Friday, April 17, 2015

Welcome to CadworxLIVE® 2.0

Welcome to the new CadworxLIVE®  web portal!
Please excuse our dust as we bring new features to life in the coming months. 

If you happened across this blog, chances are you've noticed some changes on the CadworxLIVE® web site. I'm very excited to announce the impending release of our brand new web portal. The new site contains a boat load of improvements and new features including a new responsive interface that works on web, tablet and mobile platforms.

During our Beta period, you can toggle between the old and new sites by following links on the Member Homepage/Dashboard. Since you're reading this, I assume you're on the new site, and followed a link on the old Member Homepage to get here. Since you followed this link, subsequent logins to your CadworxLIVE® account will direct you to the new site. The system remembers which site you were on last, and directs you there upon login. If you want to navigate back to the old site, follow the link in the upper left corner of the page called: "Classic Version". After you follow this link, subsequent logins will direct you to the old site.

Membership Changes 
In the past, CadworxLIVE® offered two levels of membership: Basic and Premium. The Premium Membership was for those members who provided a valid customer number (in good standing) with any of the GroupeSTAHLTM affiliate companies. The Basic Membership was for everyone else, and was essentially a trial membership that never expired. Both memberships offered identical levels of service, except Premium Members had access to additional support options.

Our next generation platform will offer 3 levels of service for your growing business: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Bronze Memberships are currently being offered, with Silver and Gold becoming available as features are completed.

How Does This Affect Your Current Membership?
In recognition of the loyalty our 25 thousand (plus) member community has shown over the years, the new CadworxLIVE® web site will make no distinction between GroupeSTAHLTM affiliate customers and non-customers. EVERYONE becomes Bronze members on the new site.

A good way to think about it: If you were a member of the old site, you're now a Bronze member. 

Bronze Membership Overview
The Bronze Membership offers all the same great features you've grown to know and love on

Bronze Level Features Include:
  • DesignSTUDIO 2.1
  • EasyTEAMS® 1.0
  • VectorCUT®
  • Royalty Free Clip Art
  • Royalty Free Layouts
  • Large font Library
  • CadworxLIVE® Creations Gallery
  • CadworxLIVE® Messenger
  • Unlimited Cloud Storage
  • Stahls' Social Media Stream
  • Training and Education
  • Blog
  • Email support

Stay tuned for a complete feature comparison across all membership levels, so you can choose the level of service that best suits your business goals. I'm really excited about the new levels of service in the works, and I think you will be too!

Have a productive and profitable month!

If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to email

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Industry Predictions for 2015

Back to the Future. 

It's 2015 and we're still not flying cars to the office or preparing gourmet meals with the push of a button. Man, did the Jetson's lie to us or what? Seriously though, I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I know I did. Christmas is my favorite time of year, so it's always bittersweet to take down the tree, pack up the ornaments and remove the lights from the house and yard. I say it's bittersweet because as sad as it is to see the holiday trimmings packed up for another year, it's also exciting to think about a brand new year with all its untapped potential. 2015 is a blank canvas just waiting for you to paint your masterpiece.

Around this time of year, it's a common practice at Stahls' to make predictions about what the future holds. Ted Stahl makes the rounds and asks anyone and everyone their opinion about industry trends. What's hot? What's not? Where will the market be in a year? In 5 years? In 10 years? I often wonder if the man has a crystal ball because he always seems to be 5 steps ahead of everyone in his predictions, and he's almost always right. After working with him for 15 years, I realize he doesn't have a crystal ball and he doesn't wait to see what trends the industry will bring to his doorstep, he creates the trends. "BE the industry" he likes to say. To see Ted's Trend Overview for 2015 visit his blog at

When asked to make my predictions, I tend to see the future through the lens of technology. It's difficult for me to make predictions about CAD-CUT® Materials, Custom Transfers, Digital Printing or Screen Printing since most of my day is spent with my head buried in Excel spreadsheets, project management software, Skype conferences, research and heated UI/UX debates. I CAN however make some predictions about industry trends relating to technology and of course Cadworxlive®.

My Industry Predictions for 2015. 

This year will see an increase in companies extending technology to their customers in an effort to create more value, streamline business workflow processes and increase sales. Improved web technologies will make it easier than ever for companies to create a professional web presence with integrated design tools and production routing capabilities.

