Cabinet furniture design tools workbench

Post here for help on using FreeCAD's graphical user interface (GUI).
Forum rules
and Helpful information
IMPORTANT: Please click here and read this first, before asking for help

Also, be nice to others! Read the FreeCAD code of conduct!
User avatar
Kunda1
Posts: 5226
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:03 pm

Re: Cabinet furniture design tools workbench

Postby Kunda1 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:47 am

Want to contribute back to FC? Checkout:
#lowhangingfruit | Use the Source, Luke. | How to Help FreeCAD | How to report FC bugs and features
User avatar
iogui
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:44 pm
Location: São Paulo
Contact:

Re: Cabinet furniture design tools workbench

Postby iogui » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:23 pm

I think that restrict the domain just to fiberboard construction is too restrictive. To be able to build a more general purpose furniture is a must for me because I also work with haw wood. (Including beds, an tables and tools and anything that can be done with pieces of wood or boards, or both)
I've made a lot of tests in the FreeCAD possibilities to build furniture and I've came to the conclusion that it has still many flaws that can make the life of a woodworker and furniture designer a hell. That's why I'm working with SketchUp hight now. But I still want to help FreeCAD to be more woodworkers friendly. I came to the conclusion though that we will have to correct some bugs on it's copy paste mechanism before even digging more deeply with this furniture workbench.
Be the change you want to see in the world. - Mahatma Gandhi
Arge
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:46 pm
Location: São Paulo - Brasil

Re: Cabinet furniture design tools workbench

Postby Arge » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:09 pm

Hi Iogui. I've been researching lots of tools and "raw theory" about this subject for more than two years. To be short, a compromise between complex furniture design and friendly usability is a desire, a goal (for the future of freecad, I think). My intention is only to walk a few steps further in this direction, nothing else. Maybe, only native mechanical cadist designers is comfortable to project through lines, surfaces and equations, as bare metal forge guys did at past (and nowadays almost touching geometry kernel by hands. kkk). This lead me to reasoning why SketchUp is a market success.
m0n5t3r
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:55 pm

Re: Cabinet furniture design tools workbench

Postby m0n5t3r » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:29 pm

Furniture is a huge domain, indeed, but there are common elements (joinery, for instance... at least creating the basic joints should be automatable so you don't have to draw tabs on each panel of a box jointed box, or mortises and tenons for each board, etc.)

I think it's best to start with the basics (joinery and assembly that doesn't try to be generic - which makes stuff like a2plus and the older assembly workbenches complicated to use / implement). The "put panels on a sheet for cnc" part already exists in the Arch workbench, but it could use some tweaking, because it's kinda clunky:
* select objects built with part design (or, better, clones of said objects)
* turn them into panels
* create panel cuts from the panels
* create a panel sheet
* enable "make face" on the panel cuts and panel sheet
* (0.18 )paste a path to some random ttf file instead of "The font file" in properties for the panel cuts and the panel sheet (it doesn't appear to be used, but there are errors without it), click recompute
* use the nest tool[1] and hope it works - for me with 0.18[2] it fails with "Invalid no-fit polygon. Aborting" when trying to fit 4 box jointed drawer sides on a sheet, and with "Container is not a face. Aborting" if the panel sheet actually contains the panels

For simulating furniture layout Arch is probably your best bet, too (I remember seeing a long and boring video where someone was creating kitchen cabinets - no joinery and pretty tedious, but at least it looked like a kitchen when he was done with it, and I think you'd be able to extract a cut list from there, assuming you use screws and pocket holes like savages :)

[1] https://www.freecadweb.org/wiki/Arch_Nest
[2] since someone might ask, I couldn't try freecad-daily because whoever manages the PPA hates ubuntu 16.04 and didn't add packages for it after the 0.18 release, but I'm attaching the file and build info
OS: Ubuntu 16.04.6 LTS
Word size of OS: 64-bit
Word size of FreeCAD: 64-bit
Version: 0.18.1.
Build type: Release
Python version: 2.7.12
Qt version: 4.8.7
Coin version: 4.0.0a
OCC version: 7.3.0
Locale: English/UnitedStates (en_US)
Attachments
drawer.FCStd
(111.33 KiB) Downloaded 10 times
WayofWood
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:59 pm

Re: Cabinet furniture design tools workbench

Postby WayofWood » Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:38 am

I have been using FreeCAD a bit for woodworking projects over the last year. A quick overview of the process and a few fixes can be found here:

https://wayofwood.com/woodworking-designs-with-freecad/

When thinking about a workbench we should think about two different user groups:

(1) The professional carpenter shop using mostly automated production, CNC and has to calculate based on a larger warehouse of supplies
(2) The average Joe Woodworker that would like to visualize the cabinet before building it

In order to get a solution for (1) FreeCAD is missing a lot of features and it will be a big effort to get there. Myself being more part of the second group I think it would be more a question of usability and bundling in order to create a compelling solution for woodworkers.

Contributing to A2+ and introducing a few additional features might actually be a big step for better woodworking support:

* Creating files in individual files is awkward if each part is only a panel
* Having a cut list with dimensions would be very helpful
* Integrating a nesting solution or making the export to deepnest easy would be super helpful

In a nutshell: From my point of view FreeCAD has 80% of the tools a hobbyist woodworker needs - they are just well hidden and not so easy to learn and need some tweaking and a few hacks.

