What Would You Like to See in Design Sharing?

Place to discuss only the "Design Sharing" aspects of the eCabinet Systems software.

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Jason Susnjara
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Postby Jason Susnjara » Fri, Jul 27 2007, 9:15AM

Just remember guys, that cabinets are not the only items that can be added. For instance, in the latest eCab magazine, Jeff Norris had a workbench that he could add as a standalone piece. Almost every cabinet shop needs a workbench of some sort. I know that once we get done building our office furniture here, we will be adding the whole line to design sharing for members to use.
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Re: What Would You Like to See in Design Sharing?

Postby Mike Snodgrass » Wed, Oct 24 2007, 9:57PM

Kerry Fullington wrote:I could be wrong but it seems there is not much interest from members in Design Sharing. What would members like to see available through Sharing, vent hoods, islands, mantels, furniture pieces (hutches, tables, desks, beds, armoires) or more full cabinet libraries utilizing different construction techniques? Would you like a collection of specialty cabinets using radius and clipped corners and columns, refrigerator cabinet using pediments, vanities with legs? Would you like more closet and garage systems such as the suspended systems? Do you want architectural items such as mantels, over mantels, wainscot and paneled walls? Would you like to see display items such as passage and entry doors and columns? I would like to see a broad selection of all these things available. How do we get the ball rolling on this and increase participation?
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sorry for above

Postby Mike Snodgrass » Wed, Oct 24 2007, 10:02PM

Kerry, I would think quite a few would be interested in vent hoods.

That's just my opinion and the batteries need replaced in my crystal ball.

I would be curious what the designs would look like. I usually don't get to do many traditional looks. People are always wanting curved designs.

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Postby Bob Blaney » Wed, Dec 05 2007, 7:01PM

I just reinstalled eCabinet because I want to design a china cabinet. After install I immediately went to design sharing to see what others had designed. If I found anything then I would consider paying for the design as a start.
Well, I did not find one china cabinet or anything that remotely resembled one. Or else I did not look in the right category( I think not).
As a cabinetmaker and designer I will gladly review other designs to save time. However if you cannot find any then what is the point?

I guess I start from scratch and build my own cabinet design. Maybe when I get it refined enough I may add it to design sharing.
I am not trying to be negative, just pointing out what I found or did not find.

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Postby Kerry Fullington » Thu, Dec 06 2007, 8:30AM

Bob,

I want to add some individual pieces like the one below to design sharing. I just haven't gotten it done. I too wish there would be more involvement with design sharing. It is a great idea but will require input from many members.
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hutch.jpg
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Postby Rick Palechuk » Thu, Dec 06 2007, 9:03AM

Nice job Kerry.

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Postby Brian Shannon » Thu, Dec 06 2007, 11:50AM

That is a nice design Kerry. I would also like to submit some designs but haven't had time. Now that my workload has slowed, maybe I can. There is a lot of potential for the Design Sharing.

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Postby Bob Blaney » Thu, Dec 06 2007, 6:42PM

Kerry,
Thanks for sharing the china cabinet that you did. Very nice piece. Now that would be one I would purchase as a starting point.
A lot of the design work for doors and moldings is done and can be modified.

Hope you do put some of your items up on design sharing. And you are correct, it does not work unless there are many contributors, especially for furniture.

Bob Blaney
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Bob Blaney
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Kerry Fullington
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Postby Kerry Fullington » Thu, Dec 06 2007, 8:50PM

Thanks All,

Bob,

That Hutch is an old design that I have used different configurations of for different customers. I haven't put it into design sharing because I used corner posts that were from a vendor that isn't part of the system. I have now created the tools to turn the corner blocks and the fluted corners that I used in that piece. I also want to create tools for the molding that I actually use. I have had custom molding knives made for all these profiles and I would include the eCab tools to copy them so that you could either have knives made or the moldings could be modeled on a Thermwood.

The same goes for my vent hoods and other furniture pieces. I want all of the ornaments, legs, moldings etc. to either be available through a Cooperative vendor or be able to model them on a router.

I will get busy.

Kerry

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Re: What Would You Like to See in Design Sharing?

Postby TonyGiunta » Sat, Dec 22 2007, 12:44PM

I have noticed also that the Design Sharing program has seemed to languish. And I have continually thought in depth about how Thermwood, eCabinet Systems and this Network could enhance the capabilities of its members to be more profitable. Among other things, this would include a greater participation in the Design Sharing program. All of the contributors to this post have made valid points as to the lack of participation. I also feel, from a business point of view, that some of the reasons that make a Network successful i.e. free open participation on a equal diplomatic platform with a wide variety of input, could also impede success and the speed of success by its democratic nature. Lacking a well-planned guideline aligned with proven industry best practices the Design Sharing program may continue to not achieve the potential it has. I think Kerry was making an effort to “define the problem” in hopes of reaching a consensus to move forward in a more streamlined manner. The general lack of participation in the Design Sharing program is a complicated issue with many facets. Personal taste and style preference alone and which of the styles are “in demand” and in “which markets”. Should the designs reflect Country, Victorian, Asian, Contemporary, Arts and Crafts, Deco or Mid Century Modern? As most of us are aware, everything starts with the customer/sale, all else follows. The reason why we all (not including the just for pleasure hobbyist) want more Design Sharing participation is to be able to free up some personal time and mostly make us more money. And in that light I see the Design Sharing program as only a part of a greater program designed to make us more successful. I think what is necessary is to define Target Markets and then solicit and select Designs that will meet those needs. That process I would consider as an “industry best practice”. Of course there are many Target Markets to go after: Residential, Contract, Commercial, Educational, Healthcare, Store Fixture, Juvenile, Office… And within those there are High End, Middle Market and Low End. Top design talent tends not to design for Low End unless volume can make up for low margin i.e. Michael Graves for Target®. In this economy the Middle Market customer seems to be getting squeezed out. So I think for the volume of sales expected through the Design Sharing program and its members it may make best sense to target the High End customer. This probably is stating the obvious and this may already be your customer base. This base of High End customers may be trade professionals like Architects, Builders and Interior Designers or Retail private clients and they will tend to have sophisticated tastes. I think many top designers (perhaps outside of our network) may have apprehension in contributing designs cause they have a very personal attachment and pride to their designs feeling it is a reflection of themselves. So not only would they be concerned about being adequately compensated financially for their efforts, they are also concerned about how it would be represented in terms of who will be selling it, how will it be displayed (if at all) and marketed. If in a showroom, is the showroom in a garage or on Park Ave. NYC? Is the furniture covered in dust and have loose hardware or is it spotless and given the attention its creator would hope for? In short, would the seller’s representation harm or enhance their design, their baby and their brand? I apologize if this all seems over the top, but this is the way I look at it from my experience. I think that by stepping back a few steps and looking at how we currently run our businesses, we may be able to give better definition as to the expectations and management of the Design Sharing program. I hope that my comments have in someway continued to move this discussion forward rather that backwards. Precisely my point about the diplomatic nature of Networks!

