Success with the program

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Tim Massa
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Postby Tim Massa » Fri, Jun 01 2007, 4:48PM

Forrest, Dan

Thanks for the good advice. We are finding that the best way to run this kitchen will be to tear it apart and go thru, one by one, changing the material thickness of all the parts. Also realizing that assemblies are out for running the job. I've started to break them down and saving each component peice as an individual cab. This way were not hitting as many nesting issues and were able to turn objects on and off easier at the nesting filter. Now that I've gone back into the cabs I'm finding that about 1/3 of them have to be junked as the swarm of bugs comes out of the woodwork, pun intended. I've been doing battles with it up till three a.m. last night and started up again at 7 a.m. I will be working on it untill twilight or I start to lose all productivity.
I have floated the idea to Thermwood to give us bulletins via e-mail of known bugs that are getting replicated by others . The forum is invaluable but the idea of a service bulletin would help things immensely, IMHOP. The amount of times that I have called on a bug after grinding away on it and then be told that \"we're aware of it\" is greater than I'd like to share in pleasant company. If you know where the weeds are you might stand a greater chance of staying out of them. Would it not make sense to put out a bulletin much like detroit when a problem starts cropping up in the current version (car model) rather than hitting that trip wires, and losing alot of time (read money)?
All right, that's my two sorry cents for now, on this slow grope of a job completion. Still havn't been able to run it. Back in the swamp now, lotsa bugs to swat. Real blood suckers here.

Regards,
Tim

P.S. I'm still interested to hear from any small shop owners finding it successfull to sub out milling using only e-cabs. Any thoughts or tips for an approach to setting up a job for success will be appreciated. All the advice so far has been very helpfull. Thank you all.

Chris Robinson
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Postby Chris Robinson » Fri, Jun 01 2007, 5:54PM

Tim,

We're a small shop with a Thermwood cnc and occasionally cut for other shops. Honestly, I have abandoned using blind dados due to the erratic and inconsistent problems associated with them. Although, I didn't experience the picture 003 issue!

It's apparent that part of the issue with blind dados may be from trusting the change material thickness function at twd file creation. There are other posts regarding this. But that doesn't explain away all of them.

I have gone back to butt joint construction like I used back when I was busting up panels on a slider.

I don't think it's fair to assume that your cnc outsource partner is new or not with it. I started using eCabs on version1 & I use eCabs every day. I cut parts weekly, along with stuff that I have designed and machined using Rhino3d & Mastercam. But over the last 3 weeks, I've been bitten hard by eCab bugs. It's very frustrating and costly, not only to you but your cnc partner as well. I'm getting ready to go through all of my libraries again because I've found that with the last update, eCabs has sporadically changed shelf hole parameters. I'm worried about other parameters that may have been modified without warning. Plus, I have 2 jobs to cut for myself that comprise over 60 sheets of material and I no longer trust the designs. So, I'll end up redoing all of those cabinets before processing. Honestly, that's alot of money wasted in lost time.

Regarding part editor changes being dropped, I'm not sure what the trigger is. It's inconsistent.

The Bug Bulletin sounds like a good idea. I think complexity is the primary problem Thermwood is faced with from here on out. As we add new features, new bugs are created. You fix those bugs, new bugs may be triggered. It's a viscious circle. Problem is, unless you stop adding new features, bug issues will never go away. They'll continue to be a moving target. On the other hand, I'd like to keep my sanity. I like consistency and repeatability. Right now, I get this feeling of anxiety everytime I create a twd file and run on the router.

Thanks,
Chris

Forrest Chapman
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Postby Forrest Chapman » Fri, Jun 01 2007, 6:06PM

Chris,

I had no idea you were having these kinds of issues. I can't imagine giving up blind dados. I'd be very interested in what you are doing differently than me. I'd also be very interested in what others like David H. and Bill R. have been experiancing.

Forrest

Chris Robinson
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Postby Chris Robinson » Fri, Jun 01 2007, 6:24PM

Forrest, I'm inclined to think that my biggest issue with blind dados stemmed from using the material thickness adjustment at twd. I think that the inconsistent application of that function created the unpredictability. For me, it was easier to go back to butt joint and not spend hours upon hours troubleshooting, adjusting, recutting and cussing.

Possibly, if I have time tomorrow, I might run a test using a blind dado and NOT using the thickness adjustment feature at twd.

If I have time to run the test, I'll post the results.

