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Kitchen Design Pointers

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I’ve been a technical kitchen designer for many years, using 2020 Design and Chief Architect.  I just started working for a local Design Build that uses AutoCAD full version for all drawings for all trades. I have a background using AutoCAD from vocational training as well as a brief few years doing shop drawings for a millwork company. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact I’m creating cabinets from lines ( floor plan view to elevations ) when I just think of how much time would be saved if using other software. The company has standards for different line types, layers on all the particular plans.  They use blocks for the different door styles and drawer fronts appliances, plumbing fixtures etc. I respect it and they do a great job at what they do, but I feel that I could be doing things that aren’t so archaic to make the process quicker and easier from project to project. I’d really like to wow them with some ideas of things that you guys might do to make things easier.  Maybe using dynamic blocks (not familiar with the limitations or the process) with different options for door swings? Can you show different line types in a single block? Maybe create a catalog of different size cabinets with different door/drawer configurations.  I’m really just looking for ideas and inspiration on things you guys do in similar roles. 

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Steven-g has done a lot with cabinets he may answer, not my main stream, really automation is what it is all about, don't draw lines, draw doors panels etc You are right dynamic blocks are becoming more the norm and for cabinetry makes a lot of sense. Its about enter length width height number of doors and type all done including cut lists.


Have a look in Showcase here and in Particular David Bethel.


Are you aware of programming in lisp or VBA .net etc in Autocad.


This is a simple example, next step would be the parts list. 



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Yes you can have different linetypes in a block/dynamic block. How are the blocks used by the company you are now working for, a block is usually used just to save on repeating work, so you would draw one door front then use that as a block to place all the cabinet doors then if the design changes slightly edit the block and all the doors that use that block are automatically updated. A dynamic block will allow you to easily use doors with different dimensions to stretch the width and height of the doors, the only drawback of that is that if sizes change then each individual door will need editing separately (unless the dimensions are the same). 

You can also use visibility states within a dynamic block to turn on/off various features, depending on the needs of a project, just watch out that things don't get too complicated. I find that a big library of simple (size adjustable dynamic blocks) is better than having a smaller library with feature adjustable objects. But that is personal choice and will depend on the workflow that a company uses, and also whether you need to cooperate with others on drawings, it is not much use spending a long time creating blocks that you can use if your collegues have to then work on the drawings and they have no idea how to use the blocks so they explode everything and edit the results manually.

But that's all theory, if you could post examples of how things are done, it would be much easier to see how maybe the process could be improved (or not).

As BIGAL says the big time saver is automation, so anything you learn with that in mind Lisp, VBA, etc would be of value.

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At one point I worked for a cabinet maker who used Microvellum software. That will do what you want, but it's very expensive. For alternatives, look at WoodCAD or CabinetVision.


Revit can produce 3D models, for less money, with models provided by many manufacturers. They use parametric design, which takes a little getting used to.


If you stay with AutoCAD and use dynamic blocks, it will take some time to set up a useful system, but you get several advantages. You can always modify/update any part. You can tinker with your workflow until you have something that works for you. Just make sure you organize and document your library properly.



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