Woodworking design and reports – board information

Woodworking design should encompass more than drawings.  In fact,  more information is involved.  But the designer usually carries anything beyond lines on paper in his or her head.   Which isn’t always a good thing.

In ‘advanced’ CAD, like that used in architecture firms, there is a concept called BIM.  This serves well as the center or foundation of drawings and plans for big complex projects.

Simply put BIM means the design ‘contains’ or manages information about the design.

Wikipedia says:

“Building information modeling (BIM) — a process supported by various tools, technologies and contracts involving the generation and management of digital representations. Building information models (BIMs) are computer files which can be extracted, exchanged or networked to support decision-making regarding a built asset. BIM software is used by individuals, businesses and government agencies.”

SketchList 3D is a very modest application of BIM to woodworking design.

It stores information about the project to use for images, drawings, and reports.  One example is the cost of materials.  When you enter a material for your project you can add the cost of the material.  You might create a sheet of plywood and enter its price at $100.  SketchList 3D applies that information by calculating the amount of the material used in the design times the cost.  Simple.

My last post about boards and building blocks said that the board is the basic building unit of your design.  Several readers wrote in asking about boards in Version 5 – especially the need for and use of the new board form.  So I decided to review and explain the new board form.  And in addition, we will look at the kinds of information the SketchList 3D  woodworking design app stores about boards at the board detail level.

showing new board form for woodworking design

Woodworking design — New Board Form

  1. Board name – most obvious – identifies the board.  Some thought on a naming convention helps you better manage and understand the part.  The name side – left – upper provides more information than does the name side.
  2. Insert to – specifies the assembly or other container in which the board exists.
  3. Material – from which material name, type, and appearance will the board be cut?  This helps display the board properly in the design and cost the material used. [Pro version only.]
  4. Quantity of boards created.
  5. Size – obvious – is the length, width, and thickness of the board.  These all must be equal to or less than the size of the source material.  A 106-inch board doesn’t fit on a 96-inch sheet.  This is an error.  It is important because it affects the ability to generate an accurate cut list and material layout diagram.
  6. Thickness
  7. Grain direction – both 6 and 7 help manage the appearance and handling of the board.  For example, the thickness direction of the board matches that of the material for the optimizer.

In addition to these seven basic inputs, there are a number of details available for each board.

These affect the board surfaces and edges.

Surfaces – SketchList 3D applies holes, including dados, and shapes to board surfaces.

Edges – Contours, and joinery, along with holes, on the board’s edges address appearance and structure.

SketchList uses all of this information for the management and reporting of the design.  The parts list report [Pro version] allows you to show any aspect of the boards.  Further, you can filter the information by type and value, and sort at many levels.

The information allows you to completely understand your project.  With that, it helps you plan the steps and map out the process of cutting and assembling your work.



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