Automated design-to-production processes and same day (or next day) shipping will allow personalization professionals more fulfillment options than ever before. More production options mean more production capacity, allowing businesses to focus more on selling and less on manufacturing. Why fulfill orders in-house when you can strategically outsource and sell in greater volume? I'd rather take a 15% margin on a $1,000,000.00, than 25% of $300,000.00.

Local market opportunities will continue to drive growth for start-ups and established businesses alike. The business is there if you're willing to go out and get it. Strategic networking can drum up more business than you can handle. Armed with nothing more than a heat press, a cutter and a Cadworxlive® membership, you can create all kinds of business opportunities. Some products you can sell to local niche markets include: custom t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, caps, umbrella's, shade tents, gym bags, book bags, corporate uniforms, team uniforms, custom shoes, signs, banners, stickers, decals, magnets, fat head wall graphics, and so much more. I even saw a guy personalize a moto-cross dirt bike tire with CAD-CUT® Super Film and a heat press. Take it from someone who knows. I've turned down more than a few personalization jobs simply because I was too busy to take on the work.

The increased popularity of moisture wicking, performance materials will continue to create opportunities for custom sublimated products. Strategic alliances in the industry have the potential to rewrite the economics of this niche. If you've considered offering custom sublimated apparel in the past, but held off for one reason or another, 2015 might be the year it finally makes sense.

Cadworxlive®  Predictions. 

2015 is going to be an exciting year for The entire system is getting a complete overhaul. Expect to see a brand new web site with a host of new features designed to make your business more successful.

New Cadworxlive® Web Portal

One size does not fit all, so we will offer 3 levels of membership to perfectly tailor the Cadworxlive® solution to your evolving business needs. As always, we will continue to offer a FREE membership to loyal and active customers of any GroupeSTAHL affiliate company. Stay tuned for a complete feature tour of the new site in the near future. Some features will make a big splash; I guarantee you won't find more value for the money anywhere on the web. Like Ted said "BE the industry."

I'm working on it Ted. :)

Monday, November 17, 2014


All The How-To Info You Need To Grow Your Custom Garment Business

StahlsTV.COM is the only online educational destination specifically for custom textile printers. This revolutionary new internet channel provides both live, interactive online classes as well as access to video archives about heat printing technologies on-demand, 24/7. In addition to technical how-to videos and application techniques, textile printers can learn about how to start and grow a successful heat printing business. 

StahlsTV.COM has the world’s largest archive of educational videos on cutter, printer/cutter, DTG and heat press training, marketing, pricing, applications, profitable niches, trends, and more. 

A program schedule of live, interactive classes on popular topics such as vinyl cutting for apparel, direct-to-garment printing, heat-printing performance wear, specialty decorating trends, and more will be updated and shared with registered members on a weekly basis. 
Produced, written and presented by the world’s leaders in heat printing education, this ever-growing archive of how-to information and live instruction provides the support and training you need to start and grow a successful business. 

Content will be available for FREE, after completing a short questionnaire and submitting your email address. Classes and videos presented in English. Spanish versions will be available for some topics.

Click here to sign up.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cadworxlive Launches New Design Studio Application

 GroupeSTAHL® is extremely pleased to announce the release of a new, improved Design Studio 2.1 Application  on the web site. This update contains all the same great features our power users have grown to love, but features a cleaner and simpler user interface.

Design Studio 2.1

Cadworxlive® Design Studio 2.1 makes it easy to create artwork for nearly any production process including: CAD-CUT®, Laser Cut, Digital Print, Print & Cut, Screen Print and Embroidery. Use Design Studio 2.1 to create original designs for application on: custom t-shirts, hoodies, sweat shirts, sweat suits, shorts,  gym bags, tote bags, umbrella's, team uniforms, jackets, hats and more. The possibilities are limited only by your creativity!

Design Studio 2.1 Features include:
  • Simplified user interface
  • Powerful text editor
  • Extensive text effects library
  • Hundreds of fonts
  • Custom font management
  • Hundreds of design layouts
  • Thousands of pieces of clip art
  • Integrated vectorizer (convert raster images to vector)
  • Integrated rasterizer (convert vector to raster)
  • Cut outline feature
  • Support for industry standard file formats
  • Custom color management
  • Full color texture/image flood fills
  • Gradient flood fills
  • Size to fit
  • Script w/ Tails
  • Script weld feature
  • Circle text editor
  • Powerful split front features
  • More!
We recognize our customers are busy and use Cadworxlive® in dynamic production environments, therefore we created a UI toggle so migrating to the new Design Studio program can be done at your leisure. If you prefer the original Design Studio interface, you will always have the option to toggle back. While this new Design Studio application is an improvement over our last generation software, we are never ones to rest on our laurels. We've got lots of exciting new things on tap for customers of If you're not already a customer, you can register for your FREE trial at: I look forward to hearing from you! 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sell Me This Pen.

