CabWriter 2.0 Planned Features

At right you’ll find a partial list of features that are being considered for CabWriter version 2.0.  This list could change as new information becomes available or because of feedback from our beta testers; features may be added, changed, or deleted based on your feedback.

It is important to understand that CabWriter is intended to be a low cost, but powerful tool for the cabinetmaker to quickly and efficiently design cabinets. This means that we can’t possibly include every feature that the high priced programs have or the cost of the program will make it prohibitive to our target customers. This also means that we can’t automate every function, so the user will need to use the powerful native SketchUp tools to perform some operations.

Our goal for version 2.0 is to add the features needed to fill some of the gaps that 1.x has that will satisfy a good portion of the needs of most of our users.  Anything that we don’t get to in this version will be added to the list and considered for future versions. However, because of the complexity and cost, there are some categories of features that we simply won’t be able to integrate into CabWriter, at least not for version 2.0 and possibly beyond. Those categories include:

  • Advanced Hardware Support – There have been a number of requests to add extensive support for hinge and drawer slide libraries from the different manufacturers such as Blum, Hafele, Grass, etc. This is a huge effort to maintain a database of these items in order to automatically support them. Unfortunately, this is out of the scope of a software package in this price range. The approach CabWriter has taken is to provide the ability for the user to specify where to drill the holes for the drawer slides and hinges you are using in your design. This requires the user to look up the specification and add them to the parameter list for the cabinet being drawn and will remain our philosophy for now.
  • Additional Joinery Options – In 2.0, we will be adding support for more carcass joinery options such as dados, rabbets, tongue and groove, and captured backs. These are popular construction methods that we currently don’t support and feel that it’s appropriate to add. One of the reasons these make sense to have in CabWriter is because they affect the cutlist and DXF export and if you’re using these methods and have a CNC, you will need that information on the DXF in order to cut the joinery. We’ve had a number of requests to add support for pocket holes, Domino’s, biscuits, and other similar construction techniques. While it is possible to have CabWriter draw these connections, it is not something we feel is appropriate for the software to do. None of these connection methods affect the cutlist and are not cut on a CNC, so having them in the model would be strictly for layout purposes only.  The amount of cost to implement them would drive up the price of the software, but not add a lot of benefit.  However, there may be some types of connectors, such as selected knock-down hardware, that can be milled on a CNC that we will consider supporting in the future.
  • Partitions and Integrated Toe Kicks – CabWriter is currently designed around the concept of individual boxes connected together on top of a separate toe kick base to make a cabinet rather than one large box with partitions in the middle.  This is how nearly all frameless cabinets and most high end custom face frame cabinets are constructed in the industry, because of it’s efficiency, which is why CabWriter started this way.  For more information on this construction method, click here.  Unfortunately, in the short term, there are some technical difficulties that will prevent us from adding partition support to version 2.0 and we won’t have the capacity to add integrated toe kicks to this version due to the large list of other features we need to add.  However, we are looking at a couple of possible small additions, that combined with native SketchUp tools, could allow a user to implement integrated toe kicks, but we’re making no promises at this point.

Planned Features:

  • More complete frameless implementation including support for basic edge banding, automatic drawing of end panels, and numerous other improvements. Our goal is to make version 2.0 a complete solution for frameless construction.
  • Support for dado/rabbet and tongue and groove carcass construction, including captured backs. This includes support for qualified rabbets and dados that will automatically compensate the joinery and cutlist based on actual plywood thickness.
  • CabWriter CNC will add support for dados, rabbets, and tongue and groove to the DXF support so the joinery can be cut on a CNC.
  • Ability to add cutouts to carcass parts that can be exported to DXF.
  • Support for multi-height cabinets, such as over a range to accommodate a range hood.
  • Numerous smaller feature additions.

* Note that the above features are currently in the planning or early implementation stages and could change or be deleted based on new information as we move forward.