I'm building a page for my website and was wanting to get some of your
1. What is a good cabinet design software program for a small to
medium sized (home) woodshop?
Are there any other woodworking software programs you would personally
Thank you for your input.
I am not sure you can use a Cabinet Design Software to design a web page.
I don't really know if a piece of software exists that would meet you
expectations with out spending some serious money.
What you might be interested in looking at is a simple CAD program and a
material optimization program like Cut List Plus.
Most CAD programs have a rather steep learning curve. I have used probably
10 different CAD programs since 1985 and they have come a long way however
they are still a rather specialized piece of software that can be rather
intimidating if you have no drafting experience. I now use AutoCAD LT and
it goes for about $900. IntelliCAD an AutoCAD clone can be had for about
That "(home)" qualifier really limits your choices. I have been
looking for a CAD program to do what my program does, to no avail.
There is always some catch. Either you study hard and long, or you pay
big bucks...but even then, you have to have a clue about drafting. If
you don't know what 'extrude' or 'sweep/lathe' commands mean, no
software will ever make it easy. Add NURBS and other complex tools and
again, you're learning a lot or spending big bucks, but usually both.
An all inclusive CAD program for cheap....just ain't happening. If all
you want is a competent sketch, try SketchUp from Google for free.
Then spend your money one small step at the time..like Turbo CAD.
In my opinion, nobody has ever addressed a simple CAD program which
also has some depth....even a modular approach, where you can add
tools as you need them.
My cornerstone for all my CAD work has always been from http://www.nemetschek.net /
...for about 20 years now.
Their approach is somewhat modular, but the start-off point is quite
expensive and the leaning curve a bit steep.
But their export functions are superb..like export to Strata, AutoCAD,
I want to add something about the experience of dealing with Ashlar
Their products are truly superb. BUT...and there is always a BUT.
By the time you gather all their available tools, and many are buried
in other packages, it's a $ 3000.00 deal.
Now, with Christmas, 30% off actually means something and I do like
I love their modelling package, but no drafting tools to speak of.
I want to create, build, then model. Then render. Woops... add another
It is like the AutoDesk people. They'll sell you WAY more ways to draw
a triangle than you will ever need in their drafting package. Then, if
you want to make a model out of it...wooops, next package...then if
you want to render it it in 3D...wooops next package...but if you want
it to look nice as well...woops next package.
By the time you're done, $7000.00 and 3 months later, a notice that in
order to stay in the game they'd like another wad of your money.
The guys at http://www.nemetschek.net/ play that game too, but at
least they allow you lag behind for a few years.
In all reality, it is such bullshit. I have hated it from the car
companies too. I want air conditioning but I do not want a carpeted
trunk. However, I have to get the UpMode Package in order to get
features which include a whole lot of crap.
Modular. I'll take the following tools:...yadda yadda... NO, I do NOT
want a library with 300 farking trees....I do NOT care if they are in
3D... and that automated parking lot-striping tool (that one is for
real, btw) I do NOT want it either.
Dammit... it's like going to The Borg and all I want is a 18v Circular
saw, and the only way to get it is to buy a whole box of
tools.....waitasec...that's already happening, huh?
I need another drink.
Merry Christmas everybody.
I really, really wish that Microsoft had kept IntelliCAD when they
owned it (it was produced by the same outfit that produced
Visio--Visio was what they wanted) and rolled it into Windows. It's
not great but if it was free and bundled it would have pulled the rug
out from under all the grossly overpriced CAD vendors. Instead they
decided to spin it off to a consortium that has never really had a
clue what to do with it, so it's slowly turning into yet another
overpriced CAD program.
I've got to pipe up here and ask what the heck your talking about??
It costs well in excess of $200,000 (USD) for a software engineer to get
enough training to produce anything meaningful. It usually takes several
software engineers at any given time to move a CAD package forward.
If you think a few measily thousand dollars is a lot of money, then you
should guess again. Even at that price, they're probably still working for
free, probably because they love what they're doing.
So what? At 20 bucks you sell 10,000 copies you've got that back.
So you have to sell 30,000 copies. Or charge 40 bucks.
No, that's Richard Stallman and company. And it's a funny thing,
their software for which they charge nothing works pretty well.
My heart bleeds for the poor CAD developers.
Seems you've made a total of three posts on USENET, and only one in
rec.woodworking. I sense either a shill or a sock puppet.
As someone who has worked on CAD software, I'm glad for your sympathy. It's
really hard, and after six years of university it still took a LOT of
training, most of which I had to do on my own time while producing results
for cranky demanding customers with no money.
Just producing the software is a fraction of the total cost of bringing it
to market. I might get it to run on my sixty thousand dollar SGI
workstation, but if you expect me to port it to your five hundred dollar PC,
I've got to do a lot more work. Am I to do it for free? I can tell you I
won't. My teenage boys have outgrown their shoes again, and after all those
years of burning out my eyes reading math books I'm saving up for bifocals.
Do you really think you can sell tens of thousands of copies of software at
a slightly higher price when the Chinese are ripping it off and selling it
for almost nothing? As long as people are expecting free software, and
they're willing to steal to get it, the producers of real value are going to
Oh, boo hoo. That 60 grand you spent on your niche machine would have
bought a lot of shoes. Why are you developing CAD for an overpriced
machine that hardly anybody has? Do you think there's some vast
untapped market there?
Microsoft seems to manage it. Corel seems to manage it. All the game
developers seem to manage it. Why can't you?
Yeah, Bill Gates is sure struggling. If you were producing real value
you wouldn't be struggling.
Look at Google's SketchUp 6. It's very popular and they also have a
tutorial site with vids. Being an 'old dog' it's all pretty intimidating to
me. The two best points about the program is the (supposed) ease of use as
compared to the big-gun CAD programs. And, there is a free version so that
you can play and decide if you want to upgrade. I hope that this is useful.
Sun, Dec 23, 2007, 9:57am (EST-3) firstname.lastname@example.org (Skey_000) doth
<snip> Are there any other woodworking software programs you would
Properly applied this will do wonders.
If you can read this you're in range.
There was one for the Mac that looked really good and wasn't horribly
expensive, but I can't find it now.
I've been playing with Alibre Design Xpress a bit and it looks pretty
good, however I'm seeing reports that it has trouble with imports and
exports--it will do them but they aren't clean. Free, remarkably
capable, and seems stable. Not dedicated cabinet design but pretty
good 3d parametric modeling that can be used for that or any other
You might also want to google "free woodworking software" as there are
numerous sites that list such stuff.
I use pencil and paper. :-) However, I'm strictly a hobbyist and
haven't made anything very complicated yet. Probably the most
complex thing I've made was my little glue-up/work table, with the
legs splayed out at 6 degrees. Even that was simple enough that I
drew no plans and worked from the model in my head.
(A guy at work was throwing away a 20"x30" piece of that black stuff
they use for benchtops in chemistry labs. I grabbed it and built my
small table to go under it. It's great for glueing things: it's hard
and flat, and glue drips are easily scraped off with a sharp chisel.)
Fri, Dec 28, 2007, 9:56pm (EST+5) email@example.com (darkon) doth
<snip> Even that was simple enough that I drew no plans and worked from
the model in my head. <snip>
Right. Don' need no steenkin' plans.
If you can read this you're in range.
Little known outside the engineering community--quite often design
drawings get made by handing a draftsman the working part and telling
him to draw it. Whether that approach is taken depends on the
complexity and scale of the project. It doesn't work very well for
aircraft carriers for example.
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