A New Approach to Custom Cabinets

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Ken Susnjara
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A New Approach to Custom Cabinets

Postby Ken Susnjara » Wed, Aug 26 2009, 4:04PM

We have developed a new approach to nested based production that makes running custom cabinets easier than ever so I thought I would tell you about it.

The new approach is based on running cabinets and closets at one of three levels. The easiest level, which is new, we call “QuickCut”. It targets folks who want to make custom cabinets the easiest way possible. With QuickCut, everything is done at the machine. You simply select and resize cabinets from a library in the machine control and then cut them. You don’t need software, extra computers, training or anything else….you just need the machine. It’s not much more complex than running a copy machine.

The next level, which is the way we work with eCabinet Systems, we call “Job Level”. At this level, a single job file is sent to the control. The control nests and runs the job. It’s a lot easier than dealing with dozens of individual CNC programs which is how design software works with other CNC routers. We can work with individual CNC programs, which is the third level, but that doesn’t normally make sense if job level output is available.

Today, you can get job level output to Thermwood’s control from 20-20 Technologies, Cabinetvision, Cabinetware, KCDw and Microvellum as well as eCabinet Systems.

The really new part of all this is ”QuickCut” which could attract a whole new group of users and can make running a CNC easier even for more technically capable shops. Most CNC shops have one, or perhaps a couple of folks that can run the machine. With our new approach, about anyone can run a CNC machine.

This system is now standard with any nested based system from Thermwood and can be retrofitted to existing Gen2 controls in the field. You need a new THM operating system in the control, but at that point, you simply install Version 6 of eCabinet Systems in the control to get “QuickCut”. Note, a beta Version 6 is being used for now since we are only using the batch input area for this application. If you are on the Advanced Support Program and have an up to date system, this new technology is a free upgrade.

We are pretty excited about this. If you are already running Cabinet Systems or any other compatible software, this makes running the CNC a lot easier so more of your folks should be able to do it. If you know someone that is not into software, we now have an approach that will work for them too. If you know some of these folks, send them our way. You can get more information on our web site at http://www.thermwood.com/header/nested_based_manufacturing.htm

By the way, keep an eye out for a new low cost 5x10 CabinetShop machine which we should officially announce within the next week or two.

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Re: A New Approach to Custom Cabinets

Postby Joe Dusel » Wed, Aug 26 2009, 7:27PM

Hey Ken, dumb question for you. I read the info and the page I read also talked about a Model 43 machine. I went to the products page and saw nothing about the Model 41. Is this machine gone? Is Thermwood only making 5 x 10 and larger cabinet shop machines now? I guess I was hoping that Thermwood might be coming up with a 5HP 4 x 8 machine that ran on a lower voltage so that a transformer is not required. I can't be the only small shop out here that doesn't have a ton of space and unlimited power.

Thanks,

Joe
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Ken Susnjara
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Re: A New Approach to Custom Cabinets

Postby Ken Susnjara » Wed, Aug 26 2009, 8:16PM

The 4x8 41 is still availab le but it costs more than the 5x10 43. Power requirements are not that much different and both require a transformer for 220V. You can get the 43 with rollers so you can move it out of the way when you don't need it which might help some.

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Neville Bastian
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Re: A New Approach to Custom Cabinets

Postby Neville Bastian » Sat, Aug 29 2009, 10:16PM

Great Ken,
Good to see another one of your ideas coming to the fore.
I don't know about other parts of the world but we seem to be doing more flat pack kitchens. Is there any way you can think of a way to keep a track of the parts that belong to a kitchen, so when we pack them up which is normally done by someone who is not the sharpest chisel in the tool box, that all things are accounted for.
I thought maybe something linked into the label file data that generates the report. This would be very handy.
Maybe others have a good idea that already works for them?

Regards

Neville
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Kerry Fullington
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Re: A New Approach to Custom Cabinets

Postby Kerry Fullington » Sun, Aug 30 2009, 8:46AM

Neville,

I think you can print a color coding on the labels now that help with the sort. I will try to find the thread talking about it.

Kerry

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Ken Susnjara
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Re: A New Approach to Custom Cabinets

Postby Ken Susnjara » Sun, Aug 30 2009, 8:56AM

I think our new control nesting system may do what you want. If you use a color label printer, a color code dot will be printed on each label to indicate which cabinet the part belongs to. The red parts are one cabinet, the blue parts another, etc. This makes sorting into individual cabinets easier. Then, you can machine assembly marks into each joint of each cabinet. During assembly, put the joints with one dot together, the joints with two dots together, etc. In either blind dado or full dado, these marks are hidden after assembly. This is about as simple as it gets.

We have been modifying the libraries to add assembly marks for use with the new QuickCut feature. These QuickCut libraries will be available on our free library download area.

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Re: A New Approach to Custom Cabinets

Postby Neville Bastian » Sun, Aug 30 2009, 10:13PM

Thanks Ken & Kerry I had forgot about the colour label printer option. I have been using a spare Zebra mono printer when Doug went off the scene down under and the labels were hard to get with the Dymo label writer 400 turbo. What printer is Thermwood recommending for colour label printing? Does it fit into the Dymo holder?
With the colour dots that's a great idea but it would still be handy to have a summary list of parts that make up the list of parts printed with the labels. This could be a simple csv that when the labels are printed, a computer report is generated. You could use a standard Thermwood report printout or access the file and sort the way you want it with third party software.
Regards

Neville
Neville Australia

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Paul Ford
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Re: A New Approach to Custom Cabinets

Postby Paul Ford » Sun, Aug 30 2009, 11:22PM

Hi Neville,
When CN prints out your nesting sheets (The A4 ones) you can set it to show part names etc if this helps?
I know over an entire kitchen it will be quite a few sheets of paper and the print out wont be in any particular order but it could be a start...

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Re: A New Approach to Custom Cabinets

Postby Jason Susnjara » Mon, Aug 31 2009, 8:46AM

Hi Neville,

Thermwood doesn't reccomend any printer as they should all work. We use the dymo label printer but they print from rolls and only in black and white (unless they make one for color) so any sheet printer should do the job.
Jason Susnjara
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Re: A New Approach to Custom Cabinets

Postby FredHirsch » Mon, Aug 31 2009, 10:46AM

Neville,
We don't flat pack entire kitchens but more individual cabinets... The guy at the machine forwards the nest printout with parts, along with the "Buy List" (for hardware) that I sent out attached to work order, and he cuts a box(es) out of 4'x8' cardboard. All this goes on the part cart. The guy at the THM machine sets the pace for these. I'm not sure how that nested printout would work all jumbled up with the cabs on different sheets, because I'd imagine you'd want to get the cabinet parts together? If nothing else it would give them a part count for the shipment.

Fred
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