Affinity Designer for Luthiers

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Max Taylor

Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by Max Taylor » Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:00 pm

After careful review of Forum Rule #3 I provide the following information for which I receive nothing but the enjoyment of be able to take advantage of the following information and hopefully others may too to the benefit of all forum members.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

First of all what is Affinity Designer ( or AD)?

It is the application that won the “Application of the Year” award from Apple Computer last year with 5 Stars and is very quickly replacing Adobe Illustrator in the Mac world (me) and has been out for over a year. I do all my Guitar design plans and layouts using this incredible application.

It is not considered a “CAD” program but an extremely sophisticated graphic design application has capabilities that most CAD programs do not have and is easy to use. It is a buy it once and all updates are free forever. Can’t beat that. It can also export files in eight of the most standard file formats used on all PC’s and Mac’s. Its basic file format is proprietary and the same in both PC and Mac versions so it’s perfect for sharing files between platforms.

It is produced by “Serif” in the UK and a “PC Beta Version” is currently available free to anyone who would like to download it for use on a Windows compatible computer. If you sign up and get the Beta version you will also get a big discount on the release version when they release it.

Why am I mentioning this? Because it is a fantastic application that no serious luthier should be without and you absolutely can not beat the price. So many people are not even aware of this great application, hence my mentioning it here.

Even though I live in the US I still do all my guitar design in metric only and AD allows me to create art boards of whatever size I want (like for full size plans), set to metric sizes of my choice and can display background grids at any resolution with infinite zoom capability for drawings that are incredibly accurate and can then be printed out for use as templates or for whatever you may need them for.

The upside is that Adobe Illustrator users can now have all the capability with a one time purchase with free updates for life with “Affinity Designer” and all Mac and PC users will be able to use the same application, which also means that they will be able to share drawings across the board with anyone they may choose even thought they may be using different platforms.

It is available for Mac users via the “App Store”. For all you PC users you can go to the following link for full demonstrations of its use plus you can select the option “Affinity on Windows” and sign up to get a free copy of the most current “Beta” version. Make sure you watch the videos too. I think you will be duly impressed.

https://affinity.serif.com/en-us/

Hope everyone finds this informative and I know that you will not be disappointed if you chose to purchase this application for your luthier design work.

There is also a very active “Forum” specific to this application too.

More information to follow.

—Max

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Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by slowlearner » Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:39 pm

Could you show us some of the things you're drawing up on it?
Pete

Max Taylor

Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by Max Taylor » Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:33 am

This will be my first attempt at posting images so hope it goes through. These will be simply drawings as my more complete full sized drawings and designs are still top secret. ;-)

Here is a Classical guitar shape that I worked out based upon “Phi” (Golden Ratio) where each of the rectangles are smaller by the ratio of 1:.6180339. I think the shape works out very well and still maintains a nice Classical recognized form. The actual curves are drawn using Bezier curves so you have a lot of control over their shape and smoothness and adjust them easily to get the exact curve you want. I only design one half until I get it were I want it them simply select that half, copy it, paste it then reflect it and you have a perfect matching other half to place on the other side.
Guitar-Phi.pdf
(132.52 KiB) Downloaded 248 times
This is a very simple drawing of a pretty standard Headstock design.
Guitar-Phi.pdf
(132.52 KiB) Downloaded 248 times
Lastly, this is just one drawing of a Classical Bridge.
Classical Bridge-1.pdf
(147.35 KiB) Downloaded 190 times
This is only a smidgen of what can be done just using the simplest of drawing tools, mainly line, curves and text. These can be printed out at full size and used as templates for use any way one might want to do so.

There is no real limit to the size drawings one can produce which is the nice part. My full size complete drawings cover 12 printed pages. You can easily draw with an accuracy of 1/1000th of a millimetre if you wanted to as it has almost infinite zoom and the precision goes up as you zoom in for detail.

