View Full Version : Door program with nesting

04-10-2005, 10:13 PM
There's been a lot of interest in making cabinet doors lately (especially since Bruce Clark wrote his excellent FreeDoors program). If any of you are interested in yet another door making program that has a separate nesting utility, send me an email and I've send you the doors.exe program and the source code that is yours to do with as you please (under the terms of the OpenSource OSI copyright). The nesting program is a first version, low key, not fully functional prototype that works a little better than having nothing at all. But, by golly, its available now.

As always, the doors.exe program and the nesting program work much better with FreeDoors from Bruce Clark. Watch for an upcoming announcement from him.

miker@xmission.com (mailto:miker@xmission.com)

04-10-2005, 11:52 PM
This is as good as any place to put this. Sorry, no screen shots, since the program has not changed much since Version 3.0. Here is the latest (from the README file).

First off, I would like to thank Michael Richards for making his cabinet door software available to everyone. THANK YOU!

Second, I have received a lot of questions telling me that an error is generated or a file could not be found or the Preview or Generate does not work. PLEASE, before you do ANYTHING, open a CSV file and Save a CSV file. The reason is that the program NEEDS to know where you are storing and loading files. By opening and saving them, you are setting the defaults and that allows the program to work without errors.

Third, I realize that most of the world does not use Inches. The Layout Sheet (and the rest of MY program) supports metric. You need to enter your metric dimensions in the Material Dimensions Entry boxes and then quit and restart the program. Now, your doors will lay out with metric dimensions on the "Layout Sheet" properly. With that said, I am unsure if Mike Richards' program fully supports metric. Ask him to be sure.

Finally, this has been an issue, so I want to clarify something. Doors.EXE [Mike Richards' program] ONLY processes a cabinet door file called "DOORS.CSV". If you save the door file as something else, Mr. Richards' program is not going to find/process that file and you will get incorrect (or no) results. I am talking to him about making this change, but he has some issues that he needs to work out on his end. If he is able to make this change, the FreeDoors.EXE is ready to support that. In the mean time, I recommend saving your data TWICE. First, save the CSV file in a separate directory under the client's name or some other reasonable naming scheme. Then save it again, using the default filename "DOORS.CSV" in the Doors\FILES\ folder so that DOORS.EXE can find/process the file.

What's New? [04-10-2005 Version 3.1]

Well, I found a minor bug when updating Parameters. The program was not calculating the new X Axis Max and Y Axis Max parameters. This has been fixed.

I have also have had a few complaints that the program does not fit in on a 15" monitor (800x600 resolution). I have trimmed as much as I feel comfortable with. I might do a complete make over, but that means that SOMETHING will have to go, either a smaller Layout Sheet view or less rows of data in the Data Grid (or both).

Mike has also been working on a Nesting program. It is a good start, but don't expect a truely optimized sheet yet. Anyways, the program now allows you to NEST you cabinet panels by clicking a single button. You will need Mike Richards' NEST.EXE program and it needs to be stored in the Doors\BIN\ folder (the same place as your DOORS.EXE file). Please ask Mike for the latest version, as this will a very dynamic feature and will be changing a lot in the near future (at least as much as Mike is able to work on it).

Version Update [04-09-2005 Version 3.0]

The latest Version is 3.0. Many things are new, some work better, and some now work.

Make sure that you have the latest version of Doors.Exe from Michael Richards. The latest version I have is 2.01.

The most apparent things is that the latest program is now a screen hog. Yes, I could not figure out any other way to display all the information that I want to convey in any less space and still be "quick and easy" to use. Hopefully, the new addition is worth it.

First off, You will notice that there is a LARGE area of blank space. This is called the "layout Sheet". It gives you a graphical representation of how your doors will be cut on a sheet. It is NOT a previewer, as it only shows you an outline of your door, so you still need to use the ShopBot previewer to actually verify that your files will cut out correctly. The previewer is dynamically updated as you add or update a door. You can now also click on a door in the display and it's parameters will display in the "Door Parameters" entry boxes along with the Door Number. So, you now have two ways to pick/select your doors to edit their parameter (via clicking in the "Data Grid" or clicking on the door in the "layout Sheet"). I would like to personally say Thanks to Bill Young for giving me the idea for the "Layout Sheet".

Second, many people asked for a fully intergrated program that would edit ALL the required files. So I added the "Edit CSV Settings File" button. By clicking this button, a new windows will display a Data Grid with two columns. You can only edit things in the second column. Open a CSV file by pressing the "Open CSV File" button and locate either the "CUTTERS.CSV" file or the "VARS.CSV" file. You can now edit the settings, just like in the main window. When you have made your changes, press the "Save CSV File" and the file will be saved. If you wish to exit or abandon any changes, press the "Close" button.

Third, the ShopBot Preview was available in Version 2.0, but was not documented or explained. This takes the six files that the Doors.EXE program creates and merges that file into ONE file called "PREVIEW.SBP". This file is then passed to the ShopBot Previewer window. From there, you can verify that your Doors are correct before cutting them. I HIGHLY recommend that you DO NOT USE the PREVIEW.SBP file for cutting. There are no pauses, delays, or notices to inform you that you need to change bits between operations. This files is STRICTLY for previewing.

Fourth, the "Recalculate ALL Offsets" is NOT a nesting function. It is strictly a way for HELP you generate correct X Axis and Y Axis Offsets for your doors. This was available in Version 2.0, but did a horrible job. This was is a _little_ better but it is not a true nester and it will not do a good job on a panel with many different size doors--You WILL have to manually tweak them (that is what the "Layout Sheet" viewer is for.

