AmbiSaw for iPad
By Andrew Moran
Open iTunes to buy and download apps.
AmbiSaw is now available as a dedicated iPad version.
AmbiSaw is a cutting optimiser/optimizer focused on the needs of woodworkers.
AmbiSaw does four main things:
- allows the entry of a cutting list of parts (length, width, quantity and description) in either metric or inch measurements. The inch measurements can be fractional or decimal values.
- AmbiSaw lays out the cutlist on stock sheets of material. The default is an '8 by 4' sheet (2400 by 1220mm) but you can provide your own stock sizes which is useful if you want to use up offcuts. Add as many stock sheets as you want.
- AmbiSaw contains an algorithm that can automatically place parts on the stock sheets according to sawyer rules. i.e. it factors which edges will be cut along the rip or crosscut fences, the saw blade width (the kerf width), and will never generate stopped cuts only end to end cuts ensuring the parts can be cut efficiently
- After the algorithm has run a set of cut by cut instructions are given which you can follow to execute the cut plan. The cut instructions tell you the rip and cross cut fence positions, the part or strip you are cutting and the size of that particular piece.
Sometimes you need to alter the cut plan produced, for example when grain matching parts. AmbiSaw makes this easy by allowing you to just drag particular parts to roughly where you need them then rerun the optimisation which will fit the parts exactly according to sawyer rules.
The cutting instructions can be tuned for table/panel saws, track saws (e.g. Festool TS55 plus guide rail) or Beam Saws.
For example with a panel saw you want to start with long rips to break down the board quickly with long cuts whereas with a tracksaw the priority may be to minimise the initial cut length to make material handling easier.
As well as the core functionality there are facilities to organise cut lists into 'jobs' so you can be running several jobs at once.
With the AmbiSaw Connect online service (Internet connection required) you have the option to create and manage jobs online and then sync them to your iPad.
The service also gives the capability to:
- generate PDF documents of cutting plans which you can then print out or email to colleagues
- produce part labels to fit on Avery label templates (both metric and imperial)
AmbiSaw has options to control how the cutlist is fitted on the stock meaning you can get best results whether you use a table saw or circular saw and track.
What's New in Version 1.4
Added optimisation reports and status updates.
Fixed bug where if optimisation was cancelled parts couldn't be moved manually.
Not as good as they have you believe
Ambisaw is a good idea, an application that for $20 lets you layout parts on boards for cutting, adjusting all layouts for saw kerfs and then carry it (on IPAD) into your shop where you have a list of cut instructions. Unfortunately, the software has enough bugs that its nearly useless. First, it allows you to switch between English and Metric measurements but doesn't hold the selection. Some items come up metric, some english. Second, I can't figure out how to put in more than 1 project...there's no 'New Project' button. Third, the windows resizing is simply wierd. Some areas come up big, some small, all inexplicable. Last, when I contacted the company (they do have a website, one that you can use to do cutlists too), they told me they knew about the problems and the bugs would be addressed in the new release. They were not addressed in the new release.
The software does do what it says it will (hence the 2 stars) but the QA testing prior to release pretty much has doomed this, made it completely misfunctional. I'm looking for an app that does what this one says it will, but this one is going to be deleted as soon as I find one.
What a waste of money
You'd think that for $20 for an iPad application you'd get a polished app, one that performed as advertised some sort of support. Sadly, none of these is true.
I tried to get to their website however it appears to be nonexistent ... My suggestion is to use a pen, paper and a calculator, this app is totally worthless.
A single star rating is overly generous IMHO.
Apple needs a refund policy on these pricier applications.
Sounds good and easy but it is to slow and very bad.