Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby palo » Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:43 pm

I have developed a Cabinet Design program for Sketchup which may be of interest to this forum. You can watch a preview of the software at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=763bsw5Y0Gk - your comments would be appreciated.

Paul
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Re: [Preview] Skabinet (make cabinets with Sketchup)

Postby dedmin » Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:58 pm

WOW!!! Excellent WORK!! Is this only dynamic components or there is some ruby scripting? I have been trying to make something like this but seems to complicated. And there was no good way to export the data for cutting and reporting. What about banding and grain direction - this models are more toward American's way of working - in Europe is a little bit different.
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Re: [Preview] Skabinet (make cabinets with Sketchup)

Postby palo » Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:30 pm

It's all done with Dynamic Components... the only exception being the export. It does support both Grain Direction and banding.

Some of the other features include control over insets and offsets, joinery (butt vs dado), frameless vs faceframe, Applied Ends, some control over carcass construction, and metric and imperial measure.

Can you give some examples of how European methods differ from American?
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby Krisidious » Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:16 pm

I worked in a cabinet shop here in America for 3 years.... and I have to say they are moving toward European methods and measurements.

nice work... where do we get it?
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby dedmin » Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:26 pm

Here, we are working with melamine faced boards - mainly 18 mm thick, for backs - HDF 3 or 4 mm, no face frames at all. Backs are usually with grooves or just overlay. European style hinges, ball bearing slides, roller runners or drawer systems from Hettich, Grass or Blum. Doors - simple melamine, MDF soft-forming or post-forming, aluminum frames or glass. Bottom cabinets are on an adjustable legs with kicks 80-100mm. Joinery - Minifix, dowels or Euro screws.
Scroll this pages - sorry, it is in Russian, but there are good pictures.

http://kuhonshik.ru/?p=0103
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby Gaieus » Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:29 pm

And here it is in Google-Pidgin (for some reason, the characters appear in a very weird colour hard to see)
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby palo » Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:34 pm

I have taken a look at the information you sent on Euro construction. Other than the thickness of your materials, It looks very similar to the way that I build my cabinets. The software does allow you to control the thickness and type of materials used. You can use a solid planted back or use a thin back that is inset into grooved cabinet walls. The toekicks that are shown can be detached so that you can use adjustable legs (which is what I do). I only use the toekick box for display purposes... the software allows you to suppress the export to the cutlist program. All in all, I didn't see anything that the program couldn't accomodate.

As for where you can get it. I still haven't released it... it is getting close... but work keeps getting in the way... lol. What I am looking for right now, is for confirmation of what I've done, items that need to be fixed or missing elements that need to be added. I'm not sure of the best way of handling that and am open to suggestions.
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby dedmin » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:53 pm

I see You export a data to CutListPlus. How do You handle the non English characters in the names? Where do You put the banding info and is there a way to swap length and width to determine the grain direction - in CutListPlus grain is always with the length. Here is my dynamic basic panel that holds and calculates all the data that I need - I decided not to bother with dynamic components as a cabinets, but to use this panel as the building block for all my furniture, make a normal components for the all basic models and resize them with FredoStretch. The main problems is the data report. Sorry, all the labels are in Bulgarian, but You can look at the formulas and get the idea.
Panel.skp
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby palo » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:13 am

I store the grain as the X,Y,Z attribute with each individual component (IE. Deck. Right End, Left End, Back...). My export script then determines how to specify the length/width to Cutlistplus so that the grain is always the Length.

Banding info is held for each of the sides (top,bottom,left,right) of each component and is stored as primary/secondary banding. Cutlist Plus then interprets it according it's values as to what has been defined as primary/secondary banding.

I'm not sure what you mean by the non-english characters - I pass the info in a CSV file with the first row containing the headers.

I downloaded your panel.skp but the contents didn't have a component, only individual faces. could you check - maybe I did something wrong?
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby dedmin » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:41 am

Don't open it directly - import it as a component. Can You export the labels as a header data - http://forums.sketchucation.com/viewtopic.php?f=80&t=29835&start=30.
I'm using just a plain text to adjust the banding for export to CutList, but use materials to paint on the edges and to calculate the real length of the banding - as CutList works only with straight edges. And I can change the texture of this material to match the real band - we sometimes use a different color for the edges. For grain direction I use a switch that just swaps length and width in the Options Window, but doesn't change actual sizes - it is just for exporting to CutList. I have a field for oversize the panel - again,this doesn't change the real sizes, just in the Options Window. This is needed when this panel is non-rectangular and to be cut to final shape.
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby palo » Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:39 pm

Thanks dedmin, I was able to import your panel.

