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Hi Everyone, I work for a custom cabinetry design and build firm. We use AutoCAD and 3d AutoCAD for our design work. However I am shopping for a new cabinet building software. I really just am looking for a simple way to input our cabinets and closet parts into a program which will generate reports and create cutlists and print labels. It's that simple. I don't want to purchase a program which includes design since I don't need it. Does anybody have a good program that would be useful for our particular needs.

Thanks in advance,

S - Michigan
 

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I have used both KCDW and Cabinet Vision, but neither are inexpensive and you typically would use them end to end as both Design and cutlist. As we added CNC later, we went full screen to machine with integration of our post processor for the CNC router.
 

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R. Manning Jr. Millworks
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Hi Everyone, I work for a custom cabinetry design and build firm. We use AutoCAD and 3d AutoCAD for our design work. However I am shopping for a new cabinet building software. I really just am looking for a simple way to input our cabinets and closet parts into a program which will generate reports and create cutlists and print labels. It's that simple. I don't want to purchase a program which includes design since I don't need it. Does anybody have a good program that would be useful for our particular needs.

Thanks in advance,

S - Michigan
I use cabinet planner, works great does cut list and cost sheet and it's under $100.00

 

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Unfortunately, most things we want are straight-forward and concise in concept; but it's rarely "just that simple" in practice.

Dropping an autocad file into a filter of some sort that would interpret what was drawn would be awesome. But ultimately, they're just lines in workspace with no defined parameters to what is what. You need a program with some intelligence and a huge catalog of parts and constraints to process what you've drawn into cut-listable information.

It would be great to have multiple companies able to produce AutoCad overlays, but (and this is supposition) in these days of product rights and licensing... particularly sole-rights licensing, that's probably wishful thinking.

There are many programs out there at a huge range of prices, from e-cabs to cabnetware all the way to CabinetVision and Microvellum. All will work, but on none of them can you just drop your Autocad drawing in and get the info you want. Even Microvellum, which to my understanding is the sole cabinet-related licensee of Autocad (forgive me if my legal terminology is off) will not allow you to drop drawings in and produce code. You've gotta re-draw it all.

That brings you to the level of drawings you need, which ultimately is dictated by who you're working for and their expectations.

I used CabinetVision for a few years and loved it. It's a great program for cutlisting and manufacturing. It's CAD capabilities were more than adequate for some really high-end work we did; but surpassing a certain quality of drawing that many of our current clients require was frustrating in terms of time and manipulation. It's got strong CAD capabilities, but it's no AutoCad. We don't use it in our shop anymore, but I would gladly use it again in the future. Good stuff.

I've used Microvellum a little and it's based on autocad. But again, you can't just drop your file in. You've got to re-draw it with Microvellum components and parameters, otherwise they're still just lines. You can move rails and stiles and partitions and.... all through Autocad. BUT, if you don't move them through the Microvellum parameters, its not going to register your moves and alterations. Remember, they're just lines - not intelligent components.

I liked Microvellum, though I didn't like the way the company was set up nor the customer-provider interface. This is a major downfall.

As well, I think, unfortunately too many of the design companies put too much emphasis on 3-d. You do need a degree of 3-d as boring (for instance) is not simply a circle, but it has depth. But I think both Cabinetvision and Microvellum are too integrated with 3-dimensional drawings. It complicates the drawing process, which is (almost) entirely 2-D. And don't get me started on tessalation lines and erasing.

But that's the way things are headed. Again, many people like that. If I worked in a cabinet shop with a small showroom and did lots of client-direct drawings where I could WOW them with a quick 3-d, that'd be great. But submittal after submittal to architect, interior designer, various trades, client, etc... all with different drawing/section requirements means that I don't use 3-d drawings at all - well maybe once or twice a year. Residential architecture and design still lives in a 2-d world.

So my suggestion, if you're quick and good with Autocad, keep drawing in it, then get e-cabs or the like to re-draw and output/cutlist. That will likely be the best return on your dollar.
 