So far my thoughts on the topic ...

Best regards
Oliver
User avatar
Kunda1
Posts: 5226
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:03 pm

Re: Cabinet furniture design tools workbench

Postby Kunda1 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:13 pm

Just an aside, your website and content is awesome. Thank you for promoting FreeCAD and sharing your experience with others!
Want to contribute back to FC? Checkout:
#lowhangingfruit | Use the Source, Luke. | How to Help FreeCAD | How to report FC bugs and features
m0n5t3r
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:55 pm

Re: Cabinet furniture design tools workbench

Postby m0n5t3r » Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:33 pm

WayofWood wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:38 am
When thinking about a workbench we should think about two different user groups:

(1) The professional carpenter shop using mostly automated production, CNC and has to calculate based on a larger warehouse of supplies
(1.5) The average Joe who has a CNC large enough to build furniture-sized objects ;)
WayofWood wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:38 am
(2) The average Joe Woodworker that would like to visualize the cabinet before building it

In order to get a solution for (1) FreeCAD is missing a lot of features and it will be a big effort to get there. Myself being more part of the second group I think it would be more a question of usability and bundling in order to create a compelling solution for woodworkers.
I don't think (1) is _that_ far, to be honest, a lot of the legos are there; as for (2), the videos I've seen of professional cabinetry tools seem to be focused on libraries: pick style, customize dimensions, generate cut list / sheet / etc.; maybe a primitive way to do this would be to have parametric files for the things you build often, then just make copies and customize; this way, I especially if you use spreadsheets for dimensions, I think you can easily get a cut list from that

The next step would be a way to share those :)
WayofWood wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:38 am
Contributing to A2+ and introducing a few additional features might actually be a big step for better woodworking support:

* Creating files in individual files is awkward if each part is only a panel
you can already import multiple parts from a file, on my installation it's the second button on the toolbar ("add a single shape from an external file")
WayofWood wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:38 am
* Having a cut list with dimensions would be very helpful
I think you can hack this with spreadsheets
WayofWood wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:38 am
* Integrating a nesting solution or making the export to deepnest easy would be super helpful
there is a nesting thing in Arch, but it doesn't seem to be working very well in 0.18 (it seems to have problems with concave objects), and I'm stuck with that version for now; I see deepnest can import DXF, and you can export individual panel cuts and the panel sheet as DXF (the Autocad 2d one, not the drawing one); you can also use draft -> shape 2d view and export that as DXF
WayofWood wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:38 am
In a nutshell: From my point of view FreeCAD has 80% of the tools a hobbyist woodworker needs - they are just well hidden and not so easy to learn and need some tweaking and a few hacks.
agreed :)
WayofWood
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:59 pm

Re: Cabinet furniture design tools workbench

Postby WayofWood » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:27 pm

m0n5t3r wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:33 pm
you can already import multiple parts from a file, on my installation it's the second button on the toolbar ("add a single shape from an external file")
It's still not very convenient to draw all the panels in different files - especially since referencing a spreadsheet from external files to my understanding is not yet a stable feature and might be changed in the future.
m0n5t3r wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:33 pm
WayofWood wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:38 am
* Having a cut list with dimensions would be very helpful
I think you can hack this with spreadsheets
I've modified the code of A2+ a bit to get a decent cutliste -- the code is on the website.
m0n5t3r wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:33 pm
WayofWood wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:38 am
* Integrating a nesting solution or making the export to deepnest easy would be super helpful
there is a nesting thing in Arch, but it doesn't seem to be working very well in 0.18 (it seems to have problems with concave objects), and I'm stuck with that version for now; I see deepnest can import DXF, and you can export individual panel cuts and the panel sheet as DXF (the Autocad 2d one, not the drawing one); you can also use draft -> shape 2d view and export that as DXF
... and you can use the export feature of the LC Interlocking workbench to lay the material flat before exporting it ...

... which is exactly my point: Being a nerd and woodworker I found a way to work with FreeCAD but Joe Woodworker's brain is unfortunately melting when you explain him to patch some code, install a few workbenches, export stuff here and import it in another software ... ;)

Best,
Oliver
WayofWood
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:59 pm

Re: Cabinet furniture design tools workbench

Postby WayofWood » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:35 pm

Kunda1 wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:13 pm
Just an aside, your website and content is awesome. Thank you for promoting FreeCAD and sharing your experience with others!
Thanks. From my point of view there are at the moment only three solutions that one could use as a woodworker: Sketchup, Fusion and FreeCAD.

Sketchup is moving in a very commercial model with several of the existing addons (like cutlist) no longer working. Fusion is great and has a massive set of features but I don't believe that Autodesk will keep their altruistic model and sooner or later will go down the Sketchup road.
This leaves from my point of view FreeCAD as the only viable option if you don't want to pay for a professional carpentry software package. ;)

Best,
Oliver
schupin
Posts: 294
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:43 pm

Re: Cabinet furniture design tools workbench

Postby schupin » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:45 pm

WayofWood wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:35 pm
addons (like cutlist) no longer working
Like Kunda, I'm very impressed by your website : it's really detailled and nice to read.

For information, there is a nesting tool implemented in FreeCAD (https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?t=23484).
I'm using it to optimise my cuts (I don't know "cutlist optimizer"). It's not straight forward as you have to redraw rectangles before using it but it could certainly be scriptable from a spreadsheet.