SmartLister-Toolpaths
05/06/2013

Megacad?
04/24/2013

Season's Greetings
A holiday card LISP routine. July 21, 2006

CAD/CAM Software for the Large Shop
A 100-employee cabinet and woodwork business considers whether to move to Microvellum. November 30, 2009

User views on cabinet software
Cabinet makers share their opinions and experiences with the major software packages and vendors. September 26, 2000

Cabinet Software and Drafting Software
A young shop owner wonders how to step up from a cabinet software package to a full-fledged drafting program, mostly in order to be able to modify architects' drawings. A long, informative discussion ensues about the relationship between drafting programs and cabinetmaking CNC software, and the rela ......

Microvellum Users Assess New Version
An extensive and detailed look at the powerful drawing-to-cutlist integrated application's traits and quirks. August 29, 2005

Software Tools for One-Off Custom Creative Designs
This conversation about how to design and prototype unusual three-dimensional models for advertising gets interesting when people start to post examples. (Plus, it has beer.) November 29, 2014


Decision About Cad Software
03/03/2013

CAD on the Macintosh Platform
New machines and emulation software have expanded the cross-platform options. April 21, 2007

Shifting from CAM to CAD
Scaling drawings for machining. (CAD Forum) May 17, 2003

Is It Worth Learning CAD?
This isn't one of those "which cabinet drawing app is best?" threads. This is a discussion of the difficulty of learning AutoCad, versus the relative ease of use but lesser flexibility of the cabinet-specific alternatives. June 4, 2012

The Value of Interfaces
A user discovers the power of interfaces and others join in the conversation. February 25, 2005

Drafting Hours per Dollar of Cabinet Product
CAD pros kick around some ballpark draftsman productivity numbers, and discuss the factors that affect efficiency. August 8, 2008

Shopping for CAD Software
Some insightful commentary on choosing the right software (if any) for the kind of cabinet work you do. October 15, 2009

CAD-to-Production Options
Some insights into the ever-changing world of drafting and machining software integration as of Spring, 2007. October 3, 2007

Drafting Doors in CAD
Methods of drafting doors are discussed, in search of the most efficient. December 26, 2004

Bevel Cuts for Slope-Sided Boxes
Here's a long discussion of a tricky compound-angle problem: how to calculate the bevel cuts for a box with sides of different slopes. October 8, 2005

Making Submittal Shop Drawings for Architects
Cabinetmakers discuss what shop drawings are good for in commercial work, and how to create them efficiently. October 15, 2009

Software to Produce Shop Drawings
Is a 3-D drafting and design application worth it for someone who wants to move from hand-drawn to CAD-produced shop drawings? March 5, 2007

Complex Three-Dimensional Design Drafting
CAD users brainstorm about design tools and workflow for dreaming up one-of-a-kind giant works of art. March 12, 2015

Choosing CAD/CAM for Complex Carved Custom Furniture
What programs could handle the drawing and machine control requirements for reproducing an intricate, highly decorated, hand-carved piece of custom furniture? April 19, 2011

CAD Drafting Services for the Woodworking Industry
For some comapnies, outsourcing CAD work make sense - 1997

Macro to Note Dimensions in CAD
Ace coders fine-tune a macro for noting dimensions in architectural style. March 17, 2005

Outsourcing Shop Drawings
It's a challenge to obtain drawings out-of-house that satisfy a CNC operation's need for precision and completeness. October 3, 2007

Learning from Software Purchasing Mistakes
Woodworkers, designers, and shop owners discuss the lessons learned from sinking money (and time) into the "wrong" CAD program. October 15, 2009

Learning To Draft- Custom Millwork
03/27/2013

Learning CAD: Is It Worth It?
Craftsmen discuss the value of learning CAD design, and provide tips on tackling the learning curve. June 24, 2006

Cabinet design techniques
A survey of cabinetmakers' design techniques, from pencil and rule to CAD. September 6, 2000