The nice thing is that if you do design drawings you can save them and print them out any time in the future. You can modify any design and save it under another name thereby always keeping the original. I will sometimes print out a design, glue it to the wood with with a little children's glue then cut it out and remove the paper.

For any PC users who download the Beta copy, which is absolutely free so there is nothing to lose, I will provide the above file in Affinity Designer format so you can open them, modify them and play with them any way you like. I will also supply the basic 12 page sheet template that anyone can use to act as a starting point for full size guitar drawings.

Hope this answers a few questions. I would also be easy to add full color to any of theses drawings but they are more on the order of plans and color drawings plus I only have a black and white laser printer here. I will be taking a large drawing to a local sign shop that can do full size prints to see if they can hand me back a full sized drawing on one sheet and will let you know how that comes out.

–Max
Attachments
BG-Headstock.pdf
(27.23 KiB) Downloaded 161 times

Max Taylor

Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by Max Taylor » Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:46 am

Not sure that the drawings got download correctly. This is my first try at including files so I might have to try again.

Any suggestions?

—Max

Max Taylor

Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by Max Taylor » Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:26 am

I’m waiting to see if the drawings I think were included in the above post come through or if I will need to try and re-include them or not.

Meanwhile here is an explanation of something I discovered two days ago using Affinity Designer.

Creating Very Large Radius Arcs of any Size

If anyone has ever tried to draw and exact 8 meter Arc that is only say 500mm long you know how difficult that can be, right?

I can easily do that in Affinity Designer by only knowing what the “Y” offset in the center of the chord is an Trevor Gore gives us access to that information in the “Books” under the “Shipwrights Compass” algorithm. This information was also presented in another post giving a web link to calculate this offset also. I, being a Mac guy, built a very simple spreadsheet that allows me to enter in the distance between two pins, the radius of the curve I want and it give me the center offset distance needed to draw the specific radius curve.

Once I have the offset it is easy to generate the exact curve in Affinity Designed as follows.

Using 500mm as the distance between the pins (actually the line length below) and a selected Radius of 8 meters this will give you the exact curve you are looking for. Calculations tell you that for a 500mm line with a 8 meter radius your “Y” offset will be 3.91mm. The line and the offset is all you need to precisely draw the exact curve as follows. It actually only take less than 60 seconds. Make sure you have the “Snapping ” tool selected at the top (a red horseshoe magnet). This will allow you to snap to points.

1. Using the “Pen” tool I draw a single horizontal line.
2. Select the “Move Tool” (black arrow) and selecting that line simply enter in the exact length (500mm) you want the line to be in the size field in the lower right corner thus making the line the exactly 500mm long.
3. Next using the same procedure as in #1 draw a short vertical line. This will be the “Y” offset, then set it to exactly 3.91 as in #2.
4. Selecting the short line place one end at the exact center of the 500mm line. (AD will show you were that is).

—All lines in Affinity Designer are considered straight curves so we can use this to create the exact curve we need.

5. Selecting the “Node Tool” (white arrow) click on the 500mm line and it will show as selected then simply grab the line near the center and move it upwards until it is exactly on top of the “Y” vertical line (it should snap right to it). The original 500mm straight line will flex upwards and once it is locked onto the top of the “Y” offset line you will now have the exact 8 meter curve you need.

You can use the same procedure to produce to produce any long or short curve with the exact radius you need using only the calculations to get the “Y” offset for the line length you want. Once you have the curve drawn save it simple print it out and use it as a template. Easy way to get the exact curve for back braces for the back radius you need or for any other reason.

Just one way to do it.

—Max

Max Taylor

Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by Max Taylor » Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:46 am

This is a second attempt to download the three files that apparently didn’t make it on the first try.
Guitar-Phi.pdf
(132.52 KiB) Downloaded 179 times
BG-Headstock.pdf
(27.23 KiB) Downloaded 169 times
Classical Bridge-1.pdf
(147.35 KiB) Downloaded 163 times
—Max

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Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by seeaxe » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:04 am

Hi Max
I downloaded the first PDF file without any issues, so should be all good.
Looks interesting.

