Wednesday, April 4, 2012

We're Back!

Hey there PORC fans.

WOW!  What a couple weeks! We made it through the party with flying colors. In fact, the party was such a hit, it may just become an annual tradition. Thank you to all the amazing friends and family that made it so great. My visiting family made the final prep seamless. My friends and clients made the actual party, a full on blast! All in all, about 80+ or so turned out. The parking lot was full of double parked cars. The tunes were cranking, drinks flowing, and stomachs were a fillin'.

GREAT night!!!  If you missed it....... No worries, there will be more to come.

Now, lets move forward. Several cool blog posts are germinating in my crazy head, but just haven't had time to write them. I will unravel them over the next couple months.

By far the most interest I've received from you all is the new software I purchased to aid in my design process. The program I went with is made by Planit Solutions. I chose Cabinet Vision. They have a full line of design tools, but this most suits my needs.

I am able to create fabulous renderings, shop drawings, budgets, reports, cut-lists and generate CNC code all from within one robust program.

I am in the early stages of stumbling around with it, so to do a post about it's workings at this point would be a bit premature, but please know it's in the works. What I've learned thus far is it is simple to use, and the interface in which I work is great.

I tried about 5 other programs available, and was amazed at the user-friendliness and the quality of renderings. I rely on the drawings from the computer to help my clients visualize what their final product will look like. It needs to have some polish. It needs to paint a nice clean picture.  CV does this. Every other program I looked at was a bit disappointing in this area.

The other selling point was the user interface. I've been using Sketchup for several years now, and the interface is clean, easy, and to the point. It looks great to an outsider, but more important, it's easy to work with. AutoCAD is the same way, as is RhinoCAD. When I looked at some of the other options to me, I found their interface to look old, outdated, clunky and hard to navigate.

In regards to learning the software. Included with the new tool is plenty of training. Lots of online videos, personal one on one training sessions, and unlimited tech support by phone. So far, I've had it for about 2 months and have yet to call in or email a question. I've designed 2 kitchens, and a handful of other cabinets on it and have made it work. Granted, I still need training. I need a lot of it. I've only scratched the surface of it's potential. I spent over 1.5 hours trying to place a window in the middle of a wall with another program with NO luck. I was able to figure out how to custom shape parts and download CAD drawings and install them into the current project I was working on within about an hour.  Bye bye other program.

Go to their website and check out the promotional videos. It will impress you for sure. It did me.

You may be asking yourself..... What's different about some fancy program apposed to Skethcup? Imagine this: Say your building a house from the ground up. First lets dig out the foundation with a big machine. Great no problem. First though, you have to build the machine one nut and bolt at a time. Then, you have to go dig up the rock that is used to make the concrete. Then cut down the tree that makes 2x4 lumber. On and on it goes. Get the idea? The process is possible, but VERY slow. I would prefer to go rent a backhoe, call the concrete company to have some mud delivered, and have the lumber dealer supply me with kiln dried lumber. Quick and easy.

With the new software, all of those tools, all of those parts already have been made for me. All I need to do it ask for one. From a sheet of plywood, an 8/4 piece of walnut or a knife hinge. The items already exist in the system and are ready to play with all the other parts stored in there as well.

Now that I have the raw ingredients to make my piece of furniture, I tell the computer how to make it. I have the flexibly to "store" my building methods in the memory of the computer. I simply tell the program that I always use .625" maple for my drawer sides, and I always use Grass 3D softclose drawer slides, and the computer knows that every time a cabinet with a drawer in it pops up, it has all the info needed to add the drawers. It knows the size, cost and material count for everything, every time. Certain parts of this are available with Sketchup, however I would 80 by the time I had all this info stored and accessible.

I know this only tickles your tastebuds, but again, I promise. More is coming very soon. It really has been fun getting to know the new tool

When I do my review, are they any questions you would like answered or topics covered. I will certainly do my best.

Until then... Thanks for reading. See ya next time.


1 comment:

  1. I watched one video - that software looks pretty cool and very comprehensive. From the look of it, SketchUp is not even in the same league, or would require a lot of plug ins to do the same thing. Can't wait to learn more.