3D Versus 2D Drafting
The pros and cons of three-dimensional CAD drawing versus working in two dimensions. June 26, 2006

Detailing Issues with Cabinet Drawing Programs
No drawing program handles parts detailing perfectly; systems have to compensate for the software's limitations. November 12, 2005

Text Labeling on the Dimension Line in CAD
Here are several suggested ways to use text boxes for calling out dimensions in an AutoCAD document, and some cautions on what could go wrong. October 12, 2007

CAD "Stretch" Function Shortcut
Saving generic shapes, then pasting and re-sizing them, can cut down on drafting labor time. September 24, 2006

Managing Your Plans and Sections in AutoCAD
Thoughts on how to organize CAD drawings for simple workflow, clear visualization, and avoiding confusion and errors. June 17, 2010

Selecting a CAD Program
The up and down sides of various CAD choices. June 28, 2005

Creating Generic, Quickly Re-Sizeable Parts in AutoCAD
Here's advice on creating one simple file for, say, a door, that you can re-size as needed with a few commands or clicks. June 17, 2010

Layout Printing Bottleneck
Printing multiple layouts can choke a computer and plotter's capacity. Here, CAD users suggest workarounds involving the batch plot utility, lisp programming, and other sly tricks. May 16, 2005

Parametric Programming Versus CAD and CAM Toolpath Creation
A request for help in defining a shape mathematically for machine code leads into a discussion of situations where hand-coding and math are better than working in higher-level drawing and toolpath programs. February 19, 2013

Parametric AutoCAD drawings
Setting up parametric AutoCAD drawings to accompany CNC programs. November 22, 2003

Standardizing and Updating Title Blocks in CAD
Here's a detailed discussion of how to get everyone in the office set up to use the same automatically-updating title blocks in AutoCAD. December 27, 2008

Efficiency with CAD Software
Making time with CAD in a cabinet business requires matching your software tools to your company's needs. October 15, 2009

Snapping to Perpendicular in AutoCad
Savvy drafters know half a dozen ways to get square. June 28, 2005

Full-Service Software for Store Fixture Manufacturer
Will one application do 2D, 3D, customer drawings, shop drawings, and CadCAM? June 29, 2005

AlphaCAM nesting problem
Should the postprocessor be modified? March 23, 2002

Scaling Plots in AutoCad Paperspace
It's a simple trick using viewports. October 1, 2005

Assigning Layers to Line Types in CAD
Useful sample code for automatically grouping lines into particular layers by line type. October 3, 2007

Backing Up Critical Computer Files
Backup is important. (Backup is important.) Here, CAD pros explain simple, effective, and thorough backup methods. September 24, 2006

Modeling Compound-Curved Casing
CAD users puzzle out how to render a complex curved moulding shape. March 26, 2008

CAD/CAM Basics for Beginners
Here's a rudimentary explanation of how CAD/CAM processes work, for the benefit of a furniture designer who wants his design produced on a CNC device. March 28, 2010

Sizing Up SketchUp
Cabinetmakers discuss what Google SketchUp can and can't do. June 4, 2012

How to Learn CAD
Old hands describe pathways to CAD proficiency. February 13, 2006

Exporting CAD-Drawn Curves to CNC Software
Considerations on the problem of getting CNC software to understand curved paths (ellipses, splines, arcs, and so forth). July 29, 2007

Auto-Updating Title Blocks
Xrefs, rtext, or a viewport? There's more than one way to handle title block data. February 25, 2005

Whether to Dimension in Model Space or in Paper Space
It seems to be a matter of personal preference. November 23, 2008

CAD for Cabinet Layouts
Cabinetmakers discuss drafting alternatives for visualizing cabinet designs. August 24, 2008

Help With Plotting in AutoCAD
Advice for plotting a building floor plan. February 25, 2005

AutoCAD Dimension Lines
Cleaning up extension lines. December 26, 2004

Smart Shopping for a Cabinet Drafting Program
Always interrupt the canned sales demo and ask the salesperson to draw something unique from scratch. January 13, 2009

