'Solid' CAD tools, notably SolidEdge and ProEngineer (if that means anything to anyone!)

 

The enquiry is motivated from pure curiosity/a desire to compare with practice from other industries really, but I wonder whether some of the organ builders on here could explain a bit about the extent to which they use CAD (Computer Aided Design) in their design flow?

 

I'm particularly curious as to whether they use '2D' drawing tools which essentially function as electronic drawing boards (where each part is represented by a series of lines/3rd angle projection etc), or 'Solid Modelling' tools like SolidEdge. These tools function quite differently because the designer has to express the parts as 3D entities and then position them in a 'world', in effect you build the organ design up virtually as you would build it in real life. I suppose in the case of an organ builder, that means you would have various 'solid' entities like 'windchest' and 'reservoir' which would then be positioned inside the virtual 'organ' top level design. Usually, the software itself automatically generates the 2D drafts used for production.

 

And do you guys make much use of automatic CAD/CAM manufacture as well?

 

I just wonder whether the 'job' nature of organ building makes an extensive 3D CAD approach fairly laborious.

 

Many thanks, David Lucas.

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Although currently working in electronics research, I have done several work placements in the engineering industry over the past few years and in each of these have had reason to use various 'Solid' CAD tools, notably SolidEdge and ProEngineer (if that means anything to anyone!)

 

The enquiry is motivated from pure curiosity/a desire to compare with practice from other industries really, but I wonder whether some of the organ builders on here could explain a bit about the extent to which they use CAD (Computer Aided Design) in their design flow?

 

I'm particularly curious as to whether they use '2D' drawing tools which essentially function as electronic drawing boards (where each part is represented by a series of lines/3rd angle projection etc), or 'Solid Modelling' tools like SolidEdge. These tools function quite differently because the designer has to express the parts as 3D entities and then position them in a 'world', in effect you build the organ design up virtually as you would build it in real life. I suppose in the case of an organ builder, that means you would have various 'solid' entities like 'windchest' and 'reservoir' which would then be positioned inside the virtual 'organ' top level design. Usually, the software itself automatically generates the 2D drafts used for production.

 

And do you guys make much use of automatic CAD/CAM manufacture as well?

 

I just wonder whether the 'job' nature of organ building makes an extensive 3D CAD approach fairly laborious.

 

Many thanks, David Lucas.

 

I hesitate to reply to this as I am by no means an organ builder. However, as you seem to have had no responses thus far, perhaps you will excuse me if I contribute my 'fourpenn'orth'.

 

I have, for many years, used CAD in my hobby of organ design and use exclusively TurboCAD - currently version 14. This is quite cheap when compared to professional applications such as AutoCAD, yet is very functional and does all I need.

 

Originally I would draw designs only in 2D but later, when I upgraded to a 3D version of TurboCAD, I began to explore drawing in 3D. Although initially this was quite time consuming, when I had become more adept I discovered that producing one 3D drawing could take less time than producing several 2D drawings of different aspects. Moreover, if alterations were made, this would only need doing once. Naturally, the 3D model can be used to produce views of different aspects; obviously, any view/projection is possible: the usual plan, front and side elevations, and also others such as isometric projections if required. Another advantage is that you can be assured that there are no unintentional disparities between the different views.

 

I sometimes recall the 'old days' when I worked with ink drawing pens. Not only were the pens often difficult to get started, but they were occasionally prone to slip or even blot if you weren't very careful. Worse still, if you made a mistake or wished to make minor alterations, the whole thing had to be done again. Happy days!

 

John

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I hesitate to reply to this as I am by no means an organ builder. However, as you seem to have had no responses thus far, perhaps you will excuse me if I contribute my 'fourpenn'orth'.

 

I have, for many years, used CAD in my hobby of organ design and use exclusively TurboCAD - currently version 14. This is quite cheap when compared to professional applications such as AutoCAD, yet is very functional and does all I need.

