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Wishy washy software


Why are so many programs so wishy washy?
I have read and read and read pretty well every post written on software on this website, and as much or more on other websites.
Is cabinet software right up there with rocket science?
Why isnít there a reasonably priced company that everyone is like, wow! This is amazing.
Every software I read about, a few people use it, a few have tried and weíre not thrilled, customer service sucks, or customer service is ok, or pay for more customer service.
Why doesnít someone finally knock it out of the park and come up with a great solution.
I guess maybe the market is to small, I have come to the conclusion that there are about 10 different solutions, anything reasonably priced is average at best, anything better than average you pay a fortune for.
Anyways I have a headache, I need some Tylenol.

6/10/21       #2: Wishy washy software ...
Mark B

Id imagine its because everyones process makes the most sense to them. Its like asking everyone in your shop to come up with an organizational plan for a rack of parts. You'll get as many scenarios as you have employees and theyll all battle that theirs is more intuitive, simpler, smarter, more efficient, makes more sense. Software is no different. For myself, you just have to find one that fits the way your brain works unless your an individual who can adapt to anything. And no matter what youll always have some odd ball work-arounds you wish were different. More often than not I'd say most shops that arent uber anal wind up adjusting their process a good bit to whats just easier in the software vs. the other way around though there are some freaks of nature out there.

6/11/21       #3: Wishy washy software ...
JoeW Member

Sad isn't it! But oh my gosh so true.

6/12/21       #4: Wishy washy software ...
Jonathan Korban

Before getting into the constitution industry I was a computer science major.

Making a piece of software that does all things for all people is not an easy task . And programing something like a cabinet that has a large number of variables in material, construction method, fastener method, requires a lot of thought as it's not as simple as you might think on the surface.

Also there is a trade off between ultimate flexibility to be able to design and manufacture , and simplicity and ease of use ( think learnability of how to use the software )

Then you throw in having to generate optimization of parts, g code generation for the hundreds of different machines out there, and job costing , material reports, shop drawings , etc and you start to get real complicated real fast . Bar coding for a scanner at your dowel boring etc.. the list goes on and on .

So I just look it it as what software saves me the most time and go from there. I remember a day when I used to draw every cabinet with a pencil and paper and spreadsheet all my cutlists manually, I would never want to go back to that .

6/12/21       #5: Wishy washy software ...
Pat Gilbert


I don't know why you have to bring politics into this?

I think the main reason is that this is a small industry with fewer customers.

The go to has been MV who replaced Pattern Systems or Mozaik that is replacing Cabinet Vision that replaced Cabnetware

It seems to me that the software changes when the baby and the bathwater are thrown out, and someone ditches the legacy software like how the economy works. e.g. Kodak gets replaced by a smartphone

I like the custom stuff so I vote for Cabinet Sense, others like E cabinets for similiar reasons

Some like KCDW for it's simplicity.

6/12/21       #6: Wishy washy software ...
Jonathan N Korban


Come on buddy, how in the world is my post political at all lol :)

6/12/21       #7: Wishy washy software ...
Robert Duff  Member


"Before getting into the constitution industry I was a computer science major."

I believe it was your opening sentence... lol

6/17/21       #9: Wishy washy software ...

The biggest fallacy in software is itís everything out of the can to everyone.

My stone guys hate CabinetVision and the cabinet guys hate Alphacam and Draftsight or whatever is the flavor of the day for them.

I could care less, but there are limitations to all software packages and you need to be cognizant of that.

If I were to hedge my bets and try to run my shop with micrvellum I would end up with fingernails on a chalkboard sound running amuck

The very fact of the matter is those that severely complainy pants, have not fully trained, sought training or even read the help section.

Do yourself a huge favor and lock yourself in a room for two weeks or hire a consultant, because you canít get the full operation of any of the software carousing this site

some of these commenters arenít running to the depths we are, so their connects are rather jaded or uneducated.

All of the software is capable, but it takes a good understanding of it to implement it.

I run Biesse machines and CV software. We own 4 seats of ultimate

6/21/21       #10: Wishy washy software ...

Fansastic idea Scott when you get this done. post a link where we can download your software for a 30 day trial.

6/21/21       #11: Wishy washy software ...
Donald Caron  Member


It is what it is. This is why the profession of "CAD/CAM Engineer" is slowly evolving in the midst of so much electronic processes and its audience; I look for the day when 'Submittal' isn't intergraded with manufacturing drawings so the design and specification part of a job contract is clear between the Owner and Design Team (which may include you) before proceeding to factory manufacturing.,,hence an Engineering Managers' draftsmen.

There is a curve that plots sophistication vs manageability: this curve defines truth when it points out how too sophisticated gets overly complicated, and thus manageablity begins to crumble and therefore becoming 'unmanageable'. Can anyone relate?

6/22/21       #12: Wishy washy software ...
David Wishengrad

I looked forward to reading your comment and you didn't let me down.

It's tough when people don't even understand top right and bottom left are exactly the same thing. Turning everything 180 is just "too complicated" to even consider.

I can relate. The truth matters. It matters most and is always most important.

7/13/21       #13: Wishy washy software ...
David Wishengrad

I think the best thing for you to do before 'locking yourself away for weeks' is to step back and take a good look at what you are jumping into.

It's not for those who have anything less than necessity in mind.

You are talking about running a business while simultaneously depending on others. This also applies to companies that build the machines and to the software that runs them, which includes operating systems.

Who do you believe cares about you and how does that matter?

It breaks my heart to see people I care about
and people habing to depend on software where there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the company that made that software doesn't care about them at all.

