*length*,

*width*or

*height*, and thickness. A horizontal panel like a shelf has a

*thickness*in the vertical dimension and a

*length*horizontally, but a vertical panel like the side has a

*thickness*in the horizontal dimension and a

*length*vertically. The back could have a

*length*vertically and a

*width*horizontally, unless it's quite wide, in which case it could have a

*length*horizontally and a

*height*vertically. (I did eventually discover how to rotate the panels).

The bookshelf will stand on the floor, so that is the zero point in the Z dimension. It will be against a wall, so that is another zero point. I fairly-arbitrarily chose the left end to be the zero point in the third dimension, although I'm not fussed about that one. However, if I make the wall parallel to the Y axis (so distances from the wall, such as to the front of the shelves are on the X axis), then showing the front of the model actually shows me the left-hand end! If I do it the other way (the wall parallel to the X dimension), then showing the front of the model does the right thing, but distances from the wall towards the front of the bookshelves have to be negative!

All of that I could just about live with, but my shelves are large, and have six lots of shelves side by side, so positioning each panel individually is a nightmare. (I

*really*like that you can link the dimensions and placement values to a spreadsheet, although the spreadsheet itself is very basic and tedious to use.) Then I found that if I make a union/fusion (consistent terminology seems to be an issue) of some parts, I can position each component relative to the whole fusion, and then position the whole fusion in one go. (I did end up with three fusions themselves fusioned into one.) So then I copied and pasted that outer fusion five times for each of the other five sections, but when I went to alter some dimensions on just the last one, I found that I was altering four of them in the process! (I must have done a couple of them differently, so the other two weren't linked in that way.)

This all became so frustrating that I explored a bit more, and decided to try the Arch workbench, and created a FreeCAD panel in that. Great—here the panels have a thickness. However, the placement of them is based on the

*centres*of the panels! I couldn't find how to change that.

And so I'm now at the point that I'm asking, what is the best way for me to do this, without as many of those issues as possible. I have to redesign it, so I'm happy to start again, but should I be using a different approach altogether, or are there solutions to the issues if I stick with one of those two work benches?

(Actually, the whole workbench thing is confusing. In some ways it seems that they are simply different sets of tools to work on the same models/drawing, but then I read that things created in some work benches are incompatible with some other work benches.)