Kitchen cabinetry

Hi all,

If I wanted to produce kitchens with bespoke cabinets as the example link shows in SK, is there any good videos recommended that I can watch to give an idea of what order to work in and that explains what items are good to make a group or component as all the kitchens are different in cabinets, doors etc.


Thank you in advance

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I don’t think you’ll find a real “best” method. When I model custom kitchen cabinetry I only use components just as I do when I model any other furniture. Components offer so many benefits in my work flow and using only components eliminates errors that often creep in when users have a mix of components and groups.

Some people will tell you that if there’s only one of something, make a group. That work flow works for them.

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Hi, thanks for you reply, at this stage any similar good practice videos would be good to watch. If you make things components, what do you do if you want to change/alter/move one of the cabinets at a later stage with them being ‘stuck’ together?

The cabinets are stuck together. Creating components prevents parts from sticking together. Maybe you mean related? You can break that relationship with Make Unique. If you are going to be creating construction documents from the model as well as the pretty pictures, you might make a nested component of the cabinet with each part you’d make in the shop sub components. If you want a another cabinet that is a different width, copy the first one, make it unique, open it for editing and make only the pieces that run left to right in the case unique. You can then edit them to change their lengths and move the side of the case to make a new one. That way you keep things that are the same in all the cabinets related. When you run a report or cutlist you can run it for all of the cabinets. In one line It’ll tell you how many side panels are needed for all the base cabs in the model. I did something years ago on this sort of thing with cabinets that are simple boxes. I’ll see if I can find it.

I’ll give those things a try, thankfully it is just the pretty pictures and not in depth cabinetry components for cutting lists etc, I don’t get involved with that.
It’s things like the different doors mouldings etc that I need to look at.

OK. Even with just showing different doors, components make sense. Model one door and then edit copies to make the other doors. Keep them in a collection for later use. You can set up your model with layers for different door styles and the swap them as needed for different scenes.

Cabinet carcasses tend to be built mostly in standard sizes so if you make components for the cabinets, you can save them for later use, too. Also with components, you can set the insertion point and give them gluing properties so when you drag the component in, it goes right where you want it. No need to fuss with moving things into place. That also makes it dead easy to exchange things like door and drawer pulls if you want. If you model is done correctly you can exchange all of the pulls in two right clicks.

You could also make dynamic components if you want. I find them of limited use for my work but some folks like them. I made a drawer component for one of my clients that is useful. I did a thing about that here.

There’s a video at this link that shows converting a side table into a coffee table. It’s more changes that you’d do for kitchen cabinets but shows the idea. It could be applied to doors and drawer fronts.

Thank you, I will take a look at these two links:)

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FWIW, here’s a thing I did showing how to use layers and components to show design variations.

That’s great, some helpful info on your links, the Fredoscale looks a helpful extension too. On your table video, when you are selecting things to work on, there is obviously nothing behind like a wall, or any other items, if this was inside a room, how do you only select what you want and not any other things behind or next to what you want to select?

There are several ways to deal with that. One would be to use the Select tool correctly. Left to right selection boxes will only select those entities that fall fully within the box so you can easily limit the selection set. Or you can hold Ctrl while clicking on the things you want to select. You might make use of nesting to wrap a collection of components and/or groups up. If you watch the video I linked to talking about showing design variations, you’ll see I have a nest component for the drawer in the cabinet so a single click allows me to select the entire drawer. Another way is to assign layers to groups and components so you can control the visibility or the things you don’t want to see and get them out of your way while you work.

Thank you again, I will try these things that you have recommended. I think it will be a good idea to start to build a library/catalogue of cabinets, how/where would you store these to call on in other drawings?

I create local collections for components that I will reuse. There are a couple of ways to do that. I’ll see if I can find something I did on that topic.

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Here’s one to start with. https://www.finewoodworking.com/2014/03/15/save-your-components

More helpful info, thank you. My thought is by having a selection of cabinets, then using either the move or Fredoscale or adapting others too to fill the room. (In my simple way of thinking anyway)

That’s a good way to work. Also think about what you might want out of the model besides the pretty pictures. Maybe you don’t need construction details but suppose you want a list of the cabinets for being able to quote prices? Each component can have a description that can be put to use in a report. You could also create a bunch of information fields via the Dynamic Component interface to get more out of the model. And certainly for things you’ll use repeatedly, don’t model them more than once (except to get practice in modeling).

The other thing I may need to do is have plans and elevations with dimensions etc at some point.
What is a good way of putting moulding in a kitchen door panel, is it by using the follow me tool somehow?
I may set up a door file/catalogue to bring in too in the same way as the cabinets.

So layers and section cuts and scenes to show what you need to show and then send to LayOut for the documentation with dimensions and labels.

Follow Me generally. Consider the use, too. If the details won’t show clearly in the images and you don’t need the molding profile for anything else, don’t worry about making it exact.

Yes. And do the same with door pulls if you need to show different types.

Great, learnt a lot in day 1 of looking at Sketchup, much appreciated. One thing I meant to ask was why do some objects show as hollow, like there are fronts and sides but no back and some come out looking solid all around? If that makes sense

I guess it depends on how you model things? I’d have to see your SKP file to be able to give you more specifics. SketchUp is a surface modeler so it’s not like you are carving the object out of a block of wood or clay. In a sense it’s more like a balloon with only a skin. In order to get a face, the bounding edges must lie in the same plane so you can’t fudge things like you could with plywood. If you have what looks like a rectangle with no face skinning it, you can possible “heal” the opening by tracing an edge with the Line tool. If that doesn’t fix it, try drawing a diagonal line between corners. If you get a face then, you can be pretty sure the bounding edges aren’t coplanar.

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Just a guess that the hollow, no back, issue is a push/pull anomaly that I experienced after installing 2019 - but which now doesn’t occur, since the latest update. It (being very annoying) was that unless the cntrl key was employed a new face was not created - leaving a box with no bottom.