S.O.P. for Outsourcing Shop Drawings
A "rush order" for outside shop drawings can be a recipe for confusion. A shop drawing pro offers tips for clear communication. July 22, 2005

CAD Precision Snafu
A furnituremaker describes how a little imprecision in drawing corrections messed up his dimensions. (News flash kids these days can fix your foul-ups. Film at 11.) April 19, 2011

Running eCabinets on a Mac
A Mac can run eCabinets software within a virtual Windows machine, with the occasional hiccup. July 25, 2010

Whether And When To Purge Drawings
Cleaning out the clutter cuts file size and processor time. April 11, 2005

"Named Views" for Organizing AutoCAD Layers
A tip for managing what does and does not display when your AutoCAD drawings involve multiple layouts. September 27, 2009

Cabinet Drafting Programs
Comparing top cabinet-shop CAD applications. June 28, 2005

Drafting Program Add-Ons for Dimensional Data Output
Three-dimensional AutoCAD by itself won't supply dimensional data, but other programs are able to extract and output that for purposes of production. October 12, 2007

CAD Apps for the Mac Platform?
There are a few, but... August 29, 2005

Point-to-Point and Beam Saw Versus Nested-Base
A short dialogue on a much-discussed topic about alternatives in cabinet-shop automation. April 17, 2009

CAD/CAM Software for Curved CNC Work
This discussion of software for curved CNC work includes some interesting photos of unique examples. January 28, 2009

Learning AutoCAD to Draw Moulding and Knife Profiles
A complete beginner gets encouragement and advice from the CAD forum pros on getting started with AutoCAD. December 27, 2008

Converting AutoCad to PDF
Designer hits glitches making PDF files from AutoCad, and colleagues suggest a few options. July 22, 2005

Changing Splines to Polylines
Easy AutoCAD tips for a quick change. December 26, 2004

Cleaning Up Objects So They Will Sweep or Extrude
Polylines that intersect or overlap themselves will not sweep or extrude in AutoCAD. Here are some ways to clean those bad objects up so they will function properly for you. June 8, 2008

Software for Nested Parts Production
Users discuss the virtues of ASpan, AlphaCam, and AlphaDoor. August 30, 2005

Managers Meddling with CAD
Besides the waste of time, it's risky to let non-tech personnel play around with important CAD files. September 24, 2006

LCD Monitor and CAD
CAD users generally consider the switch to an LCD monitor to be a worthwhile upgrade. Just make sure the rest of your system is ready for it. March 25, 2007

Adjusting to AutoCAD 2009
If you preferred the way the old version's interface looked, here are some quick tweaks to take you back to the future. January 28, 2009

Cleaning Up Imported Drawing Files
CAD users sometimes have to comb various garbage out of imported files to get rid of problems. September 27, 2009

CAD Programs for 3D Rendering
Users discuss the rendering capabilities of various CAD programs, and show examples. August 29, 2005

Coding a Dimension Layer Shortcut
Users share keystroke code to set dimension layers in AutoCAD. September 24, 2006

Exporting Custom Toolbars to Different Computers
You can invest a lot of time in creating a custom AutoCAD toolbar. How do you share it with office-mates? May 16, 2005

Microvellum Vs Other CAD And Nesting Software
03/26/2013

Converting Splines to Arcs in CAD
Skilled users describe ways to turn an AutoCAD spline into a set of arcs or line segments that CAM software can process. February 13, 2006

ACAD OSNAP Help
Troubleshooting the loss of OSNAP settings in ACAD 2002. February 25, 2005

Stick Fonts for CAD/CAM Work
A conversation about finding simple fonts for use in part marking with CAD/CAM work. September 23, 2013

CAD Drawing Output to PDF
There are many ways to create PDF files from CAD files, both built-in and third-party add-ons. June 17, 2010

Drawing Nested Ellipses in CAD
but not both. Ace CAD drafters share quick ellipse tips. June 28, 2005