I used make and sell software. I have had people who run other companies actually boast to me that it is only about making money hand over fist and nothing else matters. They didn't didn't even pretend they cared.

There are a million more things your os can do for you that are easy to provide to you and they don't do that, and that really matters a lot in the big picture. Example: does your messaging app on your phone allow you to text pdf, cad, cnc files? And does your service completely support that and yet you didn't even know because the text app that came with your phone is garbage and no one told you to replace it?

The specialty software companies are not the only ones.

You have a computer with a math coprocessor. Do you know what that is? What it is used for, and how, and how and why to leverage it? The reason I ask is that it seems the software companies have taken a position that anyone that doesn't understand that stuff really doesn't know how to use a computer. They only know operation at best and now those people are excluded to the "if they don't understand better we are going to walk all over them" area.

The plus side is that this isn't a 'life cause' in itself. People can and do far worse. :)

Good luck. We are all in this ocean together.

7/13/21       #14: Wishy washy software ...
Donald Caron  Member


David, it's nice to read your words...
On the upside there is a solution but it stems on product interoperability and a "plug and play" platform that could be developed by end users and the owners of software apps that want thier products shared and used at the manufacturers descretion. It could be viewed as a "mall" where all shops and outlets converge within the same shell. Could you imagine that! No more "Microvellum Engineers wanted" !!! lol Yes, an option for floor operators to write platform wide work orders or edits. Think on it.

7/14/21       #15: Wishy washy software ...
Chad R  Member


Donald, Why didn't Winstep work?

7/16/21       #16: Wishy washy software ...
pat s gilbert

Cabinet Vision will not do anything besides cabinets

7/17/21       #17: Wishy washy software ...
JoeW Member


True Cabinet Vision is best when you are making cabinets. But, you can design and build many other custom objects if you learn to use the parts manager, shape editor, and object intelligence.

I build a lot of one of cabinets for customers and have been asked to make furniture and even outdoor items such as unique mailboxes and posts. Outdoor furniture and cabinets made from PVC material has been growing fast. It is very time consuming but I charge accordingly. Can be very profitable. Sometimes it is why I receive the job over other bids.

To do it, I found I had to have the Ultimate version (What it is called now with their new structure I do not know). Ridiculously expensive.

You start with a blank object and individual parts. Shape each part and then once placed in the object you assign object intelligence.

7/18/21       #18: Wishy washy software ...
pat gilbert

Fair enough, many moons ago I looked at CV and found it lacking for what I did.

MV might have done it but the only one that could make it work other than their the canned demo was Shawn Mayberry

I ended up using Smartlister because it worked but not the best for cabinets

I suspect Mosaic can do most if not all of what CV does

Cabinet Sense accommodates custom nicely at a fraction of the cost and a short learning curve

7/19/21       #19: Wishy washy software ...
Eric Member

A past employer of mine had me write a custom program for them that did the cutlists, door order lists, invoices, etc.
They used 2020 for their renderings.
It was very simple to use because it ONLY did what they needed it to do. I have thought about writing software that would work for everyone but custom cabinetry is so complicated, with so many ifs, ands and buts that it would quickly turn in to a mess.
Your best bet is to maybe try something like Mozaik and watch all their training videos.

7/19/21       #20: Wishy washy software ...
Donald Caron  Member


Hi Eric, just what I was thinking about! Yes...15 years ago I wrote a C++ program that cutlists casework products and does it all vertical grain! It's a great, grand, and glorious "switch statement" that uses the WIC/AWI casework type nomenclature (which I had it memorized in California in the early 80s). Queries 3-space dimensions, edgeband thickness, sheet goods thickness (including lay-up), panel gaps, back/nailer option, finished/not finished ends, stretcher/no stretcher, drawer construction option, the features necissary to list and compile parts for a sawyer. It compiles and edits in a Borland or VB compiler. What I draw with! I own it.

7/20/21       #21: Wishy washy software ...
Eric Member

Donald, that sounds a lot more involved than what I implemented.

I think one approach might be to have the user go through a simple setup process that starts with asking what equipment they have and then go to questions like face frame or euro etc.

7/20/21       #22: Wishy washy software ...
Donald Caron  Member


Eric...exactly, this is why Engineers need an Engineering "plug and play" E-OS (operating system), then the software(s) talk to each other, they autofill information and create options.

7/21/21       #23: Wishy washy software ...
David Wishengrad


Imagine the parametrics required for a bastard hip. Even if you can write it there will be 1000 more hard ones.

Very few of us have a need of rendering. Cut lists and other building information is what gets the job done.

Wysiwyg is always useful even if only to identify parametric errors like a cabinet with 2 doors and a drawer drawn with parametrics might still end up being a copy of the sink cabinet next to it in the cutlist. How? Who knows? It happens.

8/11/21       #24: Wishy washy software ...
Louis Member

I have read alot of what you say.

However, no one has said anything about Topsolid Wood.

I have been using for a couple years, and I am pretty much killing with it. design is slick, (akin to Solidoworks) outputs many formats, as well as a decent Post processor. Outputs to STEP, ect., and uses parametrics. Just have to say support is pretty much non-exsistant to NIL (support is horrible)

But I have compared em all..
CV, MV, KCD, SWOOD, the other crappy wee little apps.

So i would at least download the demo... tinker around and see if you can digest it, cause its like steel rolled oats.

12/9/21       #25: Wishy washy software ...
Steven Modern

Have you explored Autodesk Inventor / Woodwork For Inventor

Software that is easy to use and can design anything - direct focus for woodwork manufacturing and presentation .

Thousands of companies are utilizing ...... Large and small

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