Relative Locations in Furniture Design Software

Shop Drawing Furniture Design Software AlignmentI get emails from time to time asking about how many assemblies should be in a project.  More than once I’ve seen project files from users who put a single board into each of about 150 assemblies.  It’s hard to say if that is wrong or not — but generally I design my own work with as few assemblies as possible.  It’s simpler to keep track of how far one board is from another if they are in the same assembly.  This is because they share the same point of origin of left = 0, bottom =0 and front =0.

Of course there are many times when you need multiple assemblies.  Cloning an assembly for use somewhere else is the best example of a time when you need more than one assembly.  If you want to change things around in different assemblies – well ‘do the math’ as they say.

But that’s changing.  In V3.1 (which is the current MAC version and will soon be released for the Windows platforms) we are doing lots of work on assemblies.  This blog post and video shows what relative locations are and how they can be used.

Relative locations gives you the ability to switch between the point of origin (0,0,0) of the assembly and instead use the point or origin of the project.  This way if a board has a value LEFT = 10 and the assembly is 10 from the left edge of the project then that board shows up (in the project location option) and 20 from the left of the project.  Of course you can switch back to showing the left as 10 for the assembly.  Boy just writing that confuses me.

It’s easier to see than hear.  Unlike some people I suppose!!!  In this video I accomplish lining up the tops of boards in three different assemblies by using the project location feature.  Once I see the top value of one of the boards relative to the point of origin of the project – I can use that value in the other assembly to make that top value equal to my target.  And it lines up just right.

Please watch this video to see how it is done.


This video also uses the general spreadsheet in SketchList 3D.  This is a very powerful tool and will save a great deal of time and effort when using our furniture design software package.


Coming V3.i assembly features – stretch, shrink, merge, and split.  Keep an eye on SketchList 3D for furniture, cabinet, or other woodworking design projects.



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