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Advice choosing CAD/CAM software small shop

Jim Member


Hi all,

I'm looking at getting a CNC to make my own lightweight cabinets for the campers I manufacture. I currently produce a cutlist in SketchUp which goes to a cabinet maker. I then build the cabinets from the manufactured parts.

I'm struggling to find the right software to get from CAD to CAM which has everything I need. I've just spent about 50 hours learning fusion 360 and still can't figure out if it nests into multiple sheets of plywood. I use about 5 sheets of lightweight falcatta ply per build.

I think I need:
- parametric
- re-usable components that I can use in multiple designs, each design is different but uses common features
- dogbones for dovetails
- nesting into multiple sheets of plywood
- generation of toolpaths

Can anyone recommend software that fits these requirements?

Thanks for help and advice.

12/30/20       #2: Advice choosing CAD/CAM software sm ...
Karl E Brogger  Member


I use Mozaik and am happy with the results and the cost.
Cabinet Pro will do what you want from what I understand.

Are you talking about dog bone dovetails for drawers?

12/31/20       #3: Advice choosing CAD/CAM software sm ...

Jim, We have used cabinet pro for many years. It has the capabilities to do everything we have needed. When it can't, Frank is able to solve the problem. They are a great company and are honest people. Give them a call. We used Mozaik for a while. It is a good program and was great for most jobs. We do a fair amount of "odd" cabinets which Mozaik could not do.

12/31/20       #4: Advice choosing CAD/CAM software sm ...
james e mcgrew  Member


I have used Cabnetware (since the 90s) Cabinetvision, and literally most all of the others,
There are simple box programs which are far more powerful than most give them credit for (like Cabinetpartspro) these will not design yet will nest and cut on a cnc based on box entry details and sizes (250.00) you can even use Vcarve pro by Vectric for Buukooo tons of custom stuff (I still do)

all that said I have been using Moziak for a few years as well as drawing some submittals in Cabnetware and outsourcing larger jobs. I started on a 4 x 8 machine with a single z (20-25K) and went to a solid frame ATC machine 8 years ago for under 45k all told, you can spend as much as you want but if you Like Me cannot due that then due dilligence is what will save and not waste your money.

12/31/20       #5: Advice choosing CAD/CAM software sm ...

I'll throw in this suggestion also: have a look at Vectric VCarve Pro. I use it to do all the oddball things Cabinet Vision doesn't, and I'll make a guess that your cabinets for campers have some special needs that may not be easy to do with typical kitchen/bath software. Also it's surprisingly affordable.

1/1/21       #6: Advice choosing CAD/CAM software sm ...
routalot Member

I'd go along with the recommendation for Vectric Vcarve Pro.It does dogbones,although in typical Vectric style,they give them a name nobody else uses and refer to them as T-bones.There are lot of post processors included in the package and it isn't hugely expensive.You even get the ability to cut 3D objects as long as you import them as .stl models.

1/4/21       #7: Advice choosing CAD/CAM software sm ...
Peter Matos

I know that Fusion360 has either a built in nesting option or a plugin that nests your parts on plywood sheets. I have not used it because most of our parts we do in Fusion360 are odd one off custom built items that I just pull to the side and create a setup for with the stock size I want/need. Then just toolpath over it. It is fairly simple and copy and paste of setups and machining operations is your friend here. Unless you make a LOT of custom cabinets I do not think I would recommend a dedicated cabinet software for this as you describe. Fusion360 makes good toolpaths and we use it daily in a commercial shop for the things that Mozaik cannot do or does not do as well.

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