Software firms and cabinetmakers have two things in common: they both have a history of starting in garages. Cabinetmaker John Murphy started a custom cabinet shop in the garage of his home on Cape Cod, MA, in 1974. And he went on to become a software developer. As his shop grew, so did the work, and so Murphy spent many long hours drawing plans, figuring prices and calculating cutlists only to have his customers change their plans, requiring all new figuring.

As PCs arrived in the early 1980s, Murphy began writing applications to create error-free cutlists, and from that effort KCD Software was developed. Naturally, to get a cutlist, you need a design, so early developments provided customers with wall elevations and floor plans. This served a dual purpose of reducing shop errors and creating a detailed visual presentation that helped in the bidding process.

The first KCD Design software created in 1983 has evolved into KCD’s most robust offering, CNC Commander Suite for cabinet and closet makers. KCD Software packages include KCD Design, KCD Workshop, and KCD Doors Plus.

KCD debuted its Version 9 upgrade at the IWF show. Among its features are a 3D Express View for quicker 3-D views, with perspective guided by the mouse; a Change Color Group function that changes the color group by room; ability to put beading on frame cabinets; and export of hinging information as a text file from cabinet lists.

Importing 3-D Objects for Designs
The software can import 3-D objects (corbels or decocrative components) from other manufacturers. At IWF KCD announced the addition of the Osborne Wood Products’ and Adams Wood Products’ libraries. It is open to import any 3-D dxl file you can locate on the Internet, and KCD says it will be importing other 3-D libraries as well.

Perhaps because of its roots in cabinetry production, KCD says it differs from other software firms in its approach to implementation of the software in a shop, advising, assisting, supporting and training customers. It also says its software is easy to use to create vibrant 3-D closet and cabinet design renderings, then create price lists and when the job is won, connect directly to production. For users that want only design or design and pricing applications, KCD sells these modules separately.

KCD Software recently released an update of Version 9.050, which it says lets designers customize units even more easily with a new “configuration wizard.”

“You can fly with this software,” says KCD software sales manager Ken Frye. The update (available free to Version 9 users) allows designers to create a personal library of favorite cabinet and closet units, then save it to a readily accessible menu. Custom variations can become core components, which can be dropped in and modified for alternative design scenarios.

Working Better with Designers
“Units in the menu can be preset for all designers to a workable size for traditional or CNC production,” says Frye. “You’re creating a library that’s unique to you,” he says. “You’re saving, grabbing and going. It’s a huge time-saving device.”

KCD says its Version 9 configuration wizard is applicable for companies that want to distribute trademark designs to a network of professional designers, because it will assure the design files that are sent in will be functional for manufacturing. “This will help simplify the design and this will simplify production. They’ll be putting up designs that work,” Frye says.

For repetitive projects, like condos complexes or duplexes, Version 9’s configuration wizard saves time since whole room designs can be saved to the library. The update also includes a countertop edge profiler with ready-to-use countertop edges, so designers can create their own custom profiles when needed.

Learn more at kcdsoftware.com.


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