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Re: What Would You Like to See in Design Sharing?

Postby TonyGiunta » Sat, Dec 22 2007, 12:46PM

I forgot. Happy Holidays everyone! :beer:

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Re: What Would You Like to See in Design Sharing?

Postby George Pennington » Sat, Dec 29 2007, 10:47AM

It isn't that I'd like to see it happen ... it has to happen. True design sharing must encompass artistic criticism. There can't be any lukewarm niceties ... there has to be passion. Do you like? Dislike? You must treasure the person who has the courage to say why. Time has no value, and opinions and explanations are priceless.
I would like to offer my work in Customer Images on Page 8. I designed these chairs. I use templates and home built fixtures. I would LOVE some feedback from CNC afficionados.

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Re: What Would You Like to See in Design Sharing?

Postby TonyGiunta » Tue, Jan 01 2008, 8:51AM

When I wrote my last post, I realized afterwards that I was confusing "Design Sharing" with "Furniture Network". My post was more geared to the Furniture Network and how that seems to lack momentum. Don't know which would be most beneficial to users, a successful Design Sharing program or Furntiure Network. It's personal most likely. My appologies for confusing the two different programs. I would post that in a Furniture Network category but there are none.

Regarding the Design Sharing program, I think that the lack of available free time of members could be the chief cause for lack of participation. Maybe if the categories ( hoods, entertainment centers, kitchens) were chosen and put in an order of priority as to which category submittals are wanted first. With that agreed category and and priority order, perhaps then a more solid recruitment effort to get design submittals to fill the chosen category could be made. I think this effort should be spearheaded by Thermwood and a few key power users i.e. Kelly Fullerton. Right now there are communication inefficiencies with just the use of the forum to solicit participation. Once an outline was established I think that Thermwood should embark on an email campaign soliciting members to submit designs for the category(s). Then also have instructions as to how to submit and where to submit. These emails should go out each month. These emails showing up in my inbox each month with a defined format, would be a better reminder than me to remember to log onto the forum and surf around to see what's new with program. As Kelly is pushing for, Define The Problem then Solve The Problem. Once submittals for each category comes in they should go into specially created and managed sections on the forum that make it easy for members to retrieve when they want a design, like ventilation hoods, and not have the member have to search the current way, which is time consuming. I hope this post was more on target than my last.

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Re: What Would You Like to See in Design Sharing?

Postby Kerry Fullington » Wed, Jan 02 2008, 7:51AM

Tony,

Submitting a design or library is painless.
Open ecabinets and click the Design Sharing Icon just right of the shopping basket.
A form will open guiding you through the submittal. It allows you to categorize your design, add the pictures you want to display on the Member Store and then it compresses the files for you to burn to a CD and mail to Thermwood. They will do the rest.
I have enough server space for my website that I have been able to upload the files to a location on that server and the folks at eCabinets download the files instead of having to send a CD.

You can share any design. If it is attractive to others it will sell.

If you sell a design for $25 and 1000 members buy that design then you have something. If you have five cabinet designs selling for $25 and 1000 members buy them then you really have something.

It is not only sharing designs to help out other members. It could turn into a very profitable business.
You have to create these designs for customers anyway, share them and get some payment for your efforts.

Kerry

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Re: What Would You Like to See in Design Sharing?

Postby TonyGiunta » Wed, Jan 02 2008, 9:17AM

Hey Kerry,

Happy New Year. Well I guess we're back to square one in Defining the Problem. Even-though, as you point out, it's a simple matter to submit designs and can be a lucrative effort in doing so, still something is preventing the program to be more successful. Is it a lack of awareness? Maybe. If so, I think my email suggestion may guarantee a better hit rate regarding "continually" getting the message out about the procedures and benefits. Thermwood has probably near 95% of members email. That's members who could be reminded to submit that last customer design they did, an why not just include a set of instructions again. Then the instruction will always be handy WHEN someone decides to share a design. I do still think the program remains not as well defined and structured as it could be. Maybe we could try and think like a car salesperson, how do they get potential customers (design submitting members) to come into their showrooms and kick the tires? Would some sort of incentive program encourage participation i.e. Contest by Thermwood for the best Kitchen design, best Entertainment Center, voted by members poll, 1st prize 25% discount on your next Woodworkers Supply internet order?? I don't know, just my two cents worth. I think if we keep getting members input on what they think the problem is, a consensus as to what are the main issues hindering program success, then an attack plan could be developed.

Tony


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