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Still have all my fingers
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It would seem as though we have a few aspiring cabinet makers around here and the subject of cabinet software has been brought up. Gus outlined a system from Planit and I thought a comparison for us non-CNC shops may be useful.

I have used Cabnetware (also from Planit) in the past and it is far more advanced than what I am going to share with you but dollar for dollar I think you would have a tough time finding anything that even comes close.

Cabinet Planner is the product of a one man operation and his back story can be read here http://www.cabinetplanner.com/aboutus.html

I bought my copy of the software about three years ago and fully expected to be dissapointed because I own router bits that cost more than this software...how good could it be?

Well lets find out, As with any software it is only as good a the person setting the parameters so you will spend a good deal of time setting it up. Once this is accomplished you will be able to generate the following

Elevations and plan views



Full cutlists, either by the cabinet or by the job (separate lists are available for frames,doors/fronts,box parts and drawer parts)


Sheetstock and Board optimization



3D renderings



Here's a picture of the above job taken last week (sorry about the crappy pic)



Generally when you buy a software system about once a year or so you will be asked if you want to purchase an upgrade. These upgrades can cost between $300 and $1200 depending on what you are getting. Cabinet Planner comes with FREE lifetime upgrades directly from the company's website. He is currently working on DXF exporting for CNC use but it is still in the beginning stages.

I don't want to make this seem like an infomercial and I have absolutely no stake in this company but I wanted to share this info and maybe save someone a few $$$
 

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Interesting! My former co-op uses KCDw and yours looks like it does about the same thing. Perhaps better. The pics are too small to tell if this program solves the biggest peeve I have with his software, which is that the starting dimension lines from walls are hard to decipher, and dimension numbers sometime overlap leaving you with missing information.

Is the program user friendly? Can you produce a scaled floorplan?
 

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Still have all my fingers
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Interesting! My former co-op uses KCDw and yours looks like it does about the same thing. Perhaps better. The pics are too small to tell if this program solves the biggest peeve I have with his software, which is that the starting dimension lines from walls are hard to decipher, and dimension numbers sometime overlap leaving you with missing information.

Is the program user friendly? Can you produce a scaled floorplan?
I will be happy to answer any questions but not until you change your avatar. Out of the corner of my eye it looks just like John McCain and I break out in a rash. :no:

At any rate the user sets the placement dimension and the software will automatically add the current cabinet dimension to the next placement, in other words you set the first one and the rest are automatically filled in. If you need a space inbetween two cabinets such as a dishwasher you need to add it in manually.
 

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The Duke
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Thank you Bergstrom. Gus has mentioned to me that this is one of the first things I need to look into. For the moment I am using a few different CAD programs that really aren't made for kitchen design, but can do it with no problem. They do not have the sheet optimizer which is one thing that is nice.

I'm sure someone is out there making a plugin though, but will never equal what Planit has done.

The thing with Planit is that they seem to have so many, it's difficult to really figure out which one would work best for my shop and not kill me on price. I've spent enough on programs already.
 

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Still have all my fingers
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you Bergstrom. Gus has mentioned to me that this is one of the first things I need to look into. For the moment I am using a few different CAD programs that really aren't made for kitchen design, but can do it with no problem. They do not have the sheet optimizer which is one thing that is nice.

I'm sure someone is out there making a plugin though, but will never equal what Planit has done.

The thing with Planit is that they seem to have so many, it's difficult to really figure out which one would work best for my shop and not kill me on price. I've spent enough on programs already.
You can get the above software for less than $100 (no I didn't leave out any zero's) If you don't like it you aren't out much. Entry level Planit software is around $5000.00 and more if you add addtional dongles. A full blown CNC ready system can be well over 10k

As I stated before this is nowhere near as sophisticated as Planit but it is a good way to get your feet wet without selling the family silver.
 

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Still have all my fingers
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
eCabinet system

I have run into that name in my travels quite a few times but I know next to nothing about it. I know that the software is free and works in conjunction with Thermwood CNC routers. How does the non-CNC user work with the software? I checked out the website but it is a little vauge on nut and bolts outputs of the software. The renderings are quite impressive though....
 

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Here is a plan view for the above job. As far as the scale is concerned I don't really know but I would assume it is relative to size.
It's kind of the same I'm used to. The one thing I have to do on every job with KCDw plans is have the shop print scale floorplans so I can place the island. Those dimensions never show up on the plan.

I think I just might blow some dough on this program anyway. Thanks for the info.

(As far as the avatar-just keep in mind it's Leslie Nielson/Frank Drebin from Police Squad.) Hopefully that will help keep you healthy:laughing:
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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The software is more for custom. It is easily set up to do the same thing all the time but it has the capability to make a great variety of cabinet. It is designed for a Thermwood CNC, shop bot and I think one more. It can spit out G-code which should make it useful for most machines.

It has a high learning curve, but once you get the hang of it you can do amazing things with it.

It is harder to get parts lists out of it, at least straight forward. You need to export it to Excel and create a macro to arrange the list to make it really useful. I will usually take a cabinet to the line editor and just dimension the FF's. This basically gives me the parts list.

All I know is the renderings sell me jobs. It gives me a sheet goods list and nesting and details about each plywood pc. That is what takes the most time if you do it by hand. It use to take me 1 or 2 hours to nest out my plywood. The program does it in a few minuted (or less), I get a great 3D rendering (rotate-able) and the cost is right. They have a forum and the guys on it are great. Able to figure out quite a bit.
 