Cheers
Richard
Richard

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Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by seeaxe » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:10 am

Also,
One thing to be careful of if printing on paper is that it will react to moisture and shrink and or expand. Particularly if using wet glue to fix to the blank. So good to check the output is within your tolerance before taking it to the saw.

Cheers
R
Richard

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Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by blackalex1952 » Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:53 am

I just used the download link for windows, but the version only runs 64 -bit operating system...Ross
"Everything I say on the topic is based solely upon inexperience and assumption!"

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Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by Steve.Toscano » Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:19 pm

blackalex1952 wrote:but the version only runs 64 -bit operating system...Ross
You're running a 32bit version of windows? :o

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Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by kiwigeo » Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:42 pm

Steve.T wrote:
blackalex1952 wrote:but the version only runs 64 -bit operating system...Ross
You're running a 32bit version of windows? :o
2 bit operating system :mrgreen:
Martin

Max Taylor

Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by Max Taylor » Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:44 pm

Please accept my apology here. I was under the impression that when I included a file it would show up on the screen as do photos. I had no idea that it would present a link that you could download the file then view it in any PDF compatible viewer but now it is obvious that that is how it works. Maybe photos are different.

I am really sorry to hear that the Windows version of Affinity Designer requires a 64 bit OS. Show ho much us Mac guys are missing, eh?

If anyone else gets the free beta version of Affinity Designer and would like to see these files in AF file format I would be glad to provide them. I exported these into PDF format so anyone could view them.

Richard mentioned that a wet glue might cause the paper version to swell and he is right. I have also used a “Glue Stick” to attach paper templates to wood. You only need a dab or tow here and there.

—Max

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Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by kiwigeo » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:01 pm

pdfs will show up as a link while image files (jpeg) will show up as the image.
Martin

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Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by kiwigeo » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:08 pm

Max Taylor wrote:
I am really sorry to hear that the Windows version of Affinity Designer requires a 64 bit OS. Show ho much us Mac guys are missing, eh?
I'm assuming your comment is a tongue in cheek jab at Windows users.

My Macbook Air is running a 64 bit OS (El Capitan - OSX 10.11.6). Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but unless you're running a really old Mac (Pre 2007) your machine will have 64 bit architecture.
Martin

Max Taylor

Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by Max Taylor » Wed Nov 09, 2016 4:11 am

kiwigeo wrote:
Max Taylor wrote:
I am really sorry to hear that the Windows version of Affinity Designer requires a 64 bit OS. Shows how much us Mac guys are missing, eh?
I'm assuming your comment is a tongue in cheek jab at Windows users.

My Macbook Air is running a 64 bit OS (El Capitan - OSX 10.11.6). Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but unless you're running a really old Mac (Pre 2007) your machine will have 64 bit architecture.

Yes, was tongue in cheek. No offense meant. I recently had to buy a small laptop to tune my car and it had to be Windows and I have just had a very rough time trying to adjust to using it after be a Mac user and programmer since 1985 (31 years).

Unfortunately Mac users would have to buy the application via the “App Store” because it has been released for over a years but the price is right ($49.99 US). Windows users would also have to buy the release version when they release it out of Beta but they will receive a discounted price as that has been their history. You will also get notified of any updated versions available and they are free.

I would not think of being without it personally.

—Max

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Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by lauburu » Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:19 am

Thanks for the link. I've downloaded it and had a wee play. Looks good so far and the price is certainly right
Miguel

Max Taylor

Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by Max Taylor » Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:48 am

lauburu wrote:Thanks for the link. I've downloaded it and had a wee play. Looks good so far and the price is certainly right
Miguel
Miguel,

You can click on the links to the files I posted to download them then open them in Affinity Designer even thought they are PDF files. I just did it so I know it works.