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Probably not on the same lines as this thread, but I am am always on the lookout for some sort of "Kitchen builder". A program, or part of a program, that easily puts together a complete kitchen in a designated (in my case Revit) space.
It would build an entire Kitchen with some standard sized cabinets. One can go back and detail as wanted.
Envisioneer by Cadsoft had one and I found it quite interesting.
Saves lots of time!
 

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It would be great to have multiple companies able to produce AutoCad overlays, but (and this is supposition) in these days of product rights and licensing... particularly sole-rights licensing, that's probably wishful thinking
It's the cost of licensing the base AutoCad to implement an overlay that makes it expensive, then creating the Database (DBX) and then I'm sure there are many rights and licensing issues after that. AutoDesk will never be known for generosity when using their products, unless you buy 100 seats.


3D is way over rated in general and Real High Photo real quality is rarely if ever needed. And expensive to go beyond just the "push a render Button".

So my suggestion, if you're quick and good with Autocad, keep drawing in it, then get e-cabs or the like to re-draw and output/cutlist. That will likely be the best return on your dollar.
Does AutoCad, alone without an overlay, have tables/schedules or capability to them up? I've always used autocad with the architectural overlay and heavily leveraged the schedule capabilities. Cuts lists, counts and such. Tried a couple of the lower cost programs... they are OK. Didn't do a lot of cabinetry that they were set up for.
 

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I couldn't speak with certainty about creating tables/schedules etc in AutoCad to produce cut-lists as I've never tried. The shops I've worked in are CNC-based, and as such perform optimally with one of the stronger cabinet-specific programs. Speed and efficiency are a huge factor.

Even if you could do it well, however, I can't foresee it being nearly as efficient as even the most basic cabinet program - though the drawings would look much better. There are simply too many maneuverable/manipulated parts in what we do.

I do know of a shop - and I'm sure there are many - that focuses on commercial case-work. Each phase very consistent in terms of dimensioning. These are long casework runs for hospitals, airports, etc. They do all their work in AutoCad and it's standard enough that they can code it for cnc with minimal effort.

But in the custom residential market, which I'm assuming O.P. is referring to based upon the kitchen and closet mention, there simply isn't that uniformity of parts. Though, again, that's user-specific.

It's just a tricky thing, software. And these companies need to hit a middle ground that is inclusive of smaller to larger custom residential shops, mid to large regional-national residential shops AND all manner of commercial shops, which is a whole other ballgame and spectrum of needs as well. Not an easy task. I often had to remind myself of this as I cursed a program for not making this or that "obviously necessary" task readily accessible.
 

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I couldn't speak with certainty about creating tables/schedules etc in AutoCad to produce cut-lists as I've never tried. The shops I've worked in are CNC-based, and as such perform optimally with one of the stronger cabinet-specific programs. Speed and efficiency are a huge factor.

Even if you could do it well, however, I can't foresee it being nearly as efficient as even the most basic metal buildings cabinet program - though the drawings would look much better. There are simply too many maneuverable/manipulated parts in what we do.

I do know of a shop - and I'm sure there are many - that focuses on commercial case-work. Each phase very consistent in terms of dimensioning. These are long casework runs for hospitals, airports, etc. They do all their work in AutoCad and it's standard enough that they can code it for cnc with minimal effort.

But in the custom residential market, which I'm assuming O.P. is referring to based upon the kitchen and closet mention, there simply isn't that uniformity of parts. Though, again, that's user-specific.

It's just a tricky thing, software. And these companies need to hit a middle ground that is inclusive of smaller to larger custom residential shops, mid to large regional-national residential shops AND all manner of commercial shops, which is a whole other ballgame and spectrum of needs as well. Not an easy task. I often had to remind myself of this as I cursed a program for not making this or that "obviously necessary" task readily accessible.
You have to be very careful these days for low quality programs and low quality tech support.
 
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