KCDw and Thermwood

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Ken Susnjara
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KCDw and Thermwood

Postby Ken Susnjara » Mon, Nov 12 2007, 2:55PM

You will all be getting this email shortly but I though you might like a sneak preview.

Good News for KCDw Users

I know a lot of eCabinet Systems users also use KCDw and since the Las Vegas show we have been working with KCDw to develop a “Job Level” interface between their software and Thermwood CNC routers. Well, It’s done!

One of the biggest benefits of using eCabinet Systems, and now KCDw, with Thermwood’s routers is that the software and the machine communicate at the “Job” level. In short this means that the entire job, everything….. cabinets, dovetail drawers, doors, moldings….. everything, is in a single file. The Thermwood control has the ability to sort this all out, creating the nests and CNC programs automatically. Then it guides the operator through the job, step by step.

All other software currently work at the “part” level. This means that the nests and CNC programs are created in the software, not in the control. This means you need a separate CNC program for each nested sheet, a separate CNC program for each flip operation, and a separate CNC program for any other parts you want to make. This can mean a 100 or more programs for a single job. And, each of these programs must be tailored for each machine they run on.

There are three fundamental benefits to working at the “job” level rather than the “part” level. First, it’s more productive. It is a lot easier to load one program and follow the instructions than to fumble with a 100 or more individual files. Remember, the machine is not running when you are sorting files. In fact, a job level interface can be up to twice as productive as a part level interface and the possibility of making a mistake is much lower.

The second advantage of “Job Level” interfaces is that they work on any machine. The machine’s control automatically takes into account table size, head configuration, available vacuum, and a hundred other factors when it creates the CNC programs. When you work at the part level, you must take these factors into account when you create the programs and, the programs will only work for the one machine with that exact configuration. With “Job Level” interface you can freely exchange programs between machines. With “Part Level” interface you cannot.

This feature makes Thermwood’s Production Sharing program work. About a hundred shops currently machine parts for others and their ability to efficiently do this is based on “Job Level” communications.

The third advantage to “Job Level” communications is that you can easily and efficiently incorporate partial sheets left form previous jobs into new jobs. Since the nests are created within the control, it is easy to add partial sheets to a job right at the machine. In fact, the control prints a bar code label for the left-over sheets to make it even easier to input them into new jobs. While this ability theoretically exists at the part level, it is difficult and complex and few actually do it, instead simply scrapping anything left over. This feature can mean a lot of money saved over time.

Now, all the benefits of “Job Level” communications are available to KCDw users as well as eCabinet Systems users. It also gives KCDw users the ability to tap into Thermwood’s Production Sharing program and it gives Production Sharing Members another major market for their services.

KCDw is the first of what we hope will be a number of software companies that embrace “Job Level” communications. We are currently working with every major software vendor to make this happen. KCDw is the first to complete this development including field tests and the new Job Level Interface is now available directly from KCDw. You can contact them directly at 508 760-1140.

Michael Kowalczyk
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Postby Michael Kowalczyk » Mon, Nov 12 2007, 5:22PM

Hey Ken,
Sounds great that others are thinking at the \"job\" instead of just \"part\" level. I called KCDw and asked them which package would work with it and he suggested the 1 button first and then I explained that we did not need the G-code or cam side of it just the layers. The Designer package starts at around 3K and other modules go up to 8k and more.

Ken was there a specific package that is set up for this? Do we as Thermwood CNC owners need to have KCDw at all? What version does someone who wants one of us Production sharing members need to run their parts need to have? I mention this because we can look at the job in Ecabinets and just about anyone can open a DXF file to look at it if needed but I am wondering how we as Production sharing members can look at a KCDw file to proof it or just hope that all the construction methods are set up correct?

Sorry but it seems redundant that if they have Ecabinets why would they need KCDw? Is there something that KCDw can do that Ecabinets can't?
I do not have their current version only a 2-3 year old trial version but can not think of anything that we can not do in Ecabinets.

Now I do realize that if they have made the investment in KCDw that this would be a great benefit to them and to us Production sharing members. Better efficiency for both sides.
Michael Kowalczyk, GM

HP-Elite Quad Core Q6700-4 MB ram, Nvidia GeForce 512 MB Dual HP 22" flat panels, Windows 7 ultimate 64bit SP1

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Postby Michael S Murray » Mon, Nov 12 2007, 6:44PM

Hi Mike,
I beleive the idea is to make it easier on us as thermwood owners to cut files produced by kcdw owners that are already up and running with that software. We can take their files as a whole job to the machine, nest and write code for the entire job just like we can with e-cabs files sent to us. I guess the question you asked about checking their files is a good one. I dont beleive we would be able to open their files and take a look at them(or trouble shoot them) without kcdw software and knowing how to use it. I guess we would have to make it clear that whatever they send us is what will be cut and that we will not be checking their files for inaccuracies.If all software developers would co-op with this it would open up a lot of potential customers to any one looking to cut for others.
Mike Murray
Versatile Cabinet & Solid Surface
mike@versatilecabinet.com
http://www.versatilecabinet.com

Gene Davis

Another forum subsection?

Postby Gene Davis » Mon, Nov 12 2007, 8:41PM

If KCDw job files will readily run on Thermwood routers, then . . .

. . . how about a new sub-forum here for KCDw users?

I am told that KCDw is easier to learn and use than eCabs.

From what I see at their website, their renderings go wider angle than eCabs renderings, which I like.

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Postby Mark Taylor » Mon, Nov 12 2007, 9:26PM

Ken...will they be charging their users for the interface or will it be made available as an update?