You should still be able to edit all parts of the drawings. Should provide something to play with.

—Max

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Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by blackalex1952 » Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:24 pm

You're running a 32bit version of windows? :o
YES!Tonewood and tools, kids, etc take all my spare $$$. Have some sympathy!!!!! :roll:
2 bit operating system :mrgreen:
Well, that's your two bits! :lol: All donations gracefully accepted this end!!!Ross
"Everything I say on the topic is based solely upon inexperience and assumption!"

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Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by kiwigeo » Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:13 pm

Max Taylor wrote:
Yes, was tongue in cheek. No offense meant.
And none taken......I actually run a Mac 90% of the time but have a Windows machine in the workshop for running VA.
Martin

Max Taylor

Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by Max Taylor » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:03 am

kiwigeo wrote:
Max Taylor wrote:
Yes, was tongue in cheek. No offense meant.
And none taken......I actually run a Mac 90% of the time but have a Windows machine in the workshop for running VA.
Then you understand. I still have to get over thinking that Windows works like a Mac. They are so different is so many ways.

Just found out last week that my 24" iMac (2008 vintage) had hit the hardware limit at OS 10.11.6 so I would have to get a new machine to run 10.12. The new 27" iMac Retina displays are gorgeous to say the least so that will be next.

Pardon my ignorance but what is “VA”?

Might be nice to have an online listing showing software that builders can take advantage of for whatever purpose they may need. Just a thought.

—Max

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Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by kiwigeo » Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:18 am

Max Taylor wrote:
Pardon my ignorance but what is “VA”?

Might be nice to have an online listing showing software that builders can take advantage of for whatever purpose they may need. Just a thought.

—Max
VA is a piece of audio analysis shareware .....used by alot of the members here for tap testing.
Martin

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Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by Woodsy23 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:52 pm

Thanks for the information of Affinity Designer. I also believe that using CAD and similar programs can be very useful for a luthier. Setting out neck, string and bridge geometry is one example. I have also found printing out component drawings and sticking the printout onto the wood for cutting out (etc) is also extremely useful. I just have a standard printer but the printouts are extremely accurate dimensionally. For the smaller components, printing out onto adhesive label paper is quick and easy with less chance of changes in dimensions as there is no wetting of the paper during gluing. Spray adhesive is the next best alternative (for larger plans)

I am fortunate enough to have access to AutoCAD 2013 but will give this a go (PC version)
Richard

Max Taylor

Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by Max Taylor » Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:41 pm

Woodsy23 wrote:Thanks for the information of Affinity Designer.
The idea of printing out drawings on adhesive backed paper is a great idea. Use a removable adhesive type. Keeps them accurate for cut outs and easily peeled away without damaging the wood.

One of the first things I contacted the Affinity folks about was the making sure that any printouts were accurate size wise. During early development (I was on the beta list) they were not but they have fixed that. Being able to create exact and accurate drawings ahead of time lets you make your mistakes in ‘software” instead of ‘woodware’.

Affinity Designer has unlimited zoom so one can zoom in for incurable accuracy plus having a ‘snap o’ feature lock points to points easily.

As with all drawing applications they always have much more features that most people use but the basic ones are easily learned. Most will create line drawings so once you learn the line tools your 90% home free.

—Max

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Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by lamanoditrento » Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:30 pm

kiwigeo wrote:
Max Taylor wrote:
Pardon my ignorance but what is “VA”?

Might be nice to have an online listing showing software that builders can take advantage of for whatever purpose they may need. Just a thought.

—Max
VA is a piece of audio analysis shareware .....used by alot of the members here for tap testing.
http://sillanumsoft.altervista.org/download.htm
Trent

Max Taylor

Re: Affinity Designer for Luthiers

Post by Max Taylor » Sat Nov 19, 2016 7:49 am

Thanks for the link for Visual Analyser. This one I will have to use my $80 HP laptop to use as not available for Mac users.

—Max

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