Cabinet Design Software – Pro versus Hobby

Cabinet Design Software - assembly

Cabinet Design Software Choice – Which is Best for You?


From time to time people write in about my cabinet design software asking if they should invest the money for the Pro version or can they get by with the Hobby.  There is a chart on www/ that compares the two – but those types of charts leave me feeling undecided.  So let me try this…

If you are making money with your woodworking buy the Pro.  Again — if you are making money with your woodworking buy the Pro.

That being said the Hobby version exists because lots of people make a project or two a year, want to design it right, don’t want to invest more than $100, and are willing to take the time it takes to design the work.   These woodworkers only need to impress themselves (ok well maybe the spouse) and don’t need high end images.  They can get by with using only 2 assemblies.   If they need a shop drawing – they can create it on screen and do a print screen to put it on paper.  One woodgrain and/or color will do.  And if they want to save some time and money by optimizing the layout of parts on materials – they can buy the add-on to do this. ( Think of the cost of one sheet of pylwood materia saved!)

Frankly in terms of design I can acheive almost  anything in Hobby as I can in the Pro.   But it is more complicated and takes more time.  And the outputs are not as impressive.

I do use the Pro version.   It accomplishes designs much, much  faster saving me time.   And for most of us  time is precious.  I can have any number of assemblies in a project.  I can define a standard assemblies, doors, drawers, hardware, and boards and call them into my designs from my standards library as needed.   I can create any number of shop drawings and know that any change in design automatically reflects in the drawings.  I can use any number of material grains and colors – and most importantly  I can generate 3D images in photo quality formats.   These images  sell my proposals.   In addition I can create spinning 3D images of my designs and send them to prospects so they can view and spin them as PDF (world wide, free standard viewer) files on their own computer screens.  The optimizer is built in and shows me how to lay out the parts on the materials to reduce waste.  This output links to the purchase report that shows me exactly what materials to buy.

So everyone should get the Pro version – like everyone should have a powerful CNC machine in the garage cutting out parts :).  BUT not eveyone can afford that – or uses it enough to justify the cost.  So make a choice.  In any case buy cabinet design software because it will improve your design and your work .  This is because you will have thoughtfully gone over every aspect – virtually – on your computer screen – before buying materials.  You’ll find when you go to the shop to make whatever it is you’re gong to make – it will come our better.


By the way – some ask why is this cabinet design software and not furniture design software.  Well it’s both really.  Designing from the board level lets you make pretty much anything you need.






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