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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If anyone's using ecabinet systems software, I would really appreciate some advice. I don't even know where to start. I tried to do the layout but can't figure out how to add door ways, entries- didn't even get to trying to design cabinets yet :whistling! Just curious if anyone could direct me on where to begin w/ this or where I can go to begin to learn how to use it (hopefully w/out spending 100$ on their book!). Thanks!
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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They have a forum and are very helpful.

You can cut a hole in a wall in the wall area using a rectangle and the cutout tool. You need to select the geometric shape that you made and then cut it out. This will leave a hole in the wall. The you would have to figure out moldings and a bunch of other stuff. You will need to put about 100 hours into it before you can start moving around freely within the program.
 

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Maker of fine kindling
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I have not used e-systems so I am of no help with the mechanics of that software.

My first software was Cabinet Solutions and I spent about $3000 on it. Bought a new laptop at the same time. $5000 gone and none of it makes saw dust. A huge leap of faith for me.

Got the thing installed and couldn't do a damn thing with it. I felt like I through 5 grand right out the truck window.:rolleyes:

It may have been the fact that I had a few bucks on the line that kept my interest but I just kept trying until it began to make sense. But that is what it takes.

You have started a new career and you are the newbee. That is not easy for most of us that have achieved top pay in our field. You just have to relax and roll with all the frustration.

Leo has pointed you in the right direction. Get on the forum and search for your answer. Post one if you can't find it.

Hang tough:thumbsup:
 

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eCabs is a pretty powerful software, but it is also a bit buggy. The guys on the forums are usually quick to respond and figure out work arounds. Then the tech service will implement a patch as the program is always growing.

Being that it is a very adjustable software package makes it tough to figure out at first. It can do quite a bit. I have built furniture, decks and cabinets of all shapes and sizes on it. A lot of programs let you build just one type of cabinet. You put in your parameters on how you build it and that is the cabinet that you build from now on without having to reprogram a new cabinet up. eCabs is different as it is designed for the custom cabinet builder. There is no set cabinet design and each cabinet can easily (usually) be tweaked to fit whatever you are building that day. Sometimes I swear, by the time I get the thing designed in eCabs I could have built the darn thing in the shop already.

But I haven't tried any other programs because the price was right on this software. Most other programs start up at $2000 and you need keys and add ons every year. Once you get the knack of it, you will be on your way. The hardes area for me to conquer was the Constraint Manager, seemed simple enough in design but never seemed to work the way I expected it to which lead to a lot of frustration. Now that I have it down it is one of the more useful areas. Again, complex because of its ability to do a whole lot of different things for the way a lot of different people build their cabinets.

If you have specific questions I can probably help, but I will not tolerate general questions as it is to broad a subject to cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You are drinking from the firehose my friend. You may want to try a garden hose first and work your way up from there.
I've done 2 kitchens, a bunch of built ins, and a few vanities- all off hand drawings. I've been looking at getting design software for a while but don't get enough requests to justify spending 2- 5k on it. This seemed like the best way to get my feet wet.

The two major things I want it for is to figure material cut lists and cost. Also, it's alot easier to sell Suzie home maker a kitchen when I can give them a virtual pic of what it's going to look like instead of a hand sketched drawing (have gotten many compliments from my drawings however). Plus the drawing and layout takes at least a day by the time you figure materials and cuts so I was hoping to shorten this.

Guess I'll just have to play w/ it for a while and maybe buy their book or take one of the classes.

BTW, drinking from a fire hose sounds like a bad idea regardless of how long you've been drinking from a garden hose :thumbsup:.
 

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Maker of fine kindling
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We all have been right where you are. We all want the same thing from the software too. I'll speak for all of us and say we were all shocked at how complicated it looks when we first started. You are not alone though, use that forum that Leo is pointing at.

Once you figure out where the software gets it's info from and how you can go to that location and change things to suit your needs things will get easier.

You can try to think of it as a map with a butt load of addresses. Each address has a measurement or value. The software is full of formulas that run to those addresses to plug in the needed value. Your first challenge is to get a mental picture of that map and what those values affect. I know it's real vague but in a nut shell that is how you detail a cabinet to suit your needs.

As you progress you can start writing your own formulas and stuff for "intelligent" parts and stuff. But a few sips from a water fountain before the garden hose wold be a better progression.:laughing:

This design software business will give back what you put into it. The real rewards will come when you dive in with all you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Gus. I have to do a kitchen now and I think I'll just do it old school for now as I don't have time to figure this out. The homeowner got a design from HD so it's actually just figuring out my cut list and materials w/ a few minor changes to HD's drawing.

I still say it's awesome that this program was free and can't wait to figure more of it out. I guess I'll just play w/ my own kitchen size and see what I can figure out. Thanks Leo as well, I think it was your post that I saw the program in. I guess just like most other things in life I'm going to actually have to use my brain :sad:!
 