After reviewing the link you provided, I believe I understand the issue of non-english characters now. The only report that I have done to this point is the csv export to Cutlist - and the headers are hard-coded to match what cutlist plus is expecting. The issue becomes important when the report is intended for you to view - you want the headers to be the external names (labels) that have meaning to you and not the internal (english) names that the program code uses. I haven't attempted this yet, but if I can get the label value out of the dictionary, I should be able to generate the proper headers. Thank you for highlighting this! It's a very important interface issue.

Panel.skp:

I let cutlist plus manipulate my cut sizes. If I want an oversize piece (typically it would be for scribing), I use the secondary banding indicator. In cutlist, I associate a negative value to this banding with the result being that the panel is cut oversized on the sides(s) that I want. I don't currently store banding material names within the components. I typically only have one project on the go at any one time, so I rely on my external notes to know what material to use. I don't track banding length requirements nor costs as it is fairly insignificant in my operations. Is this different for you?

I notice that you keep the joinery method (biscuit, dowel, screws...) rather than the joint (butt, dado). as well as the count of items needed for the panel. I need to address parts inventory before I release the software. I was initially thinking of only slides, hinges, and handles/pulls, but will re-think how far I should go.
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby dedmin » Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:17 pm

My goal is to do as much in SketchUP as I can. Often I work together with the customer - we change colors, handles, legs, materials and etc. I need to code all the valuable information inside a dynamic components. Say for a handle - drilling distance, material, price. For a leg - variable height - from 80-100mm, material, price. This way I have all the info needed for building the project, for answering customer's questions and for calculating the final price. Everything is changing fast from project to project and I can change this data on the fly why building the project. My intend is to export all this data by similar components - say the panels share the same labels in the Component's options and I can export this as a sheet "panels" in OpenOffice CALC where the labels are the headers for the table and use Sum to get all the data. Then for the legs, handles and etc. And this makes sense - for order list and etc. You hardly order all the stuff to the same supplier. This way there is no central database to carry on - everything is with the components, easy to see and change - simple and flexible. For the joinery - we have jigs and a system for drilling and we need only to now what kind of joinery is needed and to calculate price and quantity - again, easy to change on the fly.
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby utiler » Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:27 am

Krisidious wrote:I worked in a cabinet shop here in America for 3 years.... and I have to say they are moving toward European methods and measurements.


That's good to hear, Kris.... hopefully we'll all be working off the same units....
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby utiler » Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:33 am

Palo wrote:I have developed a Cabinet Design program for Sketchup which may be of interest to this forum. You can watch a preview of the software at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=763bsw5Y0Gk - your comments would be appreciated.

Paul



Hi Paul, so do you expect to release this plugin?
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby palo » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:31 pm

Hi Andrew,

I do plan to release the plugin but have no fixed date as to when that will be. A lot depends on how much time I can take away from cabinet building, but my goal is to have it ready within the next few months.

I have been using the software in my business for the past year and am satisfied with the stability of it. It does what I need, but question whether it can handle the requirements of others. One of the purposes of this thread is to gather any reactions that could improve the product before release.

My next step is to start producing a series of product how-to videos that I hope will generate further discussion and awareness.

Your comments are always welcome. Please keep checking back for further discussions and video announcements.

Paul
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby watkins » Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:24 pm

Have you seen this?

http://tomatoes.ch/cms/

Kind regards,
Bob
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby palo » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:10 pm

Hi Bob, I did take a look at the tomatoes plugin last year and took another look this morning to see if the concept was still the same - which it appears to be. It lets you easily create cabinets, but lacks the ability to modify the dimensions or contents afterwards - that's a task that you do on your own or through another tool like FredoScale. I think that on smaller projects, tomatoes could be a good tool to use. I'm not sure how effective it would be on a large scale project where change seems to be the one constant.

With my components, you can alter all parameters after the fact - add a drawer; change doors/drawer fronts, counts, and reveals; if you change the type of drawer slide used, the drawer box size will recalculate automatically; change material thickness and all affected components are adjusted for you... You can create a model cabinet based on how you build and then store that in your components list. Once it is in that list, you can use it over and over again without having to do any work other than specifying its width - In that respect it is similar to tomatoes.

