We're a medium sized cabinetmaker in Australia doing about 450 jobs a year. Every single job we do is a one off, and we do a lot of curves, angles, intricate detailing and the like. Custom design and build everything. We've recently ordered a new SCM Nester (6metre bed model) and can't wait for it to arrive. The problem, as I'm sure is common, is which way to head with software. We have our machinery guy basically telling us that our existing Cabware will be fine, exporting to Aspan and using Aspan for custom parts. This is costing us under 15k with the machinery.
On the other side of the coin, we have our software suppliers, telling us that Aspan is not the right solution for us, and their software (costing $50,000) is the only way a place like us should go. Now, obviously the leap from 10k to 50k is a big one, especially when we've just laid out upwards of $300k for our new machine.
Basically, I'm asking for opinions from people who use Aspan for custom cabinetmaker on the quality and flexibility of the software. I'd also like to hear from the AlphaCam/Alphadoor people. We've got no doubt the Alpha solution could do the job, but we're wondering whether we need to spend another 40k when Aspan could do the job. Any help is appreciated.
From contributor K:
Alpha cam is ok. I do believe you are paying way too much for it though AlphaCam is ok. An AlphaCam and Alpha door should not cost you more then 15K altogether, however if you are looking to use cabinet vision and AlphaCam and door that sounds just right.
AlphaCam is great for importing AutoCAD for doing arch work. Also, if you are not doing a lot of doors you might not need Alpha door at all. I can make raised panel doors with AlphaCam and a 1/4 ball end and a point tip profiling bit just as good or better then alpha door in minutes.
At this stage we've spoken to the machine/ASpan supplier and are thinking we'll use ASpan for three months and then re-evaluate. If ASpan isn't doing the job the purchase price of ASpan will be transferred over to the purchase of AlphaCam/Door. Out of interests sake, is there an American software supplier on the internet selling AlphaCam/Door that we could check out?
In response to Contributor R, ASpan also has the ability to use macros. I am actually a co-op student who is pursuing a career in this industry, be it with CNC programming or cabinetmaking or project management, etc.