Cabinet Making Design Software – Rotate a Cabinet

An email from an enthusiastic new user of SketchList 3D cabinetdesign software asked “I’m doing a U shaped kitchen. How can I make the cabinets on the side walls?” Great question because we all need to do that from time to time. One day the answer will be to click the rotate button – but that day is not here yet. Until then it is a manual process.

I said I would make up a video and I finally got some time to do it. It looks like this.  OK I know I need to finish it – but finishing is the job I like least like in my shop…


This is probably not the best video for the brand new SketchList 3D user.  Because in SketchList we work at the board level (mostly) rotating a cabinet involves working one board at a time.

Ths basic task is shown in this following image.

Rotating a cabinet with Cabinet Making Software
Rotating a cabinet.

The idea is to make the front become either the left (if moving cabinet to the right) or the right (if moving the cabinet to the left).  Boards that have orientation (like the toe kick) must have the orientation changed 90 degrees.  There is some thought involved in changing say the front left corner to the left back corner (for example) but like anything else after a while you develop a pattern on how to do this.

A caution – you can’t rotate or spin a board with holes in it.   This gets an error message.   Spinning the assemblies in my prototype kitchen took less than ten minutes – but I was making a video and learning a lot as I went on with my design.  I could possibly make the cabinets new in ten minutes.  The time saved with rotating has to do with selection of  materials for each board.  But like everything else – you need to consider the tradeoffs and most importantly check your work when you think you are finished.

One nice thing – now I have a set of ‘standard’ cabinets.  There are three of them one facing front and two at 90 degrees to the left and right.  So pretty much I am set.  I can easily re-size cabinets in a matter on minutes.  All I need now is one or two corner units and I have a total kitchen in my ‘pocket’.

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