Every now and then I have the privilege of spending time with Ted Stahl. These meetings are sometimes humbling and ALWAYS educational. The man is a sea of knowledge and an ocean of experience. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with him at a trade show and demonstrate some of the latest Cadworxlive® technology.

I showed him the new 'touch' responsive designer that works on the web, tablet and phone platforms. I showed him promotional tools embedded in the new design studio application. I showed him our latest custom product visualization technology, which is sure to create a buzz in the industry. As I walked him through each feature, my excitement was palpable. I love showing off new software. I'm passionate about my job and sometimes my enthusiasm is difficult to contain. Throughout the demonstration Ted sat there... quiet, stoic, contemplative. If not for his nodding at the requisite times, I would have questioned whether he was listening at all. After the demonstration, and an uncomfortably long period of silence, Ted had one request; "Sell me Cadworxlive®". Now, I have to admit, this wasn't exactly the reaction I was hoping for. I thought I WAS selling it... and typically in sales, when you've got your customer nodding, they're sold. When he asked me to sell it to him right after I had just finished selling it, I was confused.

If you've ever had the pleasure of meeting Ted, you'll recognize this as one of his many management tactics. He'll give you the floor, let you give the dog and pony show, then he'll pause (just long enough for panic to set in) and ask one simple question or make one simple comment. This question or comment comes seemingly out of left field, may appear to have no context in the current discussion and may be confusing upon initial consideration. Sometimes the question or comment is intentionally general or broad, sometimes it's stating the obvious, sometimes it's the 400 pound gorilla in the room. Whatever the comment or question, the intent is always the same; to remove you from your comfort zone and challenge you to think.

When Ted asked me to sell him Cadworxlive® right after I just finished selling it, the walls began closing in and temperature in the room felt like it shot up 10 degrees. The collar of my shirt suddenly felt tighter, making it difficult to breath and I could feel a bead of sweat on my brow. I think I even stuttered a time or two before finding my verbal footing. I responded with my typical marketing touch points: "Cadworxlive® contains tools for garment decorators and sign makers" and "Cadworxlive® offers a low cost/no cost design option for start-ups and established businesses alike". I ran off a checklist of features that I know members of our community find valuable. "Cadworxlive® contains a built-in Vectorizer to convert raster images to cut-able art" and "Easy Teams® allows you to create team uniforms in minutes not hours." Again, Ted paused for what seemed like an eternity.

He then picked up a pen from the table, handed it to me and said "Sell me this pen." I came up with some mumbo jumbo about it being a magic pen and everything you write with it comes true. Ted folded his hands, nodded and graciously changed the subject. In this moment, I knew I failed him. He was looking for something I didn't deliver. He didn't point out my failure. He didn't give me a hard time for telling him this ordinary pen was somehow mystical and magical in an effort to sell it to him. He let me come to these conclusions on my own. As is often the case with my interactions with Ted, the message, the golden nugget of truth, the life's lesson, isn't immediately clear. I pondered it for weeks. What was he looking for? What message did I fail to communicate? What did I miss?
It wasn't until months later when I was watching the movie 'The Wolf of Wall Street' that I understood Teds message. If you've seen the movie, you understand the reference. If you haven't seen the movie, the term "Sell me this pen" is used in several scenes to assess a persons ability to sell. In one scene the lead character Jordan Belfort hands one of his sales associates a pen and instructs him to sell it back to him. The associate takes the pen and tells Belfort to "write your name down on that napkin for me". Belfort responds "I don't have a pen".

