Just as important as the shop drawings, is the production documentation for your project. CabWriter can produce the following documentation from your model:
- Cut list – Spreadsheet compatible .csv and/or Cutlist Plus fx compatible file(s)
- Door and Drawer Schedule – Spreadsheet containing door/drawer front (pro only), and/or drawer box sizes.
- DXF Files – DXF file(s) containing all parts for each material type and thickness (CabWriter CNC Only). Click here for more details.
New in CabWriter 2: All production documentation is now created from a single dialog box, allowing the user to choose which scene to use for cut lists, door and drawer reports, and DXF export. Everything on that scene will be used to generate the documentation and a different scene can be used for each document type. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see how it works…
New in CabWriter 3: Selective Cutlist and DXF Export. Prevents hidden cabinets or parts on a scene from being exported to the Cutlist and/or DXF file. Handy for creating documentation for a subset of cabinets.
CabWriter has built in an additional set of tools called Cutlist Bridge that allow you to export all of the cabinet parts as a cut list including all of the common information such as:
- Part (component) number
- Quantities (copies)
- Thickness, width, and length
- Material name
- Finished thickness, width, and length (see below for explanation)
There are two options for exporting a cutlist, either as a Comma Separated Value (.csv) file, or as a Cutlist Plus fx Gold or Platinum compatible file. CSV files conform to a universal standard and are compatible with Excel or any other spreadsheet as well as a wide variety of other programs. Tab or semi-colon delimited file export is also available.
Cutlist Plus fx is a very versatile and cost effective cutlisting program that not only lets you manage your cutlist, but also facilitates material estimating, plywood optimization, label printing, and many other operations to help you be more efficient. If you choose, CabWriter will output a fully native file that Cutlist Plus can read in directly. If you don’t have a CNC, and want to save time and use your sheet goods most efficiently, CutList Plus’ plywood optimization functionality is a great choice.
Cutlist Bridge is the core technology that enables CabWriter to create cut lists from a SketchUp model and can be purchased as a standalone extension to work with any non-SketchUp model. Cutlist Bridge functionality is fully integrated into CabWriter and allows for attributes (i.e. material type and name, part type, oversizing, etc.) to be stored with each part in the model; which we call the Extended Entity Info. When CabWriter draws a cabinet, it automatically attaches these attributes to the parts based on parameters that the user sets for the project. For example, if the cabinet carcass is setup to use pre-finished maple plywood, CabWriter automatically assigns that material to each of the cabinet carcass parts as well as any oversizing that the user might have set in the parameters. The user is free to change any of these attributes on a part by part basis using the Extended Entity Info window. When it’s time to generate a cutlist, CabWriter already knows the size of each of the parts and extracts the rest of the attributes from the Extended Entity Info and creates the cutlist.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see how CabWriter’s cut list export works…
Door and Drawer Schedules
It’s very common these days for cabinetmakers to purchase drawer box and/or door assemblies from outside suppliers. To this end, CabWriter can optionally generate and door, drawer front and drawer box schedules listing the quantity and dimensions of each assembly including the quantity and part numbers of the drawer slides as shown on the right.
Note: Door and drawer front reports are only available in CabWriter Pro. The drawer box report is available in CabWriter Home.
Scroll down to see how to export production documentation…
Choose File -> CabWriter Production Documentation to open the dialog box. Prior to this, set up the scenes that you would like to use for each of the documentation types; cut list, door and drawer reports, and DXF files (CabWriter CNC only). The same scene can be used for all reports, or a unique one for each. For example, you might want to limit the DXF export to just the cabinet carcasses in which case that scene would only have the carcass layers active. Choose the desired reports and hit OK to generate a folder with the relevant documents exported to the same folder that contains the SketchUp project files.
A great feature that CabWriter provides is the ability to add additional information to parts in a model. SketchUp has Entity Info, or attributes, for each part in the model and CabWriter extends that with its own Extended Entity Info. Not only can you can you assign the material type and name (as well as other information), but you can also add oversizing information to a part that subsequently shows up in the cutlist. This can come in handy, for example, if you build your cabinet doors oversized in thickness so they can be sanded to final thickness later and/or if you build your inset doors oversize so they can be fit to size later. Notice the highlighted door stile in the model to the right: the thickness, width, and length are all oversized which shows up in the corresponding line item on the cutlist. Both the oversized and final sizes are shown on the cutlist.