Features and dates for Version 6?

Moderators: Jason Susnjara, Larry Epplin, Clint Buechlein, Scott G Vaal

Glenn Warner
Senior Member
Posts: 151
Joined: Wed, May 18 2005, 10:00AM
Company Name: Expressions in Wood
Country: UNITED STATES
Location: FLEMINGTON

Features and dates for Version 6?

Postby Glenn Warner » Wed, Jul 25 2007, 3:11PM

Can we get a peek at what's planned for version 6? I assume from history that its well on its way.

Thanks.
Glenn

User avatar
Ken Susnjara
Thermwood Team
Posts: 208
Joined: Wed, May 18 2005, 7:45AM
Location: Thermwood

Postby Ken Susnjara » Thu, Jul 26 2007, 8:43AM

Actually, Version 5.2 is coming before Version 6.

Our primary goal has been to combine and simplify. In 5.2, the custom layout area will be redone. The three separate areas (walls, cabinets and overall view) will be combined into a single layout area that we hope will be a lot easier to use. Another major change is that beginning with Version 6, the software will be able to be downloaded instead of requiring a CD. CDs will be available to those that want one but for most, both update and initial installation, they will be able to just download it. The reason we can do this is that we are integrating the software with the web store instead of duplicating all the items in the software itself. This dramatically reduces the file size and brings some of the really nice web store features into the software. This will also mean a faster cleaner door designer (check out how we do it on the web). We have another goal but we are not sure just when it will be complete, but the earliest is Version 6. That goal is to combine the two sections of the part editor with the constraint manager and make it all one area where everything can be done. There are a lot of other improvements we hope to add but this is a general overview of how things look right now.

Another area we are working on is something Joe Dusel referred to in another post. As a background, we have embraced the “next generation control” approach to the interface between the software and the CNC control. The “next generation” concepts are an outgrowth of a failed government initiative many years ago and although the program did not succeed the forward thinking ideas are really good and have been guiding our control development. The next generation approach sends data from the design software to the machine at the “Job” or “Design” level rather than the “Part” level. The traditional way is to use the design to create the CNC programs which are sent to the machine. All programming is done outside the machine. A typical kitchen could be a hundred or more files. The next generation approach is to send the entire job, at the design level, to the control as a single file. Programming is then done inside the control. The control then nests, creates the individual CNC programs, organizes the job and guides the operator step by step. The software does the software stuff and the machine does the machine stuff and the whole process is cleaner and more flexible. This is how we interface with eCabinet Systems and is why Production Sharing works, but all other software must currently work at the part level where the CNC programs must be tailored to each individual machine. We have met with all the major software suppliers and have come to an agreement with all of them to jointly develop a “Job” level link between their software and our machines.

When this is complete it means that anyone running any software could send a job file at the design level to a Thermwood CNC router and run it. For our Production Sharing Members it means a substantially larger market since they can easily run designs from anyone. We still have some work to do because it can be a long road from agreeing to do something and actually doing it but we plan to focus on this area and if it works it can be really good for everyone.

We have some other news that might be surprising but we are not quite ready to announce it yet. Stay tuned and read the forum.

Chris Robinson
eCabinets Beta Tester
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu, Jun 02 2005, 12:15PM
Company Name: Chris Robinson
Country: UNITED STATES
Location: 2309 Capistrano St.

Postby Chris Robinson » Thu, Jul 26 2007, 9:30AM

Hi Ken,

As you develop eCabs to output the jobs to the NextGen, how does this affect those of us with the 91000 Supercontrol?

Thanks,
Chris Robinson

Geo Noeth
Senior Member
Posts: 168
Joined: Fri, Jul 15 2005, 6:35PM
Location: Charlotte NC

Postby Geo Noeth » Thu, Jul 26 2007, 9:34AM

I'm wondering if the new version will scale down some of the system and memory requirements of the present system. It seems we are getting a bit top heavy.

User avatar
Ken Susnjara
Thermwood Team
Posts: 208
Joined: Wed, May 18 2005, 7:45AM
Location: Thermwood

Postby Ken Susnjara » Thu, Jul 26 2007, 10:12AM

We have been using the job level link since the beginning of eCabinet Systems so 91000 users are not negatively affected. These systems should also be able to run any new links that are developed although it may require a software update. As new features are added, you may want to update your system to a full Gen2. We have actually been shipping the Gen2 for over a year now and for these folks it may only be a simple software change. Older systems that use analog servos can also be updated without the need to change to digital drives. We have developed an interface board that handles the difference. This dramatically reduces the upgrade cost.

