History of Cabinet Pro LLC
1982 - 1984: Cabinet Pro LLC started in 1982 as a small part-time cabinet shop in the Applegate Valley located in Southwestern Oregon whose owner was a full time teacher of high school Chemistry & Physics. After 3 years of making furniture and cabinets, the frustration of making too many mistakes in figuring out a cutlist became the motivating factor to create a software program with a Commodore 64 to handle the cutlist and shop drawings that were in dire need of accuracy and speed! There, with that 1 MHz Commodore 64, computerization of cabinetry was born.
1985 - 1986: From that meager beginning, the Commodore 64 was replaced by a 4.77 MHz XT ( for those of you who do not know what an XT is, consider yourselves lucky). Formerly called Integrated Cabinet Systems, the program concentrated on basic floorplan layout of Face Frame Modular Cabinets that would generate an invoice and cutlist. In 1985 we modified our cabinet software to suit a company based in Medford, Oregon that made over 300 finished modular faceframe cabinets per day. And in the following year, 1986, we began to expand the business by attending woodworking shows and advertising in trade journals. So even though the writing of our software was actually started in 1984, we recognize 1986 as our beginning date, since that was the year we began marketing beyond our local borders.
1987 - 1989: ICS began to incorporate frameless construction as an alternate construction method. Multiple types of face frame construction were added to ICS. We started to learn the very unique needs of individual cabinet shops, and, as a result, began adding numerous parameters to accommodate the custom nature of the shops that showed interest in our software.
1990 - 1992: Finally, long custom cabinets were supported within ICS. And in 1992, the making and processing of doors for door manufacturers was extracted from the cabinet program to create what is now known as Door Pro.
1993 - 1994: Throughout most of its history, the major goal of ICS was to provide minimal graphics capabilities while developing highly custom cutlists, material reports, and invoicing. Concentration on adapting the program to fit the multitude of different construction methods used by manufacturers became only more complicated by the various methods of costing out cabinets. It seemed that every cabinet shop not only built cabinets differently, but also priced them uniquely. Providing one software package to meet the needs of all shops became an all-consuming task. But as the years of development went by, ICS became successful in being able to adapt to each cabinet maker's own method of building and pricing cabinets. It had two drawbacks, though. Its first drawback was that ICS had become too complicated for the average cabinet maker for him to take full advantage of its capabilities. The second drawback was that the graphics interface was still quite basic and not meeting the increasing needs of presentation that cabinet makers were beginning to demand.
1995: With the advent of WINDOWS 95, and because of the corresponding graphics capabilities of that operating system, a decision was made to convert the ICS program to a new WINDOWS 95 format. This new format could maintain the functionality that ICS had developed over the years, but now its ease of use and graphics capabilities could be greatly enhanced! But what name should this new program be given? Lee Kulbarsh, a Sales Representative within the woodworking industry, and his beautiful wife Pam came up with the name "Cabinet Pro" while walking barefooted together, hand-in-hand, amidst a sunset on Moonlight Beach in Southern California. I cannot think of a better way in which a new name for a program can be born than by two people in love with each other in a romantic setting. Thank you Lee and Pam.
Six years later, on November 10, 2001, my wife Eliana and I were married on this very same beach! At the time, Eliana chose the beach and had no idea that it was the same beach where Lee and Pam had walked 6 years before when they came up with our new name! How is that for providence? (Click here for a presentation of our wedding)
1996-1999: The process of converting Cabinet Pro from DOS to WINDOWS had been a slow one, but had been steadily progressing since 1995. Not only was the user interface (i.e., the screens the user sees) being completely converted to WINDOWS 95/98 format, but new graphics and other capabilities were being developed as well. You can see some of those screens now by clicking on the link at the left titled "Screen Shots". The ease of use of the program has been greatly enhanced and the conversion to the Windows platform was virtually completed by the opening of the Woodworking Show in Atlanta in August of 2000.
The Graphics Interface has been perhaps the single greatest enhancement from the old ICS program. 3D renderings are just a click away now, complete with lighting effects, and shading effects. We learned from our older version that this floorplan generator must be able to be used by not only cabinet makers, but also by sales people whose knowledge of cabinet construction is sometimes limited. Therefore, we are striving to make the new floorplan generator quicker and more intuitive than the original. In 1997, CNC support was implemented by the exporting of DXF files to standard CAD/CAM software.
2000-2001: The years 2000-2001 saw Cabinet Pro and Door Pro incorporate major changes requested by current customers: expansion of customization features for face frame and frameless cabinetry, elimination of old DOS routines replaced by 32-bit WINDOWS screens, and enhancement and simplification of the graphics and floorplan generation features of Cabinet Pro.
