Cabinetmaker vs Customer Presentation Drawing

I am building a component library for my cabinet shop.
The drawings need to be able to generate cut lists for the crew.
I want the drawings to be easy to understand by the client.

The attached file shows how we typically build a faceframe surrounding a hood fan.
This shows the intersection of horizontal elements to vertical elements as they will be constructed.
It also shows how stiles relate to rails in the door construction.
This is the stuff the cabinetmaker needs to see.

All these extra lines, however, are visually distracting for the customer.
I would like produce a layer view for them that does not have any extraneous line segments.

I could explode component and delete the lines I don’t want to see but this would break the attribute information and eliminate my ability to generate a cut list of constituent parts.

Any ideas how to clean up the drawing to show a simplified version?cabinetwithskin.skp (1.2 MB)

Exploding components or otherwise modifying the model strikes me as likely to cause more work and possibly errors. I would be inclined to look at changing your presentation style. Perhaps change the edge color so it’s less noticeable or even turn off edges. You could also do things in LayOut such as setting lineweight quite thin.

In any case, don’t wreck your components for display purposes. You’d basically need to redo everything when the customer changes their mind and you have to make modifications.


Regardless how you build your cabinetry Sketchup is a 3D drawing platform that allows you to communicate(reference) the 3D model in 2D using Layout (Pro Version). See the following professional drawings submitted to the client for review. These drawings are technical however the cover page is what communicates to the client the design intent and character.

The client and the field install crew can use both drawings

The Cover Page




This would be a typical shop drawing for fabrication…which includes the cutlist, door and drawer list technical information that only the shop will use.

I have been producing these type of drawings for years and have found the client appreciates being included in the communication process with the technical drawings. Some of it they don’t understand but they love how professional it looks showing the quality being delivered before any wood has been cut.


You could put the ‘construction’ components on a layer you turn off for customer presentation, and add a ‘front face display’ component or components that show what you want the customer to see. For a set of simple rectangles, it should only take a very short time to draw.

Like this, for example
cabinetwithskin.skp (129.2 KB)

By the way, the ‘3Dprinter’ component is largely useless, and merely adds about 1.1MB of bloat to your file. Use a different template.

And draw full size for your real cabinets. These are minuscule!

Those drawings are pretty impressive Peter.
I haven’t explored Layout much as I am still struggling with the basics of sketchup.

I am curious about the page that includes fabrication data.
Is this dynamically linked with the warm & fuzzy drawing you show the client? I.e. would the shop drawing change automatically if a customer asked you to change a drawer-over-door cabinet to a drawerbank?


Thanks for the skp example.
I have a question about the 3D schematic that presents to the client.

Is this scene an overlay skin that you sketched onto the face of a dynamic model? Is there a way to make this view automatically update if there are changes to the underlying attribute values?

I just drew it manually over the Frame component, made it into its own component and assigned it the Customer layer, then turned off the Construction layer in that scene.

Because you want such a simple, clean, presentation, and all the objects are simple rectangles, it is a matter only of moments to draw it.

So no, it wouldn’t automatically update.

You COULD build it in to a DC, but it might well be more effort that it’s worth, unless you have very complex kitchens with many many revisions. It’s much simpler and quicker to draw over the construction geometry, as long as it is all so rectangular.


I use a plugin called cabmaker32 which is a purchased 3rd party application that rides on top of SketchUp. It is an extremely powerful plugin for producing cabinets. It does not perform miracles as there is no program that does. However, cabmaker32 is the closest custom cabinet program I have ever used…and I have used programs that are priced in the tens of thousands of dollars. Cabmaker32 is the best in my opinion as a professional.

Yes is does update the material list however you do have to make some manual steps to get it to the final drawing as I have shown. To date I have never found a program that is as precise architecturally and productively when used along with all of the tools that SketchUp and Layout provides to the end user. Yes is does take some time to learn…but given that time it will provide very professional results at a fraction of the cost of the big guys that make all sorts of claims but can’t produce the same results within the same learning curve and price point.

Yes…Layout dynamically updates when changes are made to the SketchUp 3D drawing. Some dimensioning and/or notation you applied in Layout may need to be manually revised depending on the complexity of your drawings. I have produced complete construction documents for very large residential homes in excess of 5000sf with more than 20 revisions but it is what it is and there will be some manual drafting needed…that’s part of the job. I will say this… there is “NO” Cad program out there that is automatic…period! I’ve spent in excess of $30,000.00 on software that had a huge (year long) learning curve and required a rocket scientist to operate that could not provide the same quality that SketchUp has provided (each program requires intense dedication to perfect including SketchUp). I have been running SketchUp for over 10 years and have a long way to go compared to some of the absolutely talented operators out there that I will never see their level of creativity.

Hope this helps…


John is correct…if I understand what you are after you would like to provide a dumbed down 2D representation of your 3D model for your client with a 2D representation that dynamically updates when the 3D drawing is modified. That would require referenced parametrics and I’m sure there are some plugins out there that can provide that level of complexity. However, the time involved in building a 3D model with background 2D parametrics would be very intensive and difficult to complete in a business model that provides the client with the ability to make unbridled changes.

In a business model that allows custom changes you would draw a 3D model (V1) which is communicated to the client in a static 2D drawing. When the client makes changes you revise the 3D model (V2) and then modify the 2D static drawing to present to the client. Depending on how busy you are this could take some time…so the client must wait to see the changes represented in the 2D drawings.

The original sketch you provide showed a real built in cabinet fabrication (a real cabinet maker can see the that) and not some big box stores imported flat-pack pre-finished cabinet. Based on that observation you build custom cabinets which would require a library of components that would require all your fingers and toes to calculate. CabMaker32 has a different approach to custom fabrication and parametrically builds custom cabinets on the fly that can be modified quickly by changing menu driven options and dimensions (parametrics).

SketchUp Pro and CabMaker32 customer presentation of a walk-in closets…




Drawn in SketchUp and communicated through Layout.

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