User avatar
Ken Susnjara
Thermwood Team
Posts: 208
Joined: Wed, May 18 2005, 7:45AM
Location: Thermwood

Postby Ken Susnjara » Thu, Jul 26 2007, 10:18AM

As for system requirements, we have been trying to reduce basic requirements and get better performance from minimal systems. In doing this, however, we do not want to reduce capability. You should already be starting to see some performance improvements and we will continue working on this but, it is actually not all that easy to do and is taking a lot of programming resources. Simpler operation and interfaces may also help in this area.

User avatar
Brian Shannon
eCabinets Beta Tester
Posts: 979
Joined: Thu, May 19 2005, 10:50PM
Location: Los Alamos, CA

Postby Brian Shannon » Thu, Jul 26 2007, 10:30AM

Ken,

I have a 91000 running Windows 2000 Pro. The original \"C\" drive was partitioned at 2G. With all the upgrades, PM, Carving, my \"c\" drive is full. Are you seeing a lot of this on the older(1999) machines and will this be a problem with these future upgrades?



Brian

Glenn Warner
Senior Member
Posts: 151
Joined: Wed, May 18 2005, 10:00AM
Company Name: Expressions in Wood
Country: UNITED STATES
Location: FLEMINGTON

Postby Glenn Warner » Thu, Jul 26 2007, 2:14PM

Ken,

Wow! Thanks for the reply. Coming from a software development background in my previous life, I am in awe of what you and your team have accomplished and your plans for the future. I'm not sure if its still in vogue, but have you ever thought of applying for the national Baldridge Quality award? I can't think of another outfit (maybe Apple) that so embodies all the key attributes of quality as does Thermwood.

Thanks again
Glenn

ps: memo to ecab users -- when is the last time you asked for a feature list and got a straightforward answer from the CEO, and in less than a day to boot?

User avatar
Dean Fehribach
Site Admin
Posts: 482
Joined: Mon, May 09 2005, 2:10PM
Company Name: Thermwood Corporation
Country: UNITED STATES
Location: Thermwood

Postby Dean Fehribach » Thu, Jul 26 2007, 2:42PM

To follow up on system requirements, the way I understand it the underlying graphics engine will still be OpenGL in version 6. This means that an OpenGL-optimized graphics card will still be the best way to go.

The Integrated Intel graphics processing engine is getting better with every new chipset, so who knows? While Microsoft seems focused on DirectX, Apple is working with Intel to make its OpenGL operating system better with Intel's integrated graphics so I'd say Intel will continue to make OpenGL improvements for their graphics subsystem.
Dean Fehribach
I.S. Mgr., Thermwood
Dell Workstation T1650 / XEON E3 / 8GB RAM / 1GB nVidia Quadro 600 / Windows 8 Pro x64

Chris Robinson
eCabinets Beta Tester
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu, Jun 02 2005, 12:15PM
Company Name: Chris Robinson
Country: UNITED STATES
Location: 2309 Capistrano St.

Postby Chris Robinson » Fri, Jul 27 2007, 8:34AM

Ken,

It's great to hear from you. I re-read the latest article in the eCab members magazine regarding the NextGen control. Did I understand the article correctly that basically, NextGen will eliminate the need for a cam?

In other words, would I be able to develop a complex part, let's say a 3d grape cluster, load it into the control and the control would look at the tools available and generate the appropriate cam?

Before I get too giddy, I wanted a better understanding. I wasn't entirely sure that the article was referring to layered dxf drawings.

What would be the advantages of current owners of 91000 Supercontrols upgrading to NextGen?

Thanks,
Chris

mikesand
Senior Member
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri, Jul 28 2006, 11:53AM
Location: Dallas Texs

Postby mikesand » Fri, Jul 27 2007, 7:25PM

Wow Ken,

Importing at the job level would be great! I see yall are still working hard at this.
Mike

User avatar
Ken Susnjara
Thermwood Team
Posts: 208
Joined: Wed, May 18 2005, 7:45AM
Location: Thermwood

Postby Ken Susnjara » Sat, Jul 28 2007, 9:02AM

To clarify, we already operate at the job level when sending jobs from eCabinet Systems to the Thermwood CNC. eCabinet Systems sends a single job file not a bunch of individual CNC files. We work at the design level when we import DXF files. DXF is a design file and it is sent directly to the control. The control does all the CAD functions and nesting needed to run the part. The control also has the ability to develop modeling programs for edge and molding profiles if appropriate tooling is not available. All these things exist today. We are working toward the ability to process three-dimensional data, such as carving scans, totally within the control but that doesn’t exist yet. The basic idea behind next generation controls is that only the design work is done outside the control. Everything else is done in the control itself.


Return to “eCabinet Systems Software”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 36 guests