Developing dynamic components

I am a woodworker. I currently have a number of built-in cabinet projects. I have standardized on a design and can create a model of the cabinet. However since the dimensions of the cabinets change with each job, I want to create a model in which I can input the overall external dimensions, press a button, and get a complete cabinet model for the particular job. I’ve had some success with creating a dynamic component model of the overall cabinet, but the details of the dados, rabbets, and dovetails won’t change as the overall model does. How do I change the model so as the overall dimensions change, the details change too?

Resizing a component with Dynamic components is a scaling operation. So to change, say, a door rail’s length, it will get scaled meaning the tenons will get scaled, too. The way to avoid that is divide the rail into three separate subcomponents. One for each end andone for the middle. Then, to change the length of the rail, you scale the center section and move a tenon. For something like a raised panel you would need to divide it into nine sectors to manage the resizing without scaling the raising or the tongues. This works well enough for making the pretty pictures and stuff. If you need to use a cutlist extension or something, it can be a problem because the door rail gets listed as the three separate parts and the panel as nine. To get around that you can edit the componets and explode the bottom level ones but you lose the DC-ness and probably any time you might have saved by having them be DC’s in the first place.

I have found for the woodworking models I create DC’s aren’t a good solution. I do have one dynamic drawer box component designed for a specific type of drawer hardware and set up to output numbers needed for pricing from the drawer box manufacturer. That component doesn’t have any joinery and doesn’t need it.

Dave, I think you’ve just saved me a ton of time. I been watching all sorts of training videos trying to do what I said - all to no avail. Up to this point I’ve just been creating a new model for each job. While it does take some time, I done it so many times now that I’m really pretty quick at the job. In my shop I’ve learned that sometimes using good old hand tools is quicker and better that having some new power tool. Give me a good sharp plane, chisel, and saw and I’m happy.

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Good analogy.

I find that it’s not that difficult to modify a model to make another one using mostly Move and Push/Pull. Sometimes FredoScale comes in handy, too. With correctly built models it’s not difficult to make the required changes. As examples, here’s a screen grab of an early version of a kitchen project. I only modeled one base cabinet from scratch all the other base cabs, the entire island and the tall cabinet on the left were made from that one base cab.

In a similar vein, king-sized bed from queen…

…Morris settle from Morris chair.