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woodCAD CAM software9/10
I have a 2 man non-automated shop that does a mix of commercial and residential cabinets and millwork. Currently I am using AutoCAD for the drawings and Excel for my pricing and cutlists, but that is a time-consuming process, so I have been looking for software to speed that up and reduce the chance that changes to the drawings will not be reflected in the cutlist.
I have become very interested in woodCAD|CAM, but I can't find much information about that on this site. It is relatively new to the North American market, but apparently well established in Europe as Imos CAD|CAM.
Are there any wCC users who would care to share your experiences? How easy is it to implement this software? Do you need to use it almost constantly in order to remain proficient with it? What are the indispensable modules (Costing, optimizing etc.)?
Any input whether good or bad would be welcome.
I haven't used it myself but if you search for it on youtube I believe a company called Roger Shaw has some videos using it.
Thanks Jack, I have seen some of those videos and have had some great discussions with Darrell at Parsoft (the Canadian distributor for the software), but there is no substitute for hearing from the people who are using it.
I looked at it at IWF, Its nothing new, and I don't believe it is geared for residential,if my memory serves me right.
I have used the European version of this software for a while and it will do everything you need it to do without having to write huge formulas or have a degree in quantum mechanics. It lends itself brilliantly to both commercial and residential equally. If you are non-automated and do not have plans to move in that direction, or only provide simple casework/millwork, it may be a bit overkill for your situation from a cost stand-point. You might consider Inventor for Woodwork if it is offered in the Americas. Just my 50P. On a sidebar, I am currently providing shop drawings for a company in Texas and using mostly AutoCAD and Excel for highly detailed millwork and casework. It does not take long to create a good spreadsheet for parts that can be quickly copied, adjusted and even macroed for quick listing. The 3d part of AutoCAD makes complicated elements such as radius reception desk quite easy to resolve for conflict and fit. End of the day, it depends on where you want to put your resources for a most profitable return. Best wishes for your success. (I think I just made up a word.."macroed"..??)
Thanks Cadfly, I appreciate your input and your kind wishes. When I first got pricing on this software, I also thought it might be overkill, but here are some factors that have been considered:
Those would be the main factors, but also I expect to own CNC equipment at some point in the future, and to be proficient with software that can be readily upgraded would seem to be hugely beneficial.
There is other excellent software out there, but my familiarity with AutoCAD gives this software another nod.
As part of my research in this product I sent a 3D model of a reception desk to the software supplier and they were able to draw it significantly faster than I did and then generate manufacturing data directly from that, while I still needed to spend another fair chunk of time to have it ready for the shop.
In closing, I appreciate the input and want to say that the decision is made to go ahead with this software.
Hey Gary B, I haven't seen any dumb questions here yet, and the answer is yes, I did watch Larry draw it in a web meeting, and he did it at a pace that I could follow. It looks to me like the ability to use AutoCAD will be a large asset with this. I guess we will see how long it takes me to get up to speed with it...
Wood CAD/CAM is a good choice if I am not mistaken they are using RouterCim for machining. Inventor/ RouterCim is also another good choice. I have used Microvellum for 10 years and now using version 7. Microvellum is in a perpetual state of beta, They always have 'that' bug or feature in development. As far as machining flexability they are at least 10 years behind RouterCim and Alpha Cam.
I've never used RouterCim or Alpha Cam. Can you please be more specific on what features you are missing in Microvellum? MV has worked very hard in the last few years improving their CAM, particularly nesting. I'd like to know what I've been missing.
RouterCim is focused on getting parts off the table with the shortest toolpaths and the least amount of material. They have not been distracted by other things.
I've used MV for a number of years. It's true they are in a constant state of Beta. You pay an annual subscription for maintenance on every module. Much of the time it feels like you are paying for the privilege of telling them what doesn't work in the program. They charge a lot of money plus extra annual subscription fees. All together this has me looking at WoodCAM/CAD and wondering what the comparison would look like. Any input on that would be very much appreciated.
I would look into how much investment is asked for after the sale. That seems to be the catch all to every software company. It's so much to buy it, then how much to make it work for you....