Drag-and-Drop Hole Boring Patterns in CAD
Here are some slick tricks for storing hole spacings in an AutoCAD library for quick 32-mm cabinet part design. October 25, 2007

Creating and Using a Master Materials List
Here's how to maintain a master materials list in AutoCad. May 16, 2005

Creating the Flat View of a Cone Surface Segment
Here's the math and the AutoCAD technique for removing the skin from a cone. February 26, 2007

Working with Drawings Generated by Older Versions
To preserve compatibility, use "external reference" (XREF) to maintain the original file in its original state. June 8, 2008

Making Custom Molds for Storing Objects
Thoughts on two ways to make form-fitting pockets: moldable materials, or CAD/CNC imaging. March 28, 2015

Scrubbing "Fingerprints" from a CAD File
Once a "fingerprint" watermark finds its way into your CAD file folder, lots of drawings may get infected by the stamp. Here's help deleting that mess from your situation. February 19, 2011

Ghosts in the Machine
Mysterious leftover objects created by text masking can stick around and contaminate CAD template files. May 16, 2005

Complex Drawings in Solid Works
To avoid trouble, relate all your parts to one reference point and avoid "in context references." January 28, 2009

Measuring Irregular Areas in AutoCAD
AutoCAD offers a variety of ways to find the area of drawn shapes. September 1, 2010

Engraving Single-Line Fonts
Work-around options for simple font routing. October 3, 2007

Locking Exported Drawing Files
Advice on how to transmit CAD drawings so that the viewer cannot alter the files. February 12, 2010

Troubleshooting Wheel Mouse Problems with AutoCad
Fixing a few settings might work, or you might need a whole new mouse. October 1, 2005

Realistic 3D Drawings of Cabinet Doors Using CAD
How to go about getting a realistic three-dimensional image of a cabinet door with depth and texture, in AutoCAD. May 7, 2007

Full-Scale Printing Workarounds for CAD
Advice about how to export from AutoCAD to an accurate output file at full scale for a large-format printer or print shop. August 21, 2012

Snapping Tangent Lines to an Arc
Tips and tricks for making lines snap to curves (or vice versa). May 16, 2005

Importing PDF Files into AutoCAD
Tips on bringing a PDF image into AutoCAD for use in your drawings. April 16, 2010

Flattening a Tapered Elliptical Part
An elliptical desk meets a brick wall, and software wizards get their heads around a very tricky dimensional problem. October 1, 2005

Title Block and Filename Conventions
If you want to stay organized, it helps to have a system for naming CAD files and structuring title blocks. October 26, 2005

Full-Sized Templates From CAD Files
With a few simple software tricks, you can produce working print files suitable for a large-scale plotter. November 12, 2005

Converting AutoCAD to metric measure
Setting up AutoCAD for metric, instead of imperial, measure. February 28, 2001

Remembering Dick Neveu
Fond remembrances of the late Dick Neveu from fellow Cabinet Vision users. August 14, 2007

Digitizing a Paper Template
With the right equipment, you can input a physical template as a computer file suitable for CAD work or CNC fabrication. March 9, 2008

Third-Party Alternatives to Adobe Acrobat
Advice on PDF creation and editing software, beyond the Adobe products. June 11, 2010

Laser Template Systems
04/23/2013

TopSolid Users
04/09/2013

Placing Images Into CAD Drawings
Tricks for keeping embedded image files crisp and clear in AutoCAD output. March 1, 2006

CAD Forum -- Specifying Arc Length
There are several ways to specify an arc in AutoCAD, knowing just the length of the arc and the radius. September 24, 2006

Rhino Cad Learning Curve
04/17/2013

Outputting AutoCAD Files to PDF
More advice on this common, but sometimes pesky, task. February 26, 2007

Sources for Pre-Drawn Appliance Images
How to locate, collect and import images of manufactured appliances for CAD work. October 1, 2005

Mozaik To Thermwood?
03/26/2013

CabinetVision and Mastercam
Using these systems for kitchen cabinet design and construction. March 23, 2002

