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usingchief

Design custom furniture?

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I'm still a novice with CA but getting better at it thanks to this group.  I design a fair amount of custom furniture, primarily conference tables, consoles, benches, sofa and cocktail tables, etc.  What I'd like to figure out is if there is a way to model case goods + cabinets, etc without having a room around it.  And still to be able to do a 3-D view of it.   Or do I just draw a generic room and within the room interior, then design the piece within the space.  Anyone else use CA for the custom design of tables and cabinets? 

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Not quite sure what you mean by case goods, but there is no requirement for you to model within a room. Just make the piece and use the camera views and elevation views as normal. If there is a reason to draw inside a room you can turn off those elements in the layer set display options so they do not show up in your camera view. Another trick is just make  all of the room elements a color such as white without any texture, it's there but not seen.

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Cabinet modeling in Chief is very strong.  However, not even Chief uses Chief for designing furniture in...not a good tool for that sort of stuff.  In Chief you cannot differentiate textures per-surface "face", so fabric/wood/etc will run in 1 direction in any given shape. 

 

This is the type of control you need for furniture modeling.

 

 

 

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I think in CA you can accomplish the same thing. Just explode an element and apply your materials to the individual surfaces. Applied textures can be oriented, stretched and shifted via the material properties DBX, when finished just block the item or use create a symbol. Blocking is likely better as you can access the surfaces later on if you desire a change. Maybe not as intuitive as a dedicated program but with a little practice one should be able to develop a fairly productive technique.

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This took about 20 seconds to do. Created a cube primitive, exploded it, applied different colours to each face and then converted it to an architectural block. Now I can change the surfaces without having to un-block it.

 

590e3e4c56b2b_Untitled1.thumb.jpg.250ecddca20d6c191af94ef7ba6f3b34.jpg

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This was posted just last week. Not sure if you all saw it or not, there is a link to a video that Adrean did : 

 

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1 hour ago, usingchief said:

I'm still a novice with CA but getting better at it thanks to this group.  I design a fair amount of custom furniture, primarily conference tables, consoles, benches, sofa and cocktail tables, etc.  What I'd like to figure out is if there is a way to model case goods + cabinets, etc without having a room around it.  And still to be able to do a 3-D view of it.   Or do I just draw a generic room and within the room interior, then design the piece within the space.

 

This question is kinda strange to me...did you even try? All you have to do is drop an object into Chief and create a 3D view and you would know the answer.  I feel like I must be missing something.

 

To answer your last question though, I personally use Chief rather heavily for creating custom case goods and such and so do a number of other Chiefers. 

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46 minutes ago, usingchief said:

What I'd like to figure out is if there is a way to model case goods + cabinets, etc without having a room around it.  And still to be able to do a 3-D view of it.   Or do I just draw a generic room and within the room interior, then design the piece within the space.  Anyone else use CA for the custom design of tables and cabinets? 

I do lot of and with cabinets, those don't need to be in a room BUT once you start adding in primitives having four walls helps a lot. 

I have a template just for making symbols. Cabinet defaults are Blank with no separations  on all sides with no toe, no counter, separations set to zero