I am learning CAD and was wondering how most of you like to draft your cabinet doors. Is it preferred to offset from the case opening the desired inset or overlay to establish the door perimeter then fillet to make door, or, say, use polyline and draft door then move into position? I was thinking of just offsetting from the cabinet opening to get dimensions. Then after fillet, is it possible to make multiple lines into a polyline, so I could make the perimeter of the door one solid line (without making it a block)? I know you can break lines, so I figure you can merge them as well..?
What do you do with the face frames behind the door on overlay doors? Break the lines and delete, so as not to be seen behind the doors? Break the lines and convert them to a "hidden" layer?
From contributor K:
Kudos for persevering on the learning curve (or maybe "vertical ascent?"). I am a stick drawing draftsman - no solid modeling or fancy stuff. I see the cabinet shop drawing as a communication tool, not a work of art.
In order to size my doors accurately, I start with the cabinet opening and offset for my inset or overlay. Then I trim the line of the frame/case where it is hidden by the door. When printing in 3/8 or 1/2 scale, the two lines would be too close together if you showed the hidden part of the frame as dashed. It is also extra work which does not show any useful information.
In the same vein, I use a single dashed line for shelves and dividers behind doors. For open cabinets, I show the actual thickness of these.
In AutoCAD 2004, there are new settings called obscured linetype. You can use this to show the face frame beyond as a dashed line if you want to.
All and all, I find working in 3D to be easier than 2D, but you still have to use those 2D skills to lay stuff out and cheat when it is the right thing to do, like when you do not have all the information you need.
When you control+ right click, it should bring up your snaps menu. These are all one shot commands, so you can have your snaps turned off and just initiate a one-time snap. This can be done in the middle of another command as well. The From command can be used for many tasks, but for this example we are going to look at rectangles.
Example: you have a rectangle that is X= 24” Y= 36” (x & y are your axis). Say you want the x dimension to be 36”. You can easily stretch the rectangle over 12”, but for this example we’ll use the From command.
Initiate the “Stretch” command and window the right side of the rectangle.
Select the bottom right corner of the rectangle as a base point.
Control + right click and select the From command.
Now click the bottom left corner and pull your mouse to the right.
Type in the total distance that you want: 36” Enter
Now, let's say that rectangle represents a door and you want another door to make a pair with 1/8” between them.
Use the “Copy” command.
Select the rectangle.
Pick the lower left corner as a base point.
Control + right click and select the From command.
Select the lower right corner of the original rectangle, pull the mouse to the right and type .125” Enter.
Now you should have two rectangles, 36x36, with 1/8” between them.
I use a lot of hot keys to speed things up. When I want to use the From command, I control + right click and type the letter “F” and hit the space bar. If I want a one time end point, I type “E” space bar. The underline letter on the menu will tell you what letter to hit.
Let’s look at making rectangles for doors:
Initiate the rectangle command: pick a point
Now type: @24,24 and hit enter
Now you have a rectangle 24”x24”
The at symbol means from the point you clicked
The first 24 is the X axis
The “,” separates X from Y
The second 24 is the Y axis
Since you typed positive numbers for the X & Y, the rectangle was drawn to the right of the point you picked and up from the point you picked. If you had entered @-24,-24 it would have drawn the rectangle to the left and down, being the negative direction from the point you clicked.
Now that we know we can draw a rectangle at any point we choose, let’s incorporate the From command and put a ¾” door on the face of a side section. The side section is of an upper cabinet and the door is the same height as the unit, 36”, and has 1/8” clearance between the back of the door and the face of the unit. The face of the unit is facing to the right on your screen.
Initiate the rectangle command. *Do not pick a point*
Control + right click and select the From command
Click the bottom point of the upper
Pull your mouse to the right and type .125, hit enter
This will be the bottom left corner of the door
Using a block:
You can make a block of a side section door, say ¾”x 6” and choose the lower left corner as an insert point and save it in your template so it is always there.
Have it exploded automatically on insertion.
Use the From command to give it the correct insert location, then stretch it to the required height.
This method works but is less flexible due to a fixed insert point on the door. If your unit is facing to the left, you will have to calculate the door thickness + clearance to find the insert point.
The great thing about AutoCAD is “There is always more than one way to skin a cabinet.”
If you want, check out Quick Draw at JMHsoftware.com - it has some good tools for speeding up the drafting process.
I find that dividing my cabinet into all of its center lines with snap points for all of my library parts makes for very fast drawings and I always have my centerlines on a separate layer in yellow only, so that they can be hidden with one move. I'm trying to get the CAD creator to bring back the command of trim by window, which was the fastest command we had back in the Dos days, but it's an uphill battle.
With all the doors grouped, I can exchange different styles of doors by just substituting the layers. Of course, that is only for those customers that can't make up their minds. Initially when I draw the quarter door, I put full detail to it so if I have to blow it up, I can and it will be an exact replica instead of just a rectangle with some lines on it. That's what I do like about the computer. The details are always full size so there is never any reason to draw a blow up. It is already fully detailed.
I like your system for doing panel doors. Have to give it a try. I've been (sometimes) using 12" x 12" door blocks, inserting, stretching then mirroring. It's a little clumsy.
I have found that it is much easier and faster to copy and mirror copy something that I already have. It took a while to get used to doing mirror and mirror copy, but it is really fast once you get the hang of it. The secret is to get used to using centerlines and an insert point. Just like sheets. It has a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, then it is awesome. Much better than layers. Sort of like a super layer.
Eventually, Microscoft wants all users to pay a fee yearly whether there is an upgrade or not. I might be making the switch in the future to Linux, but this seems to have some kinks in it too, and on top of all of this, the interior decorators want the old-fashioned hand drawings and I understand what they are saying. Scary.