2002: 2002 saw the advent of our Video Tutorials that has made learning the program much easier than before. 2002 also saw major changes in making the software quicker to master from the perspective of a new customer. The biggest advance in 2002, however, which eclipses all other programming advances in our software, was the introduction of Eliana as the Marketing Director of Cabinet Pro LLC. The amount of charm, beauty, and expertise she brings to Cabinet Pro LLC promises to enhance our customer support, customer relations, booth appearance, brochures, and the entire look and feel of Cabinet Pro and Door Pro from a marketing perspective.
2003: This was a good year in further enhancing Cabinet Pro and Door Pro to include additional bidding capabilities, pictorial panel optimization, and intensive enhancements of shop drawings, 2D elevations, and fine-tuning of the Photo-texturing in our 3D Renderings. In 2003 we implemented an online "chat" capability where customers from all over the world could ask technical support questions live in order to get immediate responses.
2004: 2004 saw the advent of a new software product, Garage Pro. In addition, Bidding and Financial charts were completely over hauled and re-done to reflect the needs of our customers. The Panel Optimizer was enhanced a great deal to allow more flexibility in how parts were optimized. Although Cabinet Pro has supported CNC since 1997 via the exporting of DXF files, the idea of generating CNC code directly without the need of another CAD/CAM program would be revolutionary and highly unique in this industry. The idea of being able to directly support CNC without using a CAD program was born this year, but existed only as an idea. It would be another year before this was actually an implemented reality!
2005: With the help of some of our customers, we were able to write g-code for CNC routers directly from Cabinet Pro & Door Pro, rather than having the customer purchase another program costing $5,000 - $10,000 just for that purpose! This not only has been a major price break for customers wishing to enter the world of CNC, but has also consolidated the tasks of design, bidding, cutlists, optimization, and now CNC into a single program! This breakthrough marked one of our biggest leaps since 1992, when we first expanded our program from modular face frame cabinets to long custom face frame cabinetry!
2006-2007: The CNC aspect of Cabinet Pro and Door Pro was improved upon as a result of the suggestions by our customers. We were able to incorporate a user-defined Post Processor, so that the CNC aspect of Cabinet Pro and Door Pro would be compatible with just about any CNC router that accepts g-code. Another leap forward was the ability of our software to support the CNC machining of MDF doors! Although these years saw other improvements to our software, the main focus was to perfect and fine-tune the CNC interface that was started in 2005.
2008: Smart CNC Rules that allow CNC machining to be automatically placed based upon design of custom cabinets were released. In addition, our new Premium Graphics were released at the end of 2008, allowing Cabinet Pro to offer high quality photorealistic 3D renderings to its customers who require a higher quality graphics presentation. Expansion to support Australia was initiated to include a dealership in Perth.
2009-2010: 2009 and 2010 saw the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, especially for the Residential Cabinetry Market. But because our overhead was low, and we owed no money to anyone, we were able to weather this storm pretty well, even though these were the slowest years since our beginning. We continued to develop Cabinet Pro's Smart CNC Rules capability, included many customer-requested enhancements, supported new CNC routers as a result of those owned by new customers, and added three new languages to the G-Code already used in our Post Processors: Biesseworks, Woodwop, and HOPS (for the Biesse, Weeke, and Holzher CNC Routers). In addition, we introduced our Rental Option in December of 2009, thus expanding the affordability of Cabinet Pro.
2011-2014: Introduction of two new modules, the Re-facing Module for that aspect of the industry specializing in re-facing existing cabinets, and the CSV Export/Import module that allows cutlist and financial data to be exported to other programs via Microsoft Excel. Our entire software package, consisting of over 300,000 words, was changed to allow immediate conversion from U.S. English and woodworking terms to U.K. English, Canadian English, and Australian English. Smart Hardware Rules that allow hardware to be automatically assigned to cabinets based upon design of custom cabinets were released. In addition, our new Grain Matching module was released allowing doors and/or drawers to be optimized as they appear on a given cabinet with continuous horizontal or vertical grain. Cabinet Pro was greatly enhanced with automatic Inventory Control and financial record keeping of all customers and jobs. Face Frame Construction was made much more effective with CNC operations, while the bidding routines were enhanced to make bid acceptance a greater probability.
2015: 2015 saw support for multiple drawer guides and drawer boxes per drawer bank, support for more customized construction requirements, support of many more machines, introduction of new parts, addition of Light Editor to enhance 3D Premium Graphics, enhanced shop drawings and Title Block, numerous CNC options to increase efficiency, more support for commercial cabinetry, addition of a CNC Simulator, bidding & pricing enhancements, a new Drawer Box report, cutlist enhancements, numerous graphics enhancements, and perfect compatibility with Microsoft's new WINDOWS 10.
The Future: Cabinet Pro and Door Pro will be continually developed to meet and surpass the expectations of the industry, while at the same time being reasonably priced. Some of the features that will be released in future updates include greatly enhanced 3D graphics, more CNC support, job scheduling, increased inventory control features, radius parts, and other manufacturing tools that will be designed to streamline the kitchen, bath, and furniture industry. We will keep you posted on current projects via our web page as we embark on a truly exciting new phase of business for us and our customers!