Mark

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Postby Michael Kowalczyk » Tue, Nov 13 2007, 1:36AM

Michael,
I understand what you are saying but it would be really hard to collect money for kitchen or get repeat business if the client sends us a bad file and we tell them too bad it was your file and your mistake. Sorry that they do not fit the way you thought they would. It would would hurt us more to send out expensive firewood. I am just trying to look ahead at a possible problem. Ken and the Thermwood team may have already solved it. I would rather tell a new customer that there is a problem with their job an here is a way to correct it or I can do it your way but you understand that I have brought this to your attention and if you want me to still cut it this way please sign here...Maybe I have been spoiled with Ecabinets but I like to see what I am going to cut and know what I am getting into to plan out the day.

Gene,
People will always say their's is easier because they have invested money or time in\"Their Software\" I would say spend the 45.00 for the trial and see for your self how easy it is or isn't.
Michael Kowalczyk, GM

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Postby Michael S Murray » Tue, Nov 13 2007, 7:57AM

Michael K.
I am with you on that problem, definetly something that would need to be dealt with. I am not sure how to deal with it. I know that I would not be interested in purchasing kcdw to cut the occasional file, let alone finding the time to learn it. I am sure the guys have thought about this and might have some insight.

Gene D.
Please buy the whole kcdw screen to machine package and report back to us how great and superior it is. Once again I would ask you, who is forcing you to use e-cabs?
Mike Murray

Versatile Cabinet & Solid Surface

mike@versatilecabinet.com

http://www.versatilecabinet.com

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DanEpps
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Re:

Postby DanEpps » Tue, Nov 13 2007, 8:30AM

Michael S Murray wrote:...Gene D.
Please buy the whole kcdw screen to machine package and report back to us how great and superior it is. Once again I would ask you, who is forcing you to use e-cabs?


Don't forget to let us know how great their support is and how helpful the user community is too.

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Ken Susnjara
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Postby Ken Susnjara » Tue, Nov 13 2007, 9:04AM

This development and the connections with all other software are intended to offer some new tools. Allowing all software to work easily with our machines should give us an added advantage in the market. Today, software companies spend an inordinate amount of time and effort trying to make their systems work with each and every machine. With these new interfaces, this effort is not needed when their software runs a Thermwood. At the same time, these new tools should offer some advantages to Thermwood machine owners. We do not know exactly how it will develop and in my opinion, you will likely need to buy any software you plan to run parts from. This is a business investment from which you should generate a return and whether this makes sense for you will vary between shops. We are trying to make eCabinet Systems do what our Members want but each software company has a different focus and different strengths and weaknesses. If all software was exactly the same, there would be none but eCabinet Systems since it is free. Obviously many shops are willing to pay other software companies for the differences since most software suppliers are doing fairly well. We are trying to broaden the appeal of our machines and make nested based easier and more popular. In the process we are broadening the possibilities for Thermwood machine owners. Some will embrace them and find ways to make a profit from them. Many others will not embrace these possibilities but, it’s nice to know you could if you ever want to.

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Postby George Davidson » Tue, Nov 13 2007, 11:45AM

Just playing with KCDw and e-Cabinet Systems
Attachments
E-Cab_Lady.jpg
E-Cab_Lady.jpg (148.62 KiB) Viewed 2025 times
E-Cab_Green_2.jpg
E-Cab_Green_2.jpg (152.83 KiB) Viewed 2025 times
KCDw_High.JPG
KCDw_High.JPG (83.76 KiB) Viewed 2026 times

Michael Kowalczyk
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Postby Michael Kowalczyk » Tue, Nov 13 2007, 11:54AM

Thanks Ken for the reply.
I understand where you are going with this but I am going to present a request here for someone either from Thermwood or an Ecab member that has KCDw to post a simple job here so we can test this and let us know what the MINIMUM KCDw is needed to achieve these job level files. Nothing elaborate just a few base cabs and a few uppers that have one of the following: 1 with Blind dado and fixed shelves and 1 KD joints and adjustable shelves. Each labeled so we can see what they look like in CN. You can make other combinations also, please just label them so we know what to look for.

Oh Ken! I just thought of another question. Does this option require Gen 2 or is 5.05 OK to use?

Thanks and I appreciate your vision and continued efforts to make owning a Thermwood CNC an incredible asset,(250)
Michael Kowalczyk, GM

HP-Elite Quad Core Q6700-4 MB ram, Nvidia GeForce 512 MB Dual HP 22" flat panels, Windows 7 ultimate 64bit SP1

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Ken Susnjara
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Postby Ken Susnjara » Tue, Nov 13 2007, 6:24PM

I believe that this will work with any Thermwood control that has control nesting. I am not sure whether you need an update or not. Perhaps one of the software guys could chime in. Also, I believe that this interface will be a separate product from KCDw. You need to check with them for details. You might also want to ask them about the minimum system needed to verify a job.

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Larry Epplin
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Postby Larry Epplin » Wed, Nov 14 2007, 8:55AM

Michael,

The file provided from KCDw can be loaded the same as a twd from eCabinet Systems. It is an mdb. Both Gen 2 and 5.05 or higher are supported.

Larry

Michael Kowalczyk
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Postby Michael Kowalczyk » Wed, Nov 14 2007, 12:51PM

Ken and Larry,
Thanks for the clarification(s). I will follow up with them to see what the minimum package is that will allow viewing.

Larry or George or anyone else with KCDw,
Can you post a simple MDB file here, so we can run a quick test?

Thanks,(400)
Michael Kowalczyk, GM

HP-Elite Quad Core Q6700-4 MB ram, Nvidia GeForce 512 MB Dual HP 22" flat panels, Windows 7 ultimate 64bit SP1

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Glenn Van Reason
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Postby Glenn Van Reason » Wed, Nov 14 2007, 3:38PM

Mdb, sounds like a standard database file....
This message made from recycled electrons.


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