Tricks for furniture design – SketchList3D

There is an upgrade available for SketchList 3D version 4.   It contains several fixes to problems.  In addition to that announcement I wanted to share some tricks for furniture design in SketchList3D.

Shaping Tool – Work with Lines

working on two ends of line


This weekend, while designing,  I discovered something. In the shaping tool you can select the line between the points and change both endpoints in the same action.  One good use of this is the case where you want to miter both ends of the same board. For example, you want the left end and right ends of the board the mitered 45°. To do this you go to the board level detail, select the surface, select the shape tool, click on the select button, and click on the line between the two endpoints.  Now change the values of those endpoints the amount necessary to achieve a 45° angle.

Align Tool – Locating Boards

align boards

From previous posts you know that you can use the align tool the center to boards over a span. I’ve found a trick to design furniture using Sketchlist3D that I would like to share with you.

The other day I’ve begun using the align tool to place the rails and styles of my face frames. This is one of those not so obvious tricks for furniture design, so the video shows you how to do that.

First,  select the side of the case.  Hold down the shift key and select the second board.  Then, click on the alignment tab and use the align tools to butt the board front to back, then align it to the edge of the case and finally align it one more time the bottom of that case.

It sounds like a lot but it’s only a few mouse clicks.  I’m finding this much faster than using the other method of doing copy and paste on the blue dot values. Placing rails between styles is easy.   You can use the same align tips to butt the left of the rail to the right of its style, then shift drag click the red dot of that rail the other style.  Again, it’s much harder to say than to do.  It’s just a few mouse clicks. You’ll see that on the video.

Rotate Tab Fixed

rotate objects

As I mentioned before the rotate tab is now fixed.  Some of you learned that an alternative to using the rotate tab is to hold down the are on your keyboard and spend the object using the red, green, yellow dots that appear.  The number of degrees your rotating is displayed in the lower left corner of the image area.  Remember at no time may any part of the rotated object exit the container [assembly, door, drawer, hardware] that holds that part.  You may have to move the part into the middle of the container to move it.  When rotating a part in 90 degree steps, it’s generally better to right click it and pick rotate from the menu options.


spreadhsheet calculator

Spreadsheet / Form Calculator

One tip that is not that obvious is that the spreadsheet and the forms have calculators built into them. Again one of those  a non-intuitive tricks for furniture design. If you pause your mouse cursor on a cell of the spreadsheet you will notice the appearance changes and the cursor is blinking at the end of the value. At that point you can type in a plus sign, minus sign, or a multiplication sign.  [  *  ].  You can’t use the / symbol for division because SketchList3D interprets that as a fraction. Instead use the multiplication function.  For example, if you want to divide a value by two, multiply it by .5.  This works in the forms as well.

Change Customer for a Projects

image editing customers -

And finally, we received a question on how you might take the project that was assigned the customer Jones and change its customer to Smith.  Now, that wasn’t the exact request, but you get what I mean. At the time no such function existed.  I think it was a pretty good idea we decided to add it.   You want to change the customer or project, edit that project and select the customer from the list.

The video that goes along with this post will be in several short segments, each focuses on one of the subjects above.


Other questions?  Contact us or look at FAQ.

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