 

Originally I would draw designs only in 2D but later, when I upgraded to a 3D version of TurboCAD, I began to explore drawing in 3D. Although initially this was quite time consuming, when I had become more adept I discovered that producing one 3D drawing could take less time than producing several 2D drawings of different aspects. Moreover, if alterations were made, this would only need doing once. Naturally, the 3D model can be used to produce views of different aspects; obviously, any view/projection is possible: the usual plan, front and side elevations, and also others such as isometric projections if required. Another advantage is that you can be assured that there are no unintentional disparities between the different views.

 

I sometimes recall the 'old days' when I worked with ink drawing pens. Not only were the pens often difficult to get started, but they were occasionally prone to slip or even blot if you weren't very careful. Worse still, if you made a mistake or wished to make minor alterations, the whole thing had to be done again. Happy days!

 

John

 

Many thanks for that info;

 

As you found, Solid Modelling is very different from 2D projection and initially hard to understand, but it has the great merit that there is only one 'golden' model from which the 2D drafts are automatically generated. Also they can usually do 'exploded views' at the click of a button. Another useful feature I found checked the entire model for 'interference', to tell me where two parts were unintentionally overlapping.

 

I suppose also that once you have designed a standard reservoir, say, the part can be stored and used where suitable in future designs. This 'design reuse' is a favoured buzzword in the electronics industry at the moment. I would be interested to hear from some organ builders, although frankly I can understand if they want to keep their design processes confidential!

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Don't quote me here but I think Manders & H&H use full-on AutoCAD. Don't know how much 3D work they do - most of their drawings tend to be 2D but I guess they must use 3D - they've both got full time designers. Both workshops have invested pretty heavily in CAD, with powerful workstations, etc. Was it Walkers or Nicholsons who now have a computer controlled router which they use to drill soundboards and various other items?

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  • 3 months later...
Don't quote me here but I think Manders & H&H use full-on AutoCAD. Don't know how much 3D work they do - most of their drawings tend to be 2D but I guess they must use 3D - they've both got full time designers. Both workshops have invested pretty heavily in CAD, with powerful workstations, etc. Was it Walkers or Nicholsons who now have a computer controlled router which they use to drill soundboards and various other items?

 

 

As far as I know, most organ-builders using CAD use 2D, and in addition to the aforementioned builders, P&S have used 2D (based on AutoCAD) for their work - like everyone else probably because before computers, most drawings were in 2D. I use AutoCAD for design work, and for most purposes this is ideal, though solid-modelling (like SolidWorks) is very clever and probably the way to go for the future (it seems the way that programme manufacturers are going, which will probably force our hands anyway). I'm inclined to think it is down to the preference of the designer - if one wants to model something to see how it fits together, then solid modelling is very attractive, but for routine work, like layouts, 2D serves most purposes. That said even a nominally routine item like a sliderchest could be easier in 3D - it is the multiple layers that complicate issues, and make modifications tedious, rather the trying to conceptualise something as 3D object. For most designers it is a question of affording time to learn a new system...

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Don't quote me here but I think Manders & H&H use full-on AutoCAD. Don't know how much 3D work they do - most of their drawings tend to be 2D but I guess they must use 3D - they've both got full time designers. Both workshops have invested pretty heavily in CAD, with powerful workstations, etc. Was it Walkers or Nicholsons who now have a computer controlled router which they use to drill soundboards and various other items?

 

Hi

 

Walkers had a computer-controlled router whe the Cambridge Organists' Assoc. visited - must be getting on for 10 years ago now.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi

 

Walkers had a computer-controlled router whe the Cambridge Organists' Assoc. visited - must be getting on for 10 years ago now.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

 

Nicholsons made a great play for CAD when they built the new quire organ at Southwell. That must be probably over 10 years ago, too. Using conventional drafting must surely be a painstaking procedure for a builder putting up a scheme, particularly having to draw pipes. I assume that AutoCad comes complete with a library of pipe styles - metal flues, wooden flues and similarly for reeds.

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  • 8 months later...

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