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Still have all my fingers
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Parts list generation sounds like a PITA but the renderings are top shelf all the way. I totally agree with you about them selling jobs.

I haven't heard about eCabinets working with ShopBot but if so that is really good news as I am fully leaning towards a Bot for my leap back into the CNC world.
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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The shop bot software costs about $1K, not really sure. Go to the site and I'm sure they will say.
 

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Cabinetmaker
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LEO: E-CABS :}:} it does wonders, it is free, I barely use most of its features. Learning curve is steep, especially for someone as myself with no backround or experience on cad. I dont understand the cutlist problem tho.I get a nice cutlist in nothing flat with it. All I do is bring the cabinet into the "batch" module and print out the parts,cut,price lists. Most likely what I get is not precise enuf for your purposes. :shifty::shifty:
Jack

PS: I did read last month Thermwood is working on the ShopBot tie-in
 

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Still have all my fingers
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
LEO: E-CABS :}:} it does wonders, it is free, I barely use most of its features. Learning curve is steep, especially for someone as myself with no backround or experience on cad. I dont understand the cutlist problem tho.I get a nice cutlist in nothing flat with it. All I do is bring the cabinet into the "batch" module and print out the parts,cut,price lists. Most likely what I get is not precise enuf for your purposes. :shifty::shifty:
Jack

PS: I did read last month Thermwood is working on the ShopBot tie-in
ShopBot :clap: I am a regular lurker @ their CNC forum. The more I learn about them the more I like them.
 

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Maker of fine kindling
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Parts list generation sounds like a PITA but the renderings are top shelf all the way. I totally agree with you about them selling jobs.

I haven't heard about eCabinets working with ShopBot but if so that is really good news as I am fully leaning towards a Bot for my leap back into the CNC world.
Enlighten me on the pro side of a Shop Bot besides they cost less than a used truck.

Do they make one with a tool changer? Drill head? Rack and pinion on the y axis?

Not that you need any of those things but somehow I figured a guy with your prior exposure to the robotic ways would land on a level above Shop Bot. Maybe I need to let go of that entry level judgment.

Help me understand I'm so confused.:laughing:

I like the sound of that software you are using.:thumbsup:

Can you add cabinets to a library?

How about different construction methods , material schedules, door profiles. Ya know all the stuff that you were used to before.
 

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Still have all my fingers
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Enlighten me on the pro side of a Shop Bot besides they cost less than a used truck.

Do they make one with a tool changer? Drill head? Rack and pinion on the y axis?

Not that you need any of those things but somehow I figured a guy with your prior exposure to the robotic ways would land on a level above Shop Bot. Maybe I need to let go of that entry level judgment.

Help me understand I'm so confused.:laughing:

I like the sound of that software you are using.:thumbsup:

Can you add cabinets to a library?

How about different construction methods , material schedules, door profiles. Ya know all the stuff that you were used to before.

Where do I start?

The used truck comparison is as good as any I guess. Yes, price is a big factor for me as I am not taking out a loan. I need to know that I could walk away tomorrow and owe nothing. I would love nothing better than a fresh off the boat Busellato still wrapped in factory plastic stinking of salt spray but that will be down the road a bit.


As far as the changer is concerned I would do 95% of my machining with a compression bit (dado's included) and line boring would be done off-machine with my Conquest, not ideal but workable.

The software does have library capabilities but it is a little different than you are used to. I have the ability to import cabinets from other job files so you create a "dummy" job and store your repeatables in there and then import them in to the current job.

Contstruction methods can be changed in the parameters on a per job basis. It takes about 5 minutes to switch from frame to euro and the same to switch back.

The software does have material schedules but you need to plug in a value at the front end to produce a job estimate (it only stores current material values where you would have a permanent library of pricing)

Door profiles-NO

As with any other software I have used you lie your ass off to it to trick it into giving you what you want. I could say something about old girlfriends here but I will refrain.

The main difference between what you run and what I run is that your output is 100% ready to hand off to someone who has no clue about the job and it will be produced correctly whereas mine will need some handholding throughout the process to get it done right. In other words it is perfect for a one man band.
 

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I used Planit solid design as a kitchen and bath designer for a custom cabinet company.
It is really nice total design freedom, and when setup properly sends design straight to the cnc.
They had a Weeki and it was sweet! $150k but well worth it if you can do the volume.
The planit guys come in and set up the router based on your parameters, again expensive but the quality and speed are worth it.
What price range are those Shopbots?
 

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Still have all my fingers
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I used Planit solid design as a kitchen and bath designer for a custom cabinet company.
It is really nice total design freedom, and when setup properly sends design straight to the cnc.
They had a Weeki and it was sweet! $150k plus dust but well worth it if you can do the volume.
The planit guys come in and set up the router based on your parameters, again expensive but the quality and speed are worth it.
What price range are those Shopbots?

The Bot's are in the 20K range and are nothing like the Weeke CNC's. I am not suprised Planit had to screw with your CNC to get it to take files correctly. It has always seemed to me that Europeans are about 10 years behind eveyone else on the PC end. I used to run a 2001 550 Weeke and the thing didn't even have a network card. You should have seen the look on the owner's face when I cracked open the case to put one in :w00t:
 

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Still have all my fingers
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just a little update on this software. The latest upgrade features DXF file output for CNC use as well as multiple standard settings. You now are able to set up and save diiferent construction parameters for ongoing use. :clap:
 
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