In that moment, Teds message became clear; To be successful in sales, you must create a demand for your product. When Ted asked me to sell him Cadworxlive, I should have said "make me 22 baseball uniforms with player names and numbers on the back, a team name on the front in two-color script with tail, and throw in 100 bumper stickers. I need them by Friday."
Salesmanship is the ability to see the world through your customers eyes.
Lesson learned.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My Dream Job is Creating Tools to Help Make Your Business More Successful

Welcome to the Cadworxlive® blog. It's only taken 8 years for me to put a blog on this site, but you know what they say, better late than never. I'm hoping you'll forgive my tardiness, I've been pretty busy in my job as Director of Software Development for GroupeSTAHL®. I've worked for the company for nearly 16 years, and let me tell you, the time has FLOWN by. When I started, my oldest daughter was 8 months old, now her face is constantly buried in a cell phone and she's driving herself to work... although, hopefully not at the same time! My early years with the company were spent building web sites, managing network resources and performing all manner of tech related functions. My 'department' was a one-man operation in those days, but I took pride in knowing I helped usher many of the Stahls' business units into the digital age.

About 8 years ago, Ted Stahl came to me with an ambitious idea. He wanted to develop a graphic design program from the ground up. At the time, Stahls' was selling CorelDRAW® companion software. Some of you may remember DrawMATE® and (later) DirectDRIVE®. These programs were developed to simplify many of the art creation processes used every day in garment decoration and sign businesses. Believe it or not, I still hear from people using these programs to run their design and production processes. If it ain't broke, don't fix they say. As popular as these programs were, keeping up with the latest version of CorelDRAW®, (while also supporting all prior versions) became an increasingly time consuming and painful endeavor. Ted recognized we were chasing our tail and the time was ripe for innovation. Enter Cadworxlive®.

As I mentioned, Ted's idea was ambitious. He wanted to build a graphics engine from the ground up to rival other well established design programs, except he wanted it to be everything these advanced graphics systems were NOT. He wanted it to be COST EFFECTIVE. He wanted it to be SIMPLE. He wanted it to automate complicated processes, such as formatting an entire team roster, or creating two-color, split-front, script with tail designs. He wanted the largest effects library in the industry, and he wanted to GIVE IT AWAY FOR FREE. Over the years Ted has taken flack for spending a truckload of money on software, only to give it away. Some say he's generous. Some say he's off his rocker! Generous? Without question. Off his rocker? Absolutely not. You see, Ted understands that people face all kinds of adversity when starting a new business. He understands that success or failure can be determined by decisions made at the outset of the journey. He understands that cost and complexity are barriers to success. He also understands that OUR success depends on YOUR success. Ted's goal with Cadworxlive is to eliminate these barriers and give you the best opportunity to succeed.

Cadworxlive launched in January 2007 to accolades and much fanfare at the Long Beach ISS show. I have vague recollections of that show, due to the weeks of all-nighters and marathon development sessions leading up to the show. Anyone who has ever launched a new product at a trade show knows what I'm talking about.

Cadworxlive Launch Party 2007 - Long Beach, CA.
Since it's inception Cadworxlive has seen a number of improvements. It has evolved from a CAD-CUT only system, to include features for print & cut, direct to garment printing, full color digital printing and screen printing. Over the years, the technology has been constantly improved and adopted by a number of GroupeSTAHL business units. Stahls' uses Cadworxlive technology in many of their internal production processes including: Player Names, Team Perfect, Any Word Any Way and Cadprintz Quick Decal. You'll find Cadworxlive technology on the Stahls' web site powering many of their real-time custom product visualizations. You'll find Cadworxlive technology on the Transfer Express web site in their brand new Easy View Designer. The technology is also used by Stahls' DFC to power a number of client web site's including and and is the engine that drives their new cutting edge, touch screen jersey station. As you can see, the Cadworxlive development team has been pretty busy.

Today boasts more than 21,000 members in over 110 countries. My department has grown from 1 person to 12 talented individuals who find absolute joy in finding ways to make your job easier. Stay tuned, as 2014 will prove to be a banner year for Cadworxlive technology. We're about to launch a brand new web site and a series of new designers built on the fastest, most powerful graphics engine we've ever created. We're also about to release a new version of VectorCut with an improved cut path algorithm which will improve cut speeds by up to 30%. There will be improvements to our vectorize tool and a few exciting surprises I'm not at liberty to discuss at the moment.

Developing tools to help make your business more successful is truly my dream job. I couldn't imagine spending my days doing anything else. Keep working hard and shoot for the stars, because your success is our success.

Sorry for the long post; I guess after 8 years of silence I had a lot of catching up to do. :)

Thank you for your continued patronage and support.
Greg Peirce
CAD-CUT Creator