Many CNC cabinet design software programs only allow you to grain match a single unit. But in CABINET VISION, our custom closet and custom cabinet design software, you can achieve seamless grain matching across multiple assemblies. Thanks to the power of automation, users of any skill level can use this feature to achieve harmonious designs for all their doors and drawer faces.
Aesthetics vs Optimization
CABINET VISION is designed to favour production optimization. However, achieving a consistent grain pattern might take precedence over the most economical cut when working with timber or timber-look panels.
Click here for video transcript
G’day everyone, it’s Clayton from Planit Canada here and today I’m stoked to chat with you about a simple and efficient solution found in CABINET VISION 2023 which I think is going to make your lives so much easier.
Today we’re going to talk about grain matching, and just how quickly we can grain match all of our doors and drawer faces together in our projects ahead of their optimization.
But I reckon we should just touch on first what grain matching is, and why it can be necessary sometimes.
CABINET VISION is a really clever program. It’s always going to get the most economical cut during optimization. But when we use timber or timber-look panels, we may prefer to have a little more wastage but have the grain of the timber flow across all of the doors and drawers. So, we need to be able to tell CABINET VISION to prioritize grain match over board economy.
Without grain matching, our job might look a little bit like this on screen with the grain changing from panel to panel. Whereas we might want it to look a little bit more like this: a row of cabinets where the grain flows consistently. Vertically or horizontally from each façade to the next, we create this neat, cohesive design.
But it’s super easy to do in CABINET VISION, so let’s jump straight into it.
The first thing we want to do is check that the material we’re using is set up already to be grain-dependent in our material properties.
It’s super easy to do. I’m just going to close down my job. And from the main splash screen, my home screen, I can click on the material icon in the top left, and then I can find the material I was using for my doors. In this case, I was under the boardstock and I had used the three-quarter solid example material.
I can double-click on the ID number and this will open up the properties for this specific material. I can use the CNC tab here to now pivot between true and false for my grain dependency.
Of course, I would like it to be grain-dependent, so that’s fantastic. We can leave that one there.
Now in CABINET VISION, when we set up a grain-dependent material, it’s going to assume that the orientation is vertical. But of course, we might want sometimes a horizontal grain in our jobs. Well, it’s super easy to do as well.
If we click on the door catalog, we can find the specific door style that we might be using. In this case, I’ve set up a wood grain horizontal.
But if I wanted to make sure that it was set to horizontal, I can double-click on the ID and then on the design and then from this page, I can click on the main design itself and now I can switch between horizontal grain — yes or no. So, we want that to be yes and now when I use this particular door style in my project, it’s going to stay as horizontal grain.
So, there we go. All of those — a couple of those pre-checks have been done. We’re now ready to start doing grain matching in our jobs.
In CABINET VISION, there are two ways that we can grand match our materials. We can ask the program to do it automatically, or we can make those changes ourselves manually.
So the first way we can do it: if we click on New Job…and we, from the Job Properties menu that pops up. We click on the Cabinet icon, and then the Doors tab. You’ll notice down here on the bottom right; we have the Grain Match section. If I tick this box, I can choose between two different options: Assembly or Auto Group.
- If I click Assembly, CABINET VISION is going to grain match each Cabinet individually only.
- If I use the Auto Group feature, it’s going to grain-match many different cabinets together in the same row.
So, let’s see that in action.
If I click on Assembly and OK, I’ll begin by drawing up a wall. Cool. Fantastic. I can go to the elevation; the objects and I can put a few different cabinets on my wall.
One, two, three. Fantastic.
Now, when we’re from the elevation view. I can click on this grain match button on the left-hand side. And here you can see CABINET VISION is doing exactly what I asked it to do. And using the assembly per each assembly feature, CABINET VISION is only grain matching the two doors together.
But of course, I’m using a horizontal grain material here, so I might actually like to have all six of these doors grain-matched together during the optimization.
I can pivot between that really easily if I go back to my job and my job properties. The cabinet, the doors… Now I can just toggle to the auto-group feature and hit OK.
And now you can see that CABINET VISION has automatically put these three cases or six of these doors together.
I’m also able to make these changes myself manually.
While I’ve clicked on the grain match button, I can right-click on each of these cabinets and manually remove them from different groups and then create new groups where I can add them to each other.
So, let’s see what that looks like during optimization.
If I click on the S2M Center tab, I’ll be able to run a test optimization and we can see all six of these doors, just how they’ll appear on the sheet.
From the S2M center menu, I can now filter my parts, materials. I can find the oak material that was being used for these doors. And now I can optimize all six of these doors together.
Okay, check out the pattern and voila!
We can see that all six of our doors have been optimized on the sheet ready for the CNC.
Setting Up Grain-Dependent Materials
The first step to start the process of grain matching in CABINET VISION is to make sure your chosen material is set up to be grain-dependent in the material properties. Simply toggle between true and false for grain dependency in the CNC tab. Be sure to check and adjust the vertical or horizontal orientation based on your design preferences.
Automated vs Manual
CABINET VISION offers two ways to achieve grain matching: the automated way or the manual way. In the automatic mode, you can enable grain matching through the Job Properties menu, specifically in the Grain Match section. Here, you can choose between Assembly and Auto Group options, depending on whether you want individual cabinets or multiple cabinets in the same row to be grain-matched.
To test the flexibility of the program, try creating a sample job with cabinets that applies grain matching using the Assembly option. Then, switch to Auto Group to see how CABINET VISION intelligently groups cabinets based on grain orientation.
Manual Grain Matching
If needed, you can opt to manually adjust grain matching at any point in the process. After clicking on the grain match button, right-click on your cabinets to remove them or add them to different groups. The ability to switch between automation and manual gives users complete control over the grain matching process.
Optimizing with S2M Center
Finalizing the process involves running a test optimization using the S2M Center tab. At this stage, you can optimize the placement of doors on a sheet, ensuring efficient use of materials while maintaining the desired grain patterns. Once you’re satisfied, the project is ready to be cut on your CNC.
Become a CABINET VISION Power User by Mastering Grain Matching
Becoming proficient at grain matching in CABINET VISION opens up a world of possibilities for creating stunning and cohesive cabinet and closet designs. Whether you opt for an automatic or manual approach, this flexible feature makes it easy to balance design aesthetics and material efficiency.
Planit Canada has a team of experts in CNC cabinet design software ready to assist you. Our solutions aim to simplify the work and increase the profitability of cabinet designers and manufacturers by providing them with top-of-the-line cabinet shop software programs such as CABINET VISION and ALPHACAM. Contact us for more information on our software solutions.