Fifth, there is another data entry group on the bottom left hand side. This is the Material Dimensions entry box. Right now, only the Material Width info is used, and that is only during a "Recalculate ALL Offsets" operation. This is there for future use if Door Nesting is ever added.

Ok, that is the new stuff, what about the fixed stuff you ask?
Well, some minor bugs were addressed, mainly the the Minimum Spacing auto calculations. When you manually enter in cabinet data, all the data is required for width, height, stile width, arch height, stub length and Min. Spacing. But the program then calculates the rest of the information (offsets and Max values) based on the data you have just entered. Now, if you want to make an exact copy of the door you just entered, you NEED to double click in the Min. Spacing box for the program to calculate the X and Y axis offsets and the X and Y Maximum values. Then you can press "Add to List" to have the correct offsets. Again, you can manually enter what ever your want here, but it becomes a chore to have to calculate that stuff manually.

How to make FreeDoors a Virtual Tool in the ShopBot software

To add FreeDoors.exe to your Virtual Tools from the Shopbot menu or by typing TE Shopbot command line, locate the file called "VirtualTools.ini" and open it in Notepad. Now, add this line to the very end of the file:

VT = Fr&eeDoors, Virtual Tools\FreeDoors.exe, 0, 0

Save the file and then copy or move the FreeDoors.EXE program to the Virtual Tools folder. On my machine it is located here:

C:\Program Files\ShopBot\Virtual Tools\FreeDoors.EXE

Now, load (or quit and reload) the ShopBot controller and now FreeDoors is under the Tools menu and is accessible by typing "TE" in the "Command" box.


Again, if you would like to get a copy of FreeDoors, please email (my email address is in my profile). Thanks,


04-18-2005, 03:31 PM
Just to let everyone know, there is a new version of Free Doors available. It is now up to version 3.3 with many new improvements including new icons, small screen space demands, and support of 3rd party programs (called directly from Free Doors). A sample SORT program is included (with basic source code).

I would like to thank ShopBot for allowing Mike and myself to use this forum to make our work made public, but would like to point out that ShopBot does not support or condone our work, and has NO affiliation with the work that Mike and I are doing on Free Doors or Doors.exe.

Again, if you would like a copy of Free Doors, please send me an email. My email address is in my profile.

Bruce Clark

04-19-2005, 03:53 PM
Ok, Im pulling my hair out with this one.
I am using free doors and doors.exe and no matter what I try I generate the same door profiles. Even if I only layout one door,I still get sbp files to cut three doors. I am going out of what little mind I have left. HELP!

Kevin Reid

04-19-2005, 05:49 PM

Save your hair, you will need it. You must save the file as DOORS.CSV in the DOORS\FILES\ directory. What is happening right now, you are regenerating the demo DOORS.CSV file, not the one you created. Try that. If that does not work, send me an email and I will get you up and running.

My email address is in my profile.


04-19-2005, 06:49 PM

I noticed a little of Kevin's problem last night also, along with an error about the preview file not being there. If it was openend manually it would work, but it was always the sample ones. After I did a little rearanging of some files it would work manually, but not with the preview button in FreeDoors.


04-19-2005, 09:32 PM

Try this. First delete all the .SBP files in your DOORS\FILES\ directory. Then load a .CSV file. Now, save that file as DOORS.CSV. Now, generate a ShopBot file via the "Generate Door File". Now, there should be SIX .sbp files in your DOORS\FILES\ folder. If not, then you need to delete your FREEDOORS.INI file and start again.

Now, when you press the "Preview SBP Door File", a new file called PREVIEW.SBP is created and the ShopBot controller software is started. You should now see the preview in the ShopBot preview window. If not, then you need to delete the FREEDOORS.INI file and start again.

Now, the reason that most times the functions do not work, is because information in the INI file points to incorrect directories or applications. Deleting this file makes the FreeDoors program generate a new one, which will ask you to select where the DOORS.CSV files are located, where the ShopBot controller program is located ect.

If that does not fix it, please send me an email and I will make sure I get you up and running.


04-20-2005, 09:25 AM
Oh the joys of new software! Sorry that I left everything up to Bruce to answer, but he did an excellent job. As he said, the doors.exe file (the part of the program that creates the SBP cutting files), only looks for the required data files (CSV files) in the ..\DOORS\FILES directory. A normal installation using INSTALL.BAT (which is included as part of the doors program) would place the files in C:\DOORS\FILES.

Normally a minimum of three steps are necesary to create a set of SBP files:

1). Use FreeDoors to enter the dimensions and other parameters for the doors that you want to cut.

2). Click the "Save Door File" button and save the data that you just entered as the DOORS.CSV file in the DOORS\FILES directory.

3). Click the "Generate Door Files" button to create the six SBP files and the documenation files that you will use to cut the doors. The SBP files will be found in the DOORS\FILES directory.

As soon as you've previewed/simulated the cuts, I would suggest that you move or copy all of the files in the DOORS/FILES directory into a JOB directory. If you move/copy all of the files, you can easily edit the various CSV files for future use.

If you need further help please email me (miker@xmission.com (mailto:miker@xmission.com)) or call me at 801 254-3899 or 801 712-1210. (Be aware, however that trying to call me can be an exercise in futility. I'm often in a telephone "dead zone" when I'm working at one of my computer related customer's sites where my cell phone is useless.)


04-20-2005, 10:41 AM
I need a proof reader for my posts. In the 20 Apr 2005 9:25 a.m. post I used the words move/copy. PLEASE DON'T MOVE all files from the DOORS\FILES directory. COPY THE FILES to another JOBS directory for future use. The doors.exe program requires three CSV files to work. If those files are moved from the FILES directory, the program is going to crash.