Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Review - "Creative Woodturner" from MDR

As a woodturner and computer geek, I recently purchased the "Creative Woodturner" software from MDR (in the United Kingdom).

Overall the features are outstanding, there is the ability to do some limited customization of features for those who like extra control, and the "Gallery" function is a nice way to view and catagorize your drawings.  The price is nice, too.  This program will set you back about $125 ... but for these features, it is well worth it.

As a woodturner and computer geek, I recently purchased the "Creative Woodturner" software from MDR (in the United Kingdom).

I wasn't sure what to expect, since my Computer Assisted Drafting (CAD) experience was limited to full blown AutoCAD ... or a small shareware program I had played with for years, entitled "MicroLathe".  One was a behemoth, and the other was a piece of fluff (albeit a nice piece of fluff).

When my new CD arrived in a DVD style box, I couldn't wait to get the software installed!  I had no problems with this, and the install went quickly and easily.

Now to play with my new toy!  Oh what wonderful designs I would create!  ... then I saw the interface ... wait a minute ... is that it?  I was briefly disappointed, since the user interface looked like an introductory web page, and not at all like a stand-alone application.

Then I began my voyage of discovery.  Cleverly hidden in its menus and choices, is a robust little program with fairly advanced features ... but without the learning curve associated with more powerful CAD programs.  I could select straight line segments, curved line segments, insert dimensions ... Hey, this was great!

I got so overjoyed at the simple but powerful drawing tools, that I almost overlooked the program's ability to take my creation and apply a woodgrain applique, thereby giving me a better idea of what my finished project might look like.  I could choose from a nice variety of woods, straight and end grains, even some composites.  Over 140 images.

OK, for those who know me, yes, I did "geek out" and copied my entire library of wood photos into the program's applique directory ... but hey, you never know when you might need to apply an applique of a highly figured, transverse cut of Cocobolo ... right?

Overall the features are outstanding, there is the ability to do some limited customization of features for those who like extra control, and the "Gallery" function is a nice way to view and catagorize your drawings.  The price is nice, too.  This program will set you back about $125 ... but for these features, it is well worth it.

Plus, one more feature (for me) ... when I am travelling for my job, and I just can't wait to turn some wood ... I don't have to!  I can "turn" a bowl, design a vessel, or make plans for those lamps and candlesticks my wife has been asking for ... but I must admit, I do miss the sawdust!

For this program you need a PC compatible system (Sorry, Apple Guys!), with Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, or XP.  A minimum processor of a P75 or better is recommended, with a 200 MB Hard Drive, 8 MB of memory, and a 3D compatible graphics card.  This is all pretty standard stuff for any PC built or bought in the last couple of years.

I hope you enjoyed my review, as much as I enjoyed the new software.  

Happy Turning!