One of the most powerful tools that I use in creating custom, furniture-grade cabinets is not found in my workshop, but rather is a software tool called CabinetVision. This 3-D solid modeling software allows me to design, accurately dimension, and generate color 3-D renderings of complete cabinet projects. This tool gives you, the customer, the ability to see a photo-realistic view of your completed cabinet project before it's built. You can also contrast and compare different design options and see how those options impact overall project costs.
The software can be used to create either face-frame or frameless (European style) cabinets. Once a design is complete, you can switch between these two construction styles and compare the differences in appearance as well as the cost. Changing construction methods also automatically selects the correct hardware (door hinges, drawer slides, etc.) for building that design. Finally, the software performs a function called panel optimization as it generates material cut-lists for use in building the cabinets. While this may not sound important to the end customer, in fact it insures that the greatest use is made of each sheet of material, which leads to the lowest possible cost when purchasing project raw materials.
The examples below show some of the projects that I have designed and constructed using the CabinetVision software. Renderings produced with the software are shown side-by-side with photographs of the finished projects.
(Click any photo for a close-up view)
Traditional Mahogany Bookcases
Maple Corner Entertainment Center
Maple & Cherry Home Office
Contemporary Mahogany Bookshelves
For some types of furniture projects, the CabinetVision software can also be used to design and render them. These furniture applications are usually confined to "box" type pieces that contain storage of some kind. Some examples are:
Armoires and wardrobes
Chests and dressers
The platform bed project shown below provides a good demonstration of the CabinetVision software applied to a furniture project. The first three photos are different rendered views of this platform bed, which contains a 4-drawer pedestal. As you can see, the software gives a comprehensive view of the piece from many angles, and also allows you to see the bed with the drawers opened. The bottom two photos show the completed bed, and demonstrates the degree of accuracy between the computer design and the finished product.
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