I have a small custom cabinet shop with 3 employees. Everything we build is custom.
Until now I've been paying a designer for drawings. I would like to purchase a program. Which ones should I look at?
We have about 10 guys in the shop and we used cabnetware for 20 years before they just stopped servicing the product. Same company that owns cabinet vision so we bought it. It is very expensive and has a large learning curve. We didn't get to far into it when we wanted to buy a cnc and they wanted almost $15,000 to add the cnc part of the program on top of what we had already spent. Then we found Mozaik its $75 a month, $100 for optimized sheets and $125 for full CNC integration. It is super easy to learn and they even have a tablet computer function so that all of your cutlist and shop drawings go to a tablet rather than printed.
I would definitely try out Mozaik before you spend a bundle on software as expensive as Cabinet Vision. Monthly payments are cheap since they include support and forum. Support and forum are extra with Cabinet Vision. I feel it well worth the extra cost though.
Just make sure Mozaik gives you the ability to design everything you need for YOUR custom cabinets.
I found that all the programs I tried limited what I could do with some of the cabinets I needed to make. This happened on virtually every job.
Small custom shop? I would have to recommend BricsCAD.
1. Opens and edits the standard dwg. allowing you to utilize architectural drawings.
2. Can unfold metal shapes.
3. Can be used parametrically like Inventor or Solidworks.
4. Allows you to draw whatever you want.
5. Easy to learn for those that know AutoCAD.
6. Can be customized through their API, allowing almost endless options through programming.
7. The time you would save in material take-off's, ordering, and material saved through optimization for a shop of your size doesn't warrant buying those features, because you can already do that quickly.
8. Bang for the buck
I will go ahead and add our experience with Cabinet related CAD here. We recently purchased a CR Onsrud CNC router which we are still getting setup. In that time we have been evaluating various cabinet related programs. We were prepared to pay a good bit for one to be able to confidently cut our cabinet parts and create our designs. After speaking with the sellers of a few we found Mozaik. It is relatively inexpensive to get into this program and I had my doubts about it being all that it appeared. We decided to try it out and do a couple of installation designs in it to see how it went. After some initial questions and ultimately paying for a few hours of training via remote PC setup we were able to design what we needed, get it setup correctly to build from, then we were able to do some rather impressive looking 3d renderings of the cabinet installations. It provides sheet optimizations with quite an array of options as well as pictorial cutlists and price tracking/invoicing etc. The program is setup to work with sketchup which is not necessary but does afford some more interesting options as far as the renderings and artistic side of the presentation.
We of course have not been able to actually cut from the programmed parts as we are still getting the new building setup and the CNC set and powered/setup with vacuum etc. It does appear that the CNC side of things is pretty well thought out however with various tool schemes and setup options to make cutting different materials a few clicks simple.
Now as far as what it does not do... We had need to design a radiused cabinet actually a radiused open closet shelf. The program can and cannot do this. You can certainly build a curved cabinet in the software, you can also make curves shelves with the software, so in essence you can design and cut a radiused cabinet. However the process is kind of a combination of work around and making adjustments to those workarounds. The nice thing however is that in sketchup you can model it exactly how you expect it to appear even tho the 3d model of it in mozaik is not going to appear as you want. Keep in mind we are only a few weeks in with this program and there may be methods and means of accomplishing this that we are unaware of but to be honest even the instructors we had training with had to think it thru a bit before we got what we needed.
Getting the program setup to how you wish to cut your cabinets is QUITE capable and you can basically build anything you want however you want. Once you get it setup right it is rather easy to populate a cabinet design installation with what you want. The program lends itself in many ways to allowing you the flexibility to do what you wish.
I am sure we will have more to say about it once we actually cut some parts with it but so far it is everything we expected and more. The rendering and drawing side of things is pretty impressive. We were even able to recently get our autocad title block setup implemented into the program so our drawings can be quickly presented using our title block design which we spent a great deal of time perfecting. That was a big deal for us because it allows us to maintain our presentation consistency without changes so our customers know what to expect. Their multiprint option has this and many more interesting capabilities to allow you to print not only the line drawings but 3d models both in wireframe or in color or in various variations of either. We can also import .dxf files into it and include them in the design. Initially we were exporting the design drawings from mozaik into autocad so we could plot with our title block. This was a welcomed change. Now we can print in any of the various sizes we typically do IE E1 Architectural, D, B, Legal, Letter etc...
Overall we are pleased. It allows us to design and present the cabinets in a lot of different ways and adding in the sketchup side of things expands on that a lot. I am NO sketchup expert but we were able to design some custom pullouts in sketchup and utilize them in our design.
We will post more as our experience level increases.
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