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thoughts about choosing a cad program6/17
we just got a multi cam cnc and we are now looking for a program that will be easy to learn and use.I find it hard to understand all the different programs that are out there. What we do is high end closet interiors, little point of sale, and starting to get into cabinet building.
Easy to learn and use = basic and limited functionality
Now, don't confuse the formula above to indicate that basic programs are not worthy. If you have basic needs and basic functionality and don't anticipate the need to expand beyond that, then great. You're all set.
The more elaborate you need to be will dictate that you need a more complex software solution. More complex means more to learn and master.
You indicate that you currently serve hight end closet and are entering into cabinetry.
Cabinetry would ramp up the complexity a bit, especially if you need to address various forms of construction methods.
With this in mind, you're probably still able to find something relatively easy to learn and use.
Correct me if I'm wrong, woodweb audience, but in order to make money on boxes, you need volume and consistancy. If you are bidding the boxes and passing on the custom products, you're at a disadvantage.
Now, one must consider addressing boxes and customs. This adds more complexity to a software and requires more training. This often equates to "not easy to use". Well nothing is easy to use without the necessary training.
So, one initially looks for an easy to use solution that is inexpensive, buys it, invests time and money in gaining proficiency, reaches its potential and its limits, searches for something that can do more, abandons the first investment and spends more money and time on the next level up, reaches its potential and they cycle continues.
Determine what you want to be able to do in the next 5 years, the next 10 years. Make sure you don't have to completely relearn and reimplement something because it has reached its limitations but your business hasn't.
"Easy to learn and use = basic and limited "
about cadcam for the furniture industry ,
I would suggest to consider what your needs are, find a software program that fills those needs, and then do whatever it takes to LEARN that software. If your needs are basic, then a simple and basic software program will do just fine. If your needs are complex, truly custom, or require a higher level of functionality, then you will outgrow a simple and basic program very quickly.
So how should you go about finding the software package that is right for you? I will be speaking on this topic at the upcoming AWFS show in Las Vegas under the title, "Inside Tips for Purchasing Software", so if you are going to attend the show, please drop by. But whether you do or not, here are some guidelines you may want to consider:
0. Find some software companies via the Internet, Magazines, Forums, etc., and make a list of what your needs are.
If these things cannot be shown to you quickly by someone who is WELL-VERSED in the software you are contemplating, then you can rest assured that it will take you much longer to accomplish the task when you have the software on your computer.
On the other hand, if these things CAN be SHOWN to you quickly by the saleperson, then you will probably be happy with the software. Know that there is no software that will do ALL that you want.....but the software you finally decide upon should do ALL that you NEED, and the MAJORITY of what you WANT.