I've recently decided to start building custom kitchen cabinets in my
area. I'm an old fogey when it comes to design technique and I can put
down quite the lot of people with my tsquare.
I'm looking for some design software that will allow me to design my
cabinetry. There are quite a few out there and I wondered if anyone
had any reccommendations on what would fit my needs. Below is a list
of what I would like to have and how important each is to me:
1) must be able to print a cut list of all materials. this is
2) ability to show me how to lay out my pieces on my sheets of plywood
to make the most efficient use of them
3) ability to take in how much my stock costs me and estimate how much
money it's going to cost for each of my plans
4) should be fairly easy to use, though i'm not dead set against
learning something new if it will save me time in the long run.
5) I would like something wizard driven to get me started. i.e. set
my dimentions of the cabinet style, and it will start me with a basic
6) 3d modeling of the finished product. This isnt utterly necessary
but a 3d image of the finished product would help my sales team
7) price should be low. This is probably a given, but the cheaper the
software, the better. I'm not opposed to spending a thousand bucks for
a piece of software, but it should be worth what i'm paying.
On 5 Jan 2007 13:07:30 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I can't make a recommendation, but I'd like to offer some information
that can possibly help your research. "Woodshop News"
<http://www.woodshopnews.com/ME2/Default.asp usually has many ads for
just the type of software you seek, many can provide demos. Maybe
picking up a copy of the publication can help you narrow down the
The first thing you should do is sign up for and attend the AWFS
tradeshow. Every serious cabinetry CAD vendor will be in attendance.
http://www.awfsfair.org/awfsfair/home/index.asp . In the mean-time you
can see who has the money to advertise in the trade magazines. The top
few will let you try the stuff before you buy and you can tell pretty
quick if you like what they have.
However, if you look at this industry and expect to compete without a
full blown CNC shop you will be in for a big surprise if you are in any
significant urban area.
Between the big box offerings, mass manufactures and local shops with
automated system, no matter how nice and unique your stuff is, very few
people will pay for what it will cost you to make a profit.
My friend initially had a pretty good CAD process and could estimate
and draw any kitchen in a day. He also had a pretty good system for
creating cut lists. But pushing plywood through the saw, scribing,
drilling, making face frames, hand assembly even with the most modern
equipment was just not workable compared to the automated CNC shops
that were kicking his ass with lower prices and higher margins.
Even now that he dropped the $300k+ to get into the CNC mode he still
can barely compete because his shop is local and his competitors have
labor a few hundred miles away at half the cost.
Best of luck really but be careful and be sure to find a patch where
you can have a designer that loves specifying your work and will fight
with the clients to get them to pay. I've seen my bud create some great
kitchen ideas only to have a 10% difference take the business and the
ideas to a lower cost competitor. I'm talking jobs where he was only
going to make less than 10% profit too..
I was just putting my 2cents into the post about the compucarver. I noted
the ANSI/EIA RS-274-D-1980 (G code) used in metal machining. Would you
happen to know if woodworking *nc m/cs use the same code language spec as
the above mentioned code used in metal? Or the variation. If you gave me
the specific handle could look it up. I can read the metal code, and
CAD/CAM s/w, but never found out if its transferable. Just a thought.
the level of hacking the code ourselves. We have systems that read the
DXF files and pull the info from the specialized line types to generate
the cutter assignments, paths, speeds, etc.
HOLZ-HER is one of the big suppliers. Here is a link to one of their
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