CAD Rendering Tips
AutoCAD may not have the best or easiest rendering engine, but it can do the job. January 10, 2006

File Security for Drawings
Tips to make sure that CAD files stored on a network aren't altered or tampered with. November 12, 2005

Saving CAD Drawings in Jpeg Format
Here's a handful of tricks for making AutoCAD output a jpeg image file. March 21, 2006

Converting CAD Files to PDF Format
There are lots of ways to make a PDF file out of a CAD drawing. August 29, 2005

Autodesk Inventor
03/25/2013

AutoCAD 2010 Snap Move Minimums
An obscure setting in AutoCAD allows you to make very short object moves. September 1, 2010

Mozaik Improvements?
03/19/2013

Linking Drawing Data to Spreadsheets
Tips on pulling data from AutoCAD drawings into Excel spreadsheets to compile cabinet ordering information. November 26, 2007

Closet Design Software
03/18/2013

Creating Submittal Drawings with Cabinet Vision
This thread teaches about how to use Cabinet Vision to generate detailed submittal drawings, and includes a lively and somewhat contentious side debate concerning the appropriate format and level of detail for various business circumstances, with some comments about decorum. December 31, 2012

Curved Parallel Lines in CAD
Simple tip for drawing offset curved lines. August 14, 2007

Decimal Feet Dimensions
Quick tip on expressing dimensions in decimal feet in AutoCAD. January 10, 2006

Digital Measuring for Staircase Work
Woodworkers compare notes on digital measuring devices such as Proliner and Compass Stair. March 28, 2012

Computer Tweaks to Boost CAD Performance
CAD puts heavy demands on a PC's processor, memory, display, and storage devices. Here are recommendations for hardware add-ons and software settings that can help keep your computer from bogging down. March 21, 2006

Ergonomics and Wrist Discomfort
An advanced, ergonomic mouse and trackball might help relieve wrist pain, but other workspace tweaks may also be priorities. September 24, 2006

Surfacing a Spoil Board with Enroute
Little adjustments help you hit the edges. June 17, 2010

Dimension Tick/Arrow Defaults
Ideas for making arrows the norm, rather than tick marks, in dimension callouts. January 24, 2005

Anyone Sold Microvellum 67 To Third Party?
04/15/2013

2D Shots of 3D Objects
When you have a three-dimensional CAD object and you need a two-dimensional version, you have several options. January 21, 2010

Is 3D a CAD necessity?
Choosing the CAD package best suited to your work. December 12, 2000

3d Central Models Into Cabinet Vision 4.1
04/20/2013

CAD Output PDF Missing Objects
Tips on why a PDF printout of a CAD drawing might be missing a few lines or other elements. February 12, 2010

Customizing AutoCad Tool Bars
Doing it "the right way" is safer in case you need to re-install. July 11, 2005

Changing Command Line Defaults
Several ways to make AutoCad respond at the touch of a key (or a button). June 29, 2005

Machining Brass on CNC Equipment
Bits and feed rates for cutting 3/8-inch brass. March 1, 2006

Unfolding and Flattening CNC Design Options
Is there software out there for creating a design to be machined on a flat surface, then wrapped around a 3D shape? Here are some suggestions. January 27, 2008

Cabinet Vision V Groove MDF Doors
02/25/2013

AutoCAD Drawings, Step by Step
Efficient development of shop drawings. April 18, 2004

The CAD Learning Curve, Version Upgrades, and Paper Drafting
Here's an interesting discussion of the learning process for design draftsmen and the influence of technology on the process of getting a vision down on paper. May 28, 2010

Shop Drawing Time per Job
How long does it take to prepare shop drawings for a cabinet job? Here's a thorough and detailed discussion of that question. November 15, 2011

Making Code from Sloppy Drawings
The frustrations of messy drawings, and a parallel discussion of CNC theory vs. reality in terms of function. December 9, 2004

Cabinet Shop Growing Pains
A cabinet shop owner gets advice on expanding his production volume while integrating some complex new software into his workflow. July 12, 2008

