Learning to Become Productive – Kitchen Cabinet Design Software

Over the past weeks I have been on the phone with people testing kitchen design software or otherwise trying to learn how to use it.  For those who naturally take to it – well they might send in a question or two but generally I don’t hear from them.  Some people view the videos and read the manual – and they are set.  Some people do neither and then we talk on the phone.

It’s interesting for me to listen to questions and comments.  I developed SketchList 3D so I know it cold.  The interesting thing is often how someone else can look at a feature that is SO apparent to me and see it differently.  I had a conversation about placing a rail on a board.  The rail was 4 inches high – to me.  But to the other guy that rail was 4 inches wide.  “No” I said the rail is 36 inches wide and 4 inches high.

Two woodworkers looking at the same board – two different interpretations of its ‘size’.

This came about when inserting a board into an assembly and using the board orientation form of SketchList 3D.  This form maps a board onto its material so the grain is set and the optimizer ‘knows’ how the board is oriented for cutting.  The other thing it does (sort of) is translate how we speak of material into how we speak of a piece of woodwork.  For example a shelf – usually – is said to be so wide and so deep.  “That shelf is 10 inches deep and 48 inches wide.”  But a material is – usually – said to be 96 inches long by 12 inches wide.  And it gets more complex if you’re looking at a door which is – usually – said to be so high and so wide.  For example the door is 24 inches high and 16 inches wide.  But again the material is length by width – length by width.  But it doesn’t sound right to say the door is 24 inches long.  The orientation form converts the dimensions we ‘see’ to those we cut!

By the time the person I was speaking with did three boards he was all set.  We worked a bit on locating the boards in the assembly and in relation to each other and a cabinet was born.  (OK that’s a little over the top!)

He put together a cabinet (face frame and all) in no time.   Jumping into more designs, he began cloning the small sample cabinet he designed and quickly had a kitchen.  And as  always  at that point the parts lists, optimized cutting layout diagrams, and the 2D drawings were already finished because they are part of the design process.

And he certainly felt a sense of satisfaction in figuring it out and moving ahead with his use of cabinet design software.

wall unit front project dim view

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