Question to wood workers (furniture connections)

I wonder is there any plugin which makes a furniture connections automatically for me so I could send it to the layout for a final drawing so I can sent more proper drawing to a cutting factory, where to drill and so… thanks in advance

What kind of “furniture connections” are you thinking of? There are extension which can make certain joints but you still need to know what is that you want and you’ll need to have some input.

mainly for a cam connector

There are plugins that can draw holes for you but you’ll have to specify their dimensions and locations. Or you could create a component to represent the holes, place copies where needed and use Trim from the Solid Tools to make the holes.

What does the factory need to know about the holes? Most likely all they need is the centers, diameters, and depths. You don’t need to show real holes. You do have to be smart enough to know where to put them and how many to use.

yeah all they need is the place, depth and diameters. I don’t need real holes in the project

Then you don’t really need a plugin at all.

I’ve very recently developed components for a Screwfix 15mm cam lock, 34mm cam dowel, wooden 30mm x 8mm D dowel, and holes for them that cut face openings.

Not at computer now, but will post files late today if of interest

If the factory is in the habit of drilling for knock down fixings, they most likely have tools set up to drill the appropriate holes. You should find out exactly what they need to know and give them that information. They may already have standardized drilling patterns, too.

Most likely there’s no need to clutter the drawings for the factory with the knock down fixing components. Save those for assembly instructions.

You can make a hole component as I’ve done here. I added a description for the component with the dimensions which is used to automatically create the label in LayOut. I added " , 3 place" to the label text in LayOut. The hole component is set up to be easily placed on a face where you want it.

For the first time I gave them the project and the drawings they did everything by themselves, they drill everything correctly. However I wonder for the future project for my needs which will be more complex than the first one. I just don’t want them to make any mistakes (not that they did any before) and to have all drills in the drawings as cam locks don’t come alone there is also a dowel which come with him. Well I’m not a professional just wondering if that would be easier for them to have everything in the drawing.

Why don’t you have a conversation with them about it? It sounds like this isn’t the first time they’ve made knock down furniture. Maybe it’s enough to tell them how many of what type of fastener you want at a joint. They’re probably knowledgeable enough to figure out where to put them.

I wasn’t suggesting that there’s only the holes for the cams. I was only showing an example of what you could do. Of course if you have to show holes for dowels and the mating holes on the joining part, you would make compoents for them, too.

Have you talked to the “cutting factory” about what kind of equipment they use and what sort of input would be easiest for them? Many such facilities use CNC machinery and would actually prefer a CAD file in some particular format, not a drawing, because they can input the CAD file directly into their machinery.

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yes they do use CNC and prefer a CAD file

You should check out the CabMaker / CutMaster combo from Garry K. (You can find out about it at Sketchucation - this page has discussion on hole specs: [Plugin] GKWare Cabinet Maker • sketchUcation • 11

You can spec all line / cup hinge / dowel / Minifix / Rafix holes through CutMaster (which generates the CNC files).

I haven’t bought CabMaker yet, but I do own his StairMaker plugin which is well-made and well-supported.

So someone will have to create a CAD representation of your design. From what you describe, in the past they have done this for you. No doubt the effort was figured in as part of the fee. With SketchUp Pro you could export CAD dwg/dxf files directly and avoid paying them, as well as assuring that the plans were as accurate as your original model, that is, that there were no transcription errors.

I’d recommend that while you are in the trial period that you create a design, export it as dwg, give it to your factory and see what they make of it. If the process goes smoothly, you should then buy a license for SketchUp Pro so that you can continue (by the way - you didn’t describe the purpose of your project. If it is not exclusively personal/non-commercial, you must buy a license for SketchUp Pro anyway).

Here’s the cam lock, cam dowel, wood dowel, and hole models, all in one drawing.

The components are all ‘glue to any’ and ‘cut opening’, when inserted into the model from the Component Browser. Once place, you can move, copy, rotate or flip them to get the orientation and position you want.

And here’s the model, saved back to v2014 for wider compatibility.
Cam lock cabinet construction.skp (301.4 KB)

The guide points are at 32mm spacing, to help locate the components in your model, using the European cabinet fittings conventions for hole locations.

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thanks! very nice of you to share it

Always happy to share, especially if someone else actually finds it useful!

If you are looking for CNC - consider Rafix

The hole idea (pun intended) is for surface drilling only
I have an skp file that I cleaned up - this is an image of it.

There is a version of Rafix that supports a second surface dowel - added strength and security

I’ve read about those, but not seen them here, though a search found a UK supplier.

They are several times as expensive as the Screwfix ones I am using in making a cabinet. 100 each of metal cam locks and cam dowels, and 200 wood dowels, came to less than £10 from Screwfix.

100 of of one of the cheaper Rafix cam lock equivalents alone is £15 plus. Dowels extra.

If you ever get into DIY drilling, I designed and made a wooden jig for the job out of 12mm hardwood plywood. Needs careful layout, marking, and drilling, but works, using brad point (aka spur and lip, or dowelling bits) for smaller and deeper holes, and a Forstner bit for the 15mm cam holes, works well.

Here’s what it looks like, and the SU model from which I built it.

Cam lock jig dimensioned.skp (320.5 KB)

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My CutMaster program handles Rafix and Minifix. Essentially 2 drilling patterns that you can adjust all the dimensions.

So you can set diameter of cam device and depth and distance from edge etc. So that means you can use essentially any device