Cabinet Software and Photo-Realistic Rendering
This thread on a timeworn topic (choosing cabinet design software) has an extra feature: some examples of super-realistic rendering. January 13, 2009

Parametric Drawings
Can parametric design simplify change orders? May 19, 2004

Marketing Cabinet Design Work
Ideas for marketing drawing services to shops in need. July 28, 2004

Drawing Units and Precision
Deciding on the level of precision needed for cabinet and millwork design. October 20, 2004

Finding Software for Design and Visualization
It's hard to find one application that will quickly create design visualizations for a customer during a sales meeting, but also generate good designs suitable for construction in the shop. This thread offers some insight into software capabilities and some nice example drawings. December 28, 2010 ......

Outsourcing Drafting Work
Contracting outside your company for CAD drawings creates a management challenge. Here's a discussion of how to handle the complications. December 14, 2009

Achieving functional kitchen design
When it comes to the kitchens you build, should you design them yourself or hire an expert? December 6, 2000

Converting lines to polylines
Step by step CAD instructions. December 17, 2003

Layer Names and Line Defaults
Organizing and simplifying layers in CAD. May 19, 2004

Outsourcing Design Work Why or Why Not?
A CAD artist who wants to draw for others on a contract basis gets feedback about the usefulness and value of that proposed service. February 8, 2008

Outsourcing drawings
Positive and negative experiences from those who have hired the job out. October 30, 2002

Math Question: Dimensioning Angles
Cabinetmakers chime in on methods for determining the size of an angled plane. February 8, 2005

AWI CAD Standard?
If there isn't one already, why not? December 26, 2004

Deleting Blocks and Layers
Why won't these stubborn ACAD elements go away? December 9, 2004

Printing and Viewing Blueprints for Bidding
Cabinetmakers discuss the nuts and bolts of working with digital blueprints, including a look at software that helps with takeoffs and estimating. April 19, 2015

Titleblock in CAD
How-to instructions for setting up a titleblock for your template. July 24, 2002

Custom Software for Wood Man Doors
A custom builder's looking for a versatile design and drafting package for original wood door designs. But is it worth it? September 1, 2010

CNC Routing From PDF
Definition of a tap file, and whether or not PDFs provide precision. August 17, 2004

Value Added of a CAD Artist
Cabinetmakers and draftsmen consider: is it worth the time and effort to make careful, detailed shop drawings? January 3, 2014

Cost of Developing Custom Applications
Business aspects of code written to order. April 11, 2005

Should engineers do parts drawings?
Product engineers can draw impressive sketches. But should they be expected to write code? November 15, 2000

Digitizing board recommendations
Digitizing drawings that are larger than the tablet. July 24, 2002

Shop Drawing Submittals in Metric
When converting to 32mm construction, should all drawings be done in metric as well? April 18, 2004

Making Templates from Existing Mouldings
Moulding shop pros discuss how to scan and import profiles of existing mouldings in order to make exact drawings or manufacture new knives. November 10, 2006

CAD software for architectural millwork
Choosing the right CAD package for angle calculations and complex displays. January 3, 2001

Estimating drafting time
Charging for time spent on job drawings. January 3, 2003

Selling Used CAD or CNC Software
You can transfer a software license to another buyer, but there are formalities involved. November 23, 2008

Computer purchase recommendations
Choosing the right computer system to run CAD and more. January 3, 2001

Design Drafting for a Tudor Arch
Looking like a flattened Gothic arch, a Tudor arch involves a complex interaction of four radius centers. Here's some help with designing one. October 11, 2007

Measurement Tools for PDF Drawings
Notes on a couple of apps that will let you pull dimensions on a PDF drawing. March 27, 2012

Training draftsmen for woodworking
Can an engineer learn the nuances of drawing millwork in CAD? March 20, 2001

Standards for Shop Drawings
Pros share advice on the content and level of detail expected in shop drawings for a project proposal. June 19, 2005