Paul
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby dedmin » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:18 pm

How do You handle different sizes of the same cabinet - I mean the names. Say we insert cabinet A, then another copy of the same cabinet A, but this time change the dimensions and put a different door. In the final cutlist how we gonna know which parts belong to winch cabinet? Now I'm making the copies unique and use this naming conventions - cab_part#1, for the copy cab_1_part#1
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby watkins » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:27 pm

Dear Paul,

If you could ensure that your design software applies equally to EU/UK and USA standards, then I'm sure it would be well received. In that respect, Tomatoes might be helpful in gauging the degree of conformity with EU standards. The versatility of your software should appeal to the professional kitchen cabinet designer.

Kind regards,
Bob
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby palo » Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:31 pm

That's a very good point Bob, thank-you, I will look at it again from that perspective. I think you hit the nail on the head regarding your comment about meeting different standards, it is one of my top concerns.

Paul
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby palo » Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:38 pm

Hi dedmin,

The solution I'm currently using is to have the export program make each cabinet unique. The sub-assembly in the cutlist plus export will contain the unique cabinet reference name (EG. Cabinet(1)). The part that I don't like about doing it this way, is that there is no direct tie-back to the sketchup model.

Paul
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby dedmin » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:25 pm

Yes, that is one of the problems with dynamic components.
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby dedmin » Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:25 pm

watkins wrote:Have you seen this?

http://tomatoes.ch/cms/

Kind regards,
Bob


This plugin creates only groups with strange names, a lot of reversed faces and the export doesn't group the parts, nor determines width, height and thickness. Not practical at all.
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby Jim » Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:17 pm

dedmin wrote:How do You handle different sizes of the same cabinet - I mean the names. Say we insert cabinet A, then another copy of the same cabinet A, but this time change the dimensions and put a different door. In the final cutlist how we gonna know which parts belong to winch cabinet? Now I'm making the copies unique and use this naming conventions - cab_part#1, for the copy cab_1_part#1


It is possible to have an attribute that is dynamic and uses dimensions/values directly from the model to create the name or attribute.
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby dedmin » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:01 pm

I didn't know that. But what happens to the internal links between nested components? As the position of the shelf is linked to the side and the like?
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby Jim » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:35 pm

I'm not sure what happens with the internal links, but I think there are 2 names for a component. One being the SketchUp definition name, the other being the DC name. In the following image, the Component Info name is dynamic while the name used internally remains "Shell". This way, the generated name can be used for reporting.

832.png


Here is an example of a cabinet whose name is created from the dimensions:

http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/ ... revstart=0

And it's name formula:

Code: Select all
=concatenate(if(Type=30.5,"B",if(Type=28.5,"A",if(Type=26.5,"V","D"))),"27P2",if(Shallow_Depth=23.75," ","S"),if(aWidth<>27," (modified width "," "),if(aWidth<>27,aWidth," "),if(aWidth<>27,")"," "))
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby dedmin » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:58 pm

Thanks, Jim. Yes, when the option change, it creates a new component but the names are so messy! Needs a further investigation.
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby palo » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:56 pm

Thanks Jim. I use the component info name when I export the cutlist data. I had been searching for a way of getting a unique cabinet number to attach to the name when the DC gets created. I was hoping to reference some external component (like a project file DC), but haven't had any luck figuring out how to do so.

Maybe the solution to this problem lies somewhere between your thoughts and what I'm doing currently (creating the unique name for export purposes only). Maybe I should be actually updating the cabinet DC's via a ruby script and generating a unique name at that time. It could be an option when the export is being generated. If the option is ignored, the system would still generate the unique numbers for reporting, but would not update the model. I think that's an acceptable workaround. thoughts?

Paul
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby dedmin » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:19 pm

I think the names of the parts in the model and in the report should match. If we have a shop drawing with labels showing the parts, and a labeled parts already sawed and they differ? It will be confusing at least. This is very important here - because this melamine boards look so identical!It is not like real woodworking - when You see a leg, You know it is a leg! :D
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Re: Cabinet Design program for Sketchup

Postby palo » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:05 am

I have put a new video up today. As always any comments and recommendations would be most appreciated.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5W350pLByA
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