Many parts named “clone” lead to confusion
I did some design work for a very clever artist last week. She had a specific idea for a shelving unit for her art work. I received a series of photographs and a decent verbal description of what she wanted. I started and after some back and forth we were pretty much able to get the design to the point where I could finish it off.
It may not look like it from the image above, but there are many, many parts in this project. And they exist in different assemblies. And they need to be very precisely placed. If you are a SketchList 3D user, you know ‘many parts’ leads to much cloning. And I did clone around a lot (sorry clone around – get it?) doing this design.
What I learned is that you ABSOLUTELY must name the parts as you create them. Even if you make 10 clones of a shelf, it’s a good idea to go to each one and re-name it with a name (e.g. Top shelf, middle shelf, bottom shelf) that makes sense to you and the design. Of course you say. Make sense! Who would not do this?
Wel,l let me tell you I see a lot of SketchList 3D projects – and well they contain a lot of part names with the word clone in them!
Certainly this naming makes it easier at assembly time – but I discovered the design process was much easier when I was able to place a part called “left bracket 2” 10 inches from another part named “left bracket 1” instead of Board 3 (clone 4) and Board 5 (clone 6). And so on.
It seems like a small thing but it really did make my understanding of the design, the parts, and what I was trying to do easier. I spotted mistakes (who made those?) faster. It just felt better to name the boards and not have to think to myself “What exactly is “Board2(clone3)(clone2)(clone1)” and how, if at all, does it relate to “Board2(clone4)(clone2)(clone1): .
So take the advice seriously. You will save time, be less confused (at least about your design), and reduce mistakes by creating meaningful and organized names for the parts in your design.
You are using the cabinet design software to do just that – save time while making better designs. This is one small tip that will increase the benefits you get from your software.