Positioning Components and Assemblies

Note: This topic describes how to position components within assemblies. You can use the same method to position assemblies within projects.


The position of a component within an assembly is determined by the relationship between the component‘s bottom left front corner and the assembly‘s bottom left front corner. To position a component, you specify where its bottom left front corner is located with respect to the assembly's.

As an example, let‘s take a cabinet that is 36 inches wide and has two doors that are each 17 inches wide and ¾ inch thick (deep). Both doors are ½ inch from the edges of the cabinet and flush with its front. There is a one-inch gap between the doors.

The Front value of the cabinet frame or carcass is ¾ to allow for the ¾-inch thickness of the doors. The Front values of the doors are both zero, putting the doors flush with the front of the defined area of the assembly. The doors have a Back value of ¾ (zero front plus ¾-inch depth), putting the backs of the doors flush with the front of the cabinet frame.

The left door will have a Left value of ½. That is, the left edge of the left door is ½ inch from the left edge of the cabinet. The right edge of the left door is 17 ½—that is, 17 inches for the door width plus the ½ inch that the door is from the left of the cabinet. The left edge of the right door is at 18 ½ inches, which is 1 inch from the right edge of he left door (17 ½). The right edge of the right door is 35 ½ inches, which is the left edge of 18 ½ inches plus the 17 inch width of the right door.

When you reposition an assembly within a project, the relationship between the assembly and the project changes, but the relationship between the assembly and its components does not change. In other words, the components move together with the assembly and retain their original relationships with the assembly.

Note: When you size a project and assembly, remember to allow space on the front for doors, drawer fronts, and even face frames. Setting the front of the carcass to 0 and then placing doors with a front value of 0 will require you to add the thickness of the doors to the front values of all carcass members in order to move the carcass members towards the back.