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Need to get into the 21st century CAD2/11
Forgive my ignorance here. I've held off as long as I can. Been drawing kitchens by hand for 30 years, but I need to get myself into the 21st century and come up with a simple, relatively inexpensive program to layout kitchens. I've tinkered around with a couple of free apps on my tablet, but would prefer to come up with something that can not only produce a 3d view, but also face frame drawings. And possibly also cut sheets. Obviously technology changes quickly, so what's out there that won't be a wasted investment and not take me weeks to learn how to use?
I too drew my kitchens etc for many years. About 10 years ago I made the change. I now consider my cabinet program the best tool in the shop.
I have bought several and tried others. I spent a great deal of money to find the match for me. I make only high end custom cabinets. I suspect that what your looking for is going to be a program that will take time to learn and will not be free.
I bought and tried KCD, Cabinet Pro, and tested Mozaik. All are good software and will probably do what you have listed. I now use Cabinet Vision Ultimate. The only one I could find to do everything I need.
Cabinet Vision is very expensive to buy and to maintain. But it is what I need and get the job done. It takes a great deal of time to learn. But now designs and presentation is done in no time.
KCD was good but limited for me. Had very good and I believe free support.
Mozaik. Limited for me, but everything else was good. Monthly rental includes support.
All require time to learn.
All have trial periods, but are limited and you really need a much loner time to learn them.
Good luck. But I never found a decent cabinet program that is free.
Try this some folks like it a lot good place as any to starthttp://www.ecabinetsystems.com/eCabinetReq.nsf/eCabinetReq?OpenForm
Yeah, I do somewhere in between mid and high end cabinets. A little commercial thrown in as well. I'm not looking for free. Like 15 years ago I bought Cabinet Vision. But at the time, we got overwhelmed with life, and it just sat there and went by the wayside. Just a waste of $4500 at the time. I have reached out to them to see if they'll help me out any, but not holding my breath.
eCabinets is very full featured. It's cabinet design, cutlist and presentation software. My customers do some awesome projects. It will make a cutlist for a CNC or panel saw.
In all the reading Ive seen on the subject when your trying to come in rather quickly and dont have the time or the desire to spend months of time (spread out over years) building/tweaking libraries and learning, the main thing to look for is a format that simpy makes sense to the way your brain works intuitively. Trying to force your brain to wrap itself around something that just doesnt make sense to you rather intuitively is a long and involved process.
Unfortunately that only means getting trials of many options and putting in many hours during those trials to find the one that will give you some fairly quick start up time. And be ready for some shortcomings or work-arounds in nearly any option out there. Simple/cheaper options you'll be limited in certain very odd situations and even in the ones that are capable of drawing anything it may well be that simply doing those few odd balls old-school is just faster.
We run Sketchup Pro and a paid plugin. Cabinetsense Software. It will do anything including CNC export (which we use almost daily). I have been using Sketchup for perahps 10 years and for me, being a woodworker, it simply makes sense to me and I can draw virtually anything from basic boxes to highly organic shapes and 3D files and get them to the CNC.
Sadly so many options now are moving to subscription based which softens the blow monthly but means over a lifetime your going to pay way way more for everything and of course it will always be up to date but many of us dont really need that. One bonus with Cabinetsense is you can opt in and opt out monthly if you wish. So if your not going to need to draw a job for a while you can simply shut it down and resume when you need it (no back charge for subscription lapse) but Sketchup will require the maintenance.
We run all our shops, cutlists, door and drawer schedules, with those two titles. We can run sheet optimization layout to the slider but havent done that since we got the CNC.
I think JoeW comments were the best. All the programs he mentioned you'll be up and running fairly quickly, but the most robust software would be Cabinet Vision, Mircovellum, and TopSolid, but the learning curve is steep and the cost is up there.
For amazing drawings, gentle learning curve and add-ons for cut listing, look at Sketchup. The basic version is free, the pro version is around $700.00 I think. I use Microvellum but need the power and programming for what I do. Enjoy the adventure.
Great conversation, I am looking for something as well, I am leaning towards trying mozaik. Thanks for the info.
Interesting question. Definitely not the client. But the cabinet design and construction that they client is requiring.
My customers usually come to me with a unique design because they have been told by other cabinet shops that they can't provided the special details that the customer is requiring. One I hear a lot is "I want it to look like furniture". And each customer has a their own opinion on what that means.
For the most part it is a cabinet that usually requires being built part by part to make it function properly. Then I have to blend the rest of the room's cabinets to go with the specially designed cabinets.
With Cabinet Vision Ultimate, I have total control of each cabinet part and can make it do anything I want it to do. Then I can add intelligence to the part . So once the cabinet design is complete, I can change dimensions (Height, width, length, etc) on the fly.