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My software just came today.:clap: Locking myself in the office for the weekend! :thumbsup:

If you have specific questions I can probably help, but I will not tolerate general questions as it is to broad a subject to cover.
Leo I already have some questions - hope they're specific enough - not to general:

1. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck - if a woodcuck could chuck wood?

2. What's the meaning of life?

3. How do you open the the package?

4. Do I need a computer to run this?

It's Friday my friend - see you on eCabs forum! :laughing:
 

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My software just came today.:clap: Locking myself in the office for the weekend! :thumbsup:



Leo I already have some questions - hope they're specific enough - not to general:

1. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck - if a woodcuck could chuck wood?

2. What's the meaning of life?

3. How do you open the the package?

4. Do I need a computer to run this?

It's Friday my friend - see you on eCabs forum! :laughing:
1. 0.3 cord per hour
2. Work your ass off then die
3. You got a package, I didn't :cry:
4. Nope, an abacus will do just fine

Indeed it is Friday, just two more working days til Monday.
 

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It would be helpful, Matt, if you would give us an idea of your needs from software such as this, and your business goals that relate to its use.

Some who use it want to be able to get photorealistic renderings of interior rooms, the rooms all decked out in cabinets and trim. While eCabs will do an OK job of rendering rooms, it cannot do as well as other packages.

eCabs software's intended use, at least intended by the developers of the stuff, Thermwood, is as a selling and production tool, one that interfaces with the line of CNC routers they sell. If you want to be in the cabinet business, or already are in it, and have moved to the level of production where a CNC router makes sense, it might be the package for you.

If you are in the cab making biz but are operating without CNC, or as what I would call a "saw shop," then eCabs may still be of good value to you, if you've no software for aiding you in your work. You can parts list and optomize your jobs (i.e., diagrammed cut-lists) and use the label-making part of the package to aid your production.

If you are only casually into cab building and only want the room-rendering aspects of 3D graphics software, there are probably better choices for you, and some are either free, or have very low cost.

When I used eCabs, I did my cab layouts and room designs using other software, and then only used eCabs to batch up the orders, which I then emailed to my production-sharing CNC shop, and to my suppliers of other stuff like doors, drawerfronts, and drawerboxes. If I needed a rendering, I did it in something else.

In its current version, one can get free libraries of seed cabinets of a few different types, which can greatly aid one getting started. When I used it, you had to scratchbuild everything. My eCabs program has a couple hundred seeds I built myself, laboriously.

The attached pics are kitchen renders done with the software I prefer.
 

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Thanks Gus. I have to do a kitchen now and I think I'll just do it old school for now as I don't have time to figure this out. The homeowner got a design from HD so it's actually just figuring out my cut list and materials w/ a few minor changes to HD's drawing.

I still say it's awesome that this program was free and can't wait to figure more of it out. I guess I'll just play w/ my own kitchen size and see what I can figure out. Thanks Leo as well, I think it was your post that I saw the program in. I guess just like most other things in life I'm going to actually have to use my brain :sad:!
Spend the $100 or so and get the manual. You will need it
 

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Chief Architect. Not free. I use Google Sketchup also, and there is a free version of it that one can use for the most complex kitchens imaginable.

Drawing below is Chief, rendering is Sketchup.

You are right to advise a purchased manual for learning eCabs, but only if that manual is really any good. I don't think you can beat video tutorials for learning software such as this, and I am not aware of any for eCabs.

When I learned it, I'll bet I put in over 500 hours of time either directly using the software and using its online help manual, or reading posts or initiating questions on the eCabs forum, before I was ready for actually making any money with it. The software is cryptic at best, in terms of its user interface and intuitiveness.
 

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Maker of fine kindling
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Those are some of the best renderings I have ever seen.:notworthy

That, my friend, is awesome work.
 

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How long did the computer run to get those renderings?

I get upset when my computer chugs along for 3/4 hour to render a kitchen in eCabs. I don't have a fast computer but it isn't a slow one either.

I saw some that were like that and it said it took 1/2 day to 2 days to render them. Who has that kind of time? If you have a supercomputer it could get done in 10 minutes.
 

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Artisan Carpentry
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How long did the computer run to get those renderings?

I get upset when my computer chugs along for 3/4 hour to render a kitchen in eCabs. I don't have a fast computer but it isn't a slow one either.

I saw some that were like that and it said it took 1/2 day to 2 days to render them. Who has that kind of time? If you have a supercomputer it could get done in 10 minutes.
Leo,

You just click on the rendering that someone else did and drag it to your desktop... done. That's how Up North got those renderings. That's why I posted the link to a source that looks to be the original of one of those cool renderings.

Cheers,

Bass
 

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Not that Bass, I meant the original run to coputerize the data into a rendered picture.

I know how to copy and paste


Wise Ars.:laughing:
 
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