Mike Zinman’s GelCalc


I’ve written about all of Mike Zinman‘s iPhone software packages in the last few months – Mike’s the inventor of the AutoBlock CAD symbols and tools package from back in the early 21st century.  It was a required tool for many of us LDs, as many of Mike’s tools are.

Mike has updated his popular Gel Calc program with some new features – check them out:

Quickly calculate number of sheets of gel, best cutting direction to yield the most frames per/sheet and pricing.
– As you type in new frame sizes, it will be added to the picker.
You can reset the picker by shaking your device several times.

– Lookup over 100 popular frame, sheet and roll sizes
– Use inches or centimeters
– Determine total sheets required
– Determine total yield per sheet
– Determine best cutting direction for rectangular frames
– Determine pricing information, including sales tax

I got some images of the program from Mike – it’s a great edition to your toolbag – or in the case of the iPhone, your “nerd bag.”  I have one.  That thing is full of awesome programs.  I need to get “Bedazzled” in some form.  I was addicted to that game!




GelCalc from Mike Zinman and The Zinman Co.

We were first inundated with Mike Zinman’s code-creating antics with AutoBlock for AutoCAD.  Then Mike teased our palate with iSwitch DMX, which I just used this weekend to address a bunch of old Lightwave Research gear.  Now Mike Zinman is up to it again with his new lighting-related iPhone app, GelCalc. This application is geared towards us folk in the lighting industry, and takes away the reason to ask the age-old question, “what the hell size color frame does that old beam projector take?”

Behold:  GelCalc from The Zinman Co!  $5.99 was never better spent.  Thanks Mike!

A bit of info from Mike’s website:

For about the price of a sheet of gel, Gel Calc can save you hundreds of dollars each year from wasteful cuts.

Gel Calc is a calculation app for stage lighting designers, electricians, and stage hands.

With Gel Calc, quickly calculate number of sheets, best cutting direction to yield the most frames per/sheet and pricing.

Gel Calc includes a frame picker with over 60 common frame sizes for easy and quick entry, or you can manually enter any frame size using the text fields.

A lookup list, sorted by manufacturer, features over 100 popular frame sizes AND sheet/roll sizes for reference.

No more “What is the frame size for a Selecon Pacific Zoomspot” or “What roll sizes are available for Roscolux color?” This information is ready at your finger tips, just press the LOOKUP button underneath the frame picker.

-Determine total sheets needed for any frame size and qty.
-Determine total yield per sheet.
-Determine the best cutting direction for rectangular frames.
-Use Gel Calc to determine pricing information, including sales tax.
-Use as a reference tool to lookup popular frame, sheet and roll sizes, sorted by manufacturer.
-Imperial and metric units supported.

iSwitch for iPhone, by Mike Zinman!

If you’re an AutoCAD user, then you remember AutoBlock for AutoCAD – the lighting block tool that pretty much all of us AutoCAD users used back in the day.  Mike’s come up with a great new iPhone app for we lighting designers and technicians – the iSwitch DMX dip switch calculator for iPhone!

The official press release:


Michael Zinman, developer of the successful AutoBLOCK 2000, software for AutoCAD, has released iSwitch DMX for the iPhone or iPod touch. This is an easy-to-use calculator for addressing DMX devices and generating a graphical Dip Switch Layout.

Entering any number between 1-512 generates a graphical dip-switch layout in real-time.
Includes an offset picker and Regenerate button to quickly generate the next DMX Address and dip-switch layout for that address.

iSwitch DMX can be purchased directly though iTunes via the App Store under Utilities for $4.99. Follow this link to go directly to the iSwitch DMX site on iTunes:

For more information, or to watch a video of this app, visit the website at

Go support the maker of AutoBlock! It’s $4.99!