Chris

Forrest Chapman
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Postby Forrest Chapman » Fri, Jun 01 2007, 6:42PM

Chris,

I agree. Its not likely to give you problems if not doing a thickness change. Its even more problematic when lots of part edits are involved. One way to help part edits is to constrain them. When beta testing this new feature way back I notice a huge improvment in adjusting cabs with part edits. Now I swear by them. The bottom line is create materials with accurate thickness. Plywood will vary but an average will serve you well.

Remember that we exsperience things in the real world application that the programmers don't always account for. They depend on us to help them work out these issues.

Forrest

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Bill Rutherford
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Postby Bill Rutherford » Sat, Jun 02 2007, 6:53AM

We cut blind dados every day, both for our own jobs and jobs for other shops. While they do require a bit of TLC every once in a while I could not imagine giving them up either.

As for material thickness I have to respectfully disagree with some of the other suggestions. We change material thickness on every job just before cutting it and aside from a known issue with the stretchers and a very occasional issue with part editor cuts we have a great amount of success.

Forrest.
As for your post on the missing hardware holes, this is a bug we have been working with for a while now. What I have seen though is that the association is missing right from the start. If you take one of your customer's cabinets and go into the default items screen my guess is the hardware hole pattern will be missing from the hardware description, then when you leave the defaul items screen the actual holes will dissappear from the cabinet. This one is quite a pain!!
Bill Rutherford
North Woods Manufacturing
Full service CNC Machining
and Edge Banding
http://www.northwoodsmanufacturing.com

Forrest Chapman
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Postby Forrest Chapman » Sat, Jun 02 2007, 9:58AM

Hey Bill,

I'm glad that the change thickness is working for you.

I did know why the hardware holes were missing and fortunatly for now the programers have fixed it. The fact that the defaults did not stick on my customers end is the only thing that got me off the hook, although I still feel badly that it wasn't caught in the machining stage.

Forrest

Jeff Norris
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Postby Jeff Norris » Sat, Jun 02 2007, 12:41PM

some may notice that I don’t post here much anymore, this is because of the many problems described above, I started with ecabs on version 1.5 and own three thermwood machines, I had high hopes for ecabs, but found I could not continue with the consistent bugs especially related to the blind dado, sure I have had many successes with ecabinets and produced many projects, but I feel that thermwood has rushed to add too many features into ecabinets too fast. Version 3.2 worked very well, but did not have many of the new features, I vote for reliability over features. I still use ecabs here and there. Recently I had a customer using ecabs and he wanted some parts cut, the files all looked good but we got parts with many errors, this is not the operator, this is the software. Sure I can send all the files to thermwood and wait for a fix, but I have decided to use more robust software and now I spend much more time enjoying myself. Thermwood seems to be quite successful now, I feel that this has taken a toll on their customer service. I have been waiting for more than a month to get a quote on a part that I can only get form thermwood, I have been waiting for more than two months for an upgrade to my control. I know that thermwood responds well when presented with bugs, but at a certain point perhaps they should reconsider releasing the product. These bugs cost the users lots of money. Especially when you are trying to make parts on one of thermwoods machines. Ecabinets is very powerful, but that power means nothing when you are consistently faced with glitches and bugs the hinder production.

Tim Massa
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Postby Tim Massa » Sun, Jun 03 2007, 10:28PM

It's after 11pm now and I'm experiecing all the worst things that you could imagine. The kitchen is currently brocken down into its fundemental parts. No more assemblies that are made up of individual cabs. All the cabinets have been gone thru and the materials have been changed to the real world average thicknesses recommended in the earlier posts. The 1/2\" baltic birch drawer box design used in the cabinets are redesigned with the proper material thicknesses and I've gone back and added them into all the cabinets that were getting them and resaved. I've batched all the cabinets together and gone to nesting filter and ran the batch thru with no problem. I then nested the batch. BIG problem. Half the cabinets that are getting the drawers will not take the newly designed drawer box. I've taken every offending drawer cabinet into cab editor and reinstalled the new drawer box only to get the old drawer box to nest again! I have tried it countless times now and the problem still persists. Tried to change the material in the batching editor and that was a real disaster with the subsequent nest. Never saw such weird results. This job and me are completely screwed. I think I'll be up all night redesigning a major amount of the cabinets from scratch. This software is really broken. It promises long and comes up short. I'm out, way out now, on this job.

Tim

Todd Miller

Postby Todd Miller » Mon, Jun 04 2007, 4:19PM

Tim,

Let's try to get clear on what is happening.

1.) The machining for your job resulted in dado problem. From our understanding the machine operator reported he was experiencing bit defection, which may have caused this issue. I have been in touch with John and he said he was going to be cutting today. I have tried calling him this afternoon, but was unable to reach him.

2.) The report of losing Part Editor cuts had to do with a display issue on the machine. We were informed that your drill operations appeared to be missing. This was actually not the case. The code was being generated properly. The graphics display in Control Nesting was simply failing to show the small drill holes due to resolution limitations. This is being addressed for Control Nesting currently and an update will be available in the future. It does not affect production. If there is another issue related to missing Part Editor operations other than this one please let us know.

3.) Changing material thickness when generating a twd is causing eCabinet Systems to crash. We are currently working on this issue and hope to have a patch out to fix this soon.

4.) Filtering the job for nesting in eCabinet Systems giving a door error message box. This is also being fixed. The next patch will address this issue as well.

5.) Door selection not working in the Door and Drawer Front Editor. This anomaly occurred due to placing partitions after applying inset doors. It does not affect the integrity of the cabinet. If you need to modify this cabinet you can select the doors and drawer front in the editor for deletion by pressing Ctrl-A to select them all. This quirk in the software will be address in a future version.

6.) You can't replace your drawer box? We're not sure what steps are being taken. Could you please provide us with the steps and related files that are giving you a problem?

We apologize for the inconveniences you have come across. We want to work with you to get these problems resolved.

David Hall
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Postby David Hall » Tue, Jun 05 2007, 8:36PM

We cut blind dados on almost every job. We change material thickness when creating TWD files on almost every job.

Success with blind dados requires careful control of fit and depth clearances, tool diameters, material thickness and waste board thickness. ... and even then, as Bill put it, you need to tweak it once in a while. Quality materials are easier to work with

So far, I'm only running build 3 on limited jobs, so my comments here may be dated.

I believe there are significant issues with part editor cuts, blind dado joinery, and material thickness changes. It's broken. It's very broken if your part editor cuts touch the joinery. It often helps to change the ecabs material used in the job to a material of the actual thickness, as Forrest suggested. (kinda like we had to do back in version 3)

eCabinets is a great program, backed-up by a top-notch company, but I share one poster's view that a focus on making the current feature set work more reliably and perform better, would be welcomed more than most new features... but I, like most, have my list, and understand the conflict.

The following is not aimed at any particular person, and certainly not Tim, the person that started this thread (I feel your pain). It is a general observation and not intended to insult anyone. If it offends you, read it again when you're in a better mood. If it still offends you, ignore it.

I think we as a user community can to do a better job of reporting bugs. First we need to increase the quantity of reports, (I'm as guilty as the next person of finding a work-around, getting the job out, and being too busy to document the problem) But they also need to be better reports. The best way to get something fixed, is to report it in a way that it can be repeated by the programmers, from scratch. \"From scratch\" means start with a Standard cabinet, from the current build, documenting all steps taken to achieve the unexpected result.

Next best is to provide a before and after example. Start with this, do x, y, z and get this.

If it can be repeated, it can be fixed. We can help.

Yes, it would be great if there was a way to access \"known issues\" but the resources required to maintain this list may be better spent elsewhere. I think the forum may be the right tool.

Best Regards,
Dave
David Hall
Hall's Edge Inc.
eCabinets Machining Services
http://www.HallsEdge.com

Douglas Walters
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Postby Douglas Walters » Tue, Jun 05 2007, 10:15PM

David,
I think you hit the nail on the head. 8)
D Walters
Wood Architects

Will Williamson
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beginner

Postby Will Williamson » Wed, Jun 06 2007, 1:13PM

Having just purchased a cs 45 and don't even have it on line this conversation is very discouraging.But I,ve chose the path I'm on and there is no turning back.
Will
Will

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KEG/Intel Core i 7 CPU K875 @ 2.93 GHZ/12G Ram
Dual boot XP PRO/Windows 7 Nvidia Quatro 600 1Gig Ram

Jeff Norris
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Postby Jeff Norris » Wed, Jun 06 2007, 1:25PM

will some advice, just keep it simple until you understand the complexities of the system, do not try to use all of the various functions in a grand design and then manufacture it under a short deadline. take your time and when you explore new functions be careful and do not expect everything to go as planned.


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