Cabinet Design Software Observations

When most people think of cabinet design software, they think of the kitchen designs or layouts you might get from a Home Warehouse. Nearly all design software has now transitioned to a 3d-modeling platform. The idea is that you build the thing first (virtually, of course), then you let the program make the drawings for you.

I first used computer-aided design software in the mid-90's at engineering school. I believe that the program was Microsoft's “Imagineer” (haven't heard a peep from it since), and it was — as I recall — based on the old “draw it in 2d” methodology.

Afterwards, I worked in a structural engineering firm where AutoCad was the only system in use. Again, this was 2d-based, and I suspect that a huge number of these older businesses are still hanging on to Autocad for dear life. Thankfully, a new day has come for those who need to efficiently get design work done.

Emerging throughout the 90's was the Solid Modeling type of drafting platform. The appeal of this software is immediate and most packages actually make the work pretty fun. An amazing smorgasboard of options is now available. These may be referred to as modelers, design software, or drafting packages.
Anyways, as I've been increasingly drawn from engineering to residential construction over the years, I've watched the unfolding of applications that are specifically targeted to small niches. Now we have design software for architects, landscapers, framers, cabinetmakers, and more.

Of particular interest to me has been the cabinet design software. I have personally tried KCDW, ECabinet Systems, Chief Architect, Planix, Sketchup and Archicad in a quest to find something that makes cabinet design efficient, intuitive, and effective (good drawings and renderings at the end).

So, what cabinet design software do I now use?? None. I've gone back to engineering software, which has “evolved further” and is much less buggy. Specifically, I'm using mechanical design software which is based on the Pro/Engineer concept. (But less expensive) I'm reluctant to give the name out though, because while the software is very good, my jury is still out on whether this company will fully deliver on the service end.

If it has been a while since this post date, feel free to tag me a comment and I'll update you on my testing.