Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Program of preference????

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Charlotte, Vermont
    Posts
    17

    Default Program of preference????

    Hi, all.

    I just upgraded from a Buddy to a full size (48-96) PRS Alpha. It has a 2.2 hp spindle and 14" Z.

    Having built many cabinets with a table saw and then a Festool track saw, I am quite familiar with cabinets and their required components.

    My question is the program you feel is the best one for our machines to cut all or nearly all of the parts with precision. I have eCabinets but have not yet used it. I see that SB sells cabinetparts software too. Which do you like more? What are its pros and cons?

    I'll soak up all the advice you are willing to throw at me.

    Rich Ahrens
    Building Character LLC
    Charlotte, Vermont

    ShopBot PRS Alpha 4896-14
    2.2 hp spindle
    Rich Ahrens
    Building Character
    Charlotte, Vermont

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Memphis TN
    Posts
    718

    Default

    If you purchased that machine new and haven't used it yet, I strongly recommend popping the extra $1g for the 4hp spindle.
    ShopBot Details:
    PRS Alpha 96x60x12
    4hp Spindle
    12" indexer
    Aspire
    Rhino

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Charlotte, Vermont
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by coryatjohn View Post
    If you purchased that machine new and haven't used it yet, I strongly recommend popping the extra $1g for the 4hp spindle.
    Well, I've had it a while and so far, soooooo good!
    Rich Ahrens
    Building Character
    Charlotte, Vermont

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Delray Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,708

    Default

    The answer would vary depending on your use. By this, I mean do you want to cut a few cabinets or is this a mainstay of your business?
    E-Cabinets is a very dynamic program, but unfortunately, further support for SB users is discontinued. This does not make it unusable however, and is pretty much the least expensive full parametric cabinet program you can use. When you say you have it, I assume you mean you have the dongle that is needed to run it on a Shopbot. There is a good learning curve, but there is a good learning curve on all dynamic cabinet specific software.
    CabinetPartsPro was developed by a SB user some time back and is more basic than full bore programs, but it will do a basic job for you. Support there is limited as well. It has been reported by others that the developer does not respond quickly and it also has had no new enhancements for quite some time.
    I cut cabinets for many years by simply designing my own parts library in ArtCam (One can do the same thing in Vectric) and selecting and nesting the parts myself. After a while it went very fast and my method was to cut all sides on the Bot (back dado, hinge locations, line boring, slide boring) and cut the basic tops bottoms stretchers and backs on the saw simultaneously. Much of my work was institutional so when we were cutting a batch it could easily be over 30 cabinets.
    With a 14" z it sounds like you bought a machine from a foam cutter. To get top speed and accuracy out of it for cutting plywood or melamine you may want to install a raised bed.
    2.2 spindle is much better than a router, but I would upgrade if/when it dies.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Charlotte, Vermont
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Bleeth,

    Thanks for the explanation.

    I currently cut about 8-10 cabinets per month but have the opportunity to make carcasses for others in my area who will then finish them. Nothing I do seems to fall into standard sizes.

    I have a link for ecabinets from thermwood but was not aware i need to get a dongle. Where and how much?

    My machine came from a luthier as a Buddy but I moved everything to the larger alpha table as I did not want the longer powerstick setup. I also wanted the high z to do some timber brackets with mortises and tenons.I

    Perhaps it makes more sense to use a different program for what I want to do with cabinets. I just want to buy software once and invest the time to learn it once. Hence the reason I am seeking input from the forum in this regard. I'm currently also conflicted over Aspire vs Fusion 360. Will either of those work for this application?

    Kindly,

    Rich
    Rich Ahrens
    Building Character
    Charlotte, Vermont

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Diamond Lake, WA
    Posts
    1,616

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by coryatjohn View Post
    If you purchased that machine new and haven't used it yet, I strongly recommend popping the extra $1g for the 4hp spindle.
    I've been cutting cabinet parts for 10 years with a 2.2hp spindle and have never had a spindle problem (knock on wood). Of course, now that I've said that my spindle will **** out.
    Don
    Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks, LLC
    www.dlwoodworks.com
    ***********************************
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece; But to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, bank accounts empty, credit cards maxed out, defiantly shouting "Geronimo"!

    If you make something idiot proof, all they do is create a better idiot.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Diamond Lake, WA
    Posts
    1,616

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by richahrens View Post
    Bleeth,

    Thanks for the explanation.

    I currently cut about 8-10 cabinets per month but have the opportunity to make carcasses for others in my area who will then finish them. Nothing I do seems to fall into standard sizes.

    I have a link for ecabinets from thermwood but was not aware i need to get a dongle. Where and how much?

    My machine came from a luthier as a Buddy but I moved everything to the larger alpha table as I did not want the longer powerstick setup. I also wanted the high z to do some timber brackets with mortises and tenons.I

    Perhaps it makes more sense to use a different program for what I want to do with cabinets. I just want to buy software once and invest the time to learn it once. Hence the reason I am seeking input from the forum in this regard. I'm currently also conflicted over Aspire vs Fusion 360. Will either of those work for this application?

    Kindly,

    Rich
    I've been using eCabinets for 10 years now. I build about 200 cabinets a year, in a one-man shop. I've developed a whole seed library based on how I like to make cabinets. All my cabinets are custom sized. If a customer needs a 23.375" cabinet that's what I make. Ecabinets is VERY good at making changes to cabinets this way. You will need to find someone willing to part with their copy of ShopbotLink and the dongle that goes with it as Thermwood is not selling that anymore. eCabinets itself will not output directly for a Shopbot CNC. That is what the Shopbot Link software is for. Support for eCabinets is VERY good. Shopbot Link is plenty stable for what I need. The only downside (if you wish to call it that) is that you will need Shopbot control software 3.6.44 as the 3.8 series doesn't support the Link. I've found 3.6.44 good enough for what I need my machine to do. I don't need froofroo frills that are in the 3.8 versions. 3.6.44 is about as solid as you'll get. I run a PRSAlpha 96x60 with a 2.2hp spindle and have never had a problem.

    If you do decide to go with eCabinets, I would HIGHLY recommend subscribing to their training videos as the learning curve is pretty intense. There is no drag and drop in eCabs, it's all driven by changing parameters. You'll have to learn all the parametric interactions so you don't get burned, and yes, I'm speaking from experience... LOL.

    There are still a few of us around that use the eCabs/SBLink package to make a living. Everyone has been good at helping others get up to speed.

    I've looked at other packages but have always come back to eCabs. To my tiny brain, it makes sense to me. And to switch at 60 years of age would require unlearning and relearning a whole new approach and vocabulary and I'm not sure my brain can, or is willing, to do that. If you're just getting started and have many years ahead of you, I would recommend looking at one of the other packages out there as eCabinets is geared toward Thermwood CNC machines.
    I
    Don
    Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks, LLC
    www.dlwoodworks.com
    ***********************************
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece; But to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, bank accounts empty, credit cards maxed out, defiantly shouting "Geronimo"!

    If you make something idiot proof, all they do is create a better idiot.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Delray Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,708

    Default

    Vectric is a drawing/cam software and has no code directly related to cabinets. You would simply be drawing or importing your part drawings and then machining. Fusion is a cabinet program with parametric abilities.
    There are others, like Cabinet Vision and KCD that are complete parametric cabinet design and machining programs also. You do need to do your research carefully. None are inexpensive or easy to learn. All are used extensively in the industry.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Charlotte, Vermont
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bleeth View Post
    Vectric is a drawing/cam software and has no code directly related to cabinets. You would simply be drawing or importing your part drawings and then machining. Fusion is a cabinet program with parametric abilities.
    There are others, like Cabinet Vision and KCD that are complete parametric cabinet design and machining programs also. You do need to do your research carefully. None are inexpensive or easy to learn. All are used extensively in the industry.
    Thanks for this. One thing I am not is penny wise and pound foolish. If buying something makes sense and is costly, I will do it. Having learned i need to hunt down a dongle for eCab and struggle with support isn't attractive to me. My time is my most valuable asset and one i can use to generate income rather than squander in frustration.

    KCD is expensive compared to Cabinet Vision but I would love to hear from folks who use one or the other and their thoughts. There are very few people in my area with the machining capabilities of my shop and I believe based on my relationships i can do quite well producing cabinets for builders and remodelers as well as direct customers for custom built-in and closet work. My competitors are traditionalists who have not invested in efficiencies and cannot compete against me. I have almost no overhead.

    Are there other software options i should investigate?I
    Rich Ahrens
    Building Character
    Charlotte, Vermont

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    San Jose del Cabo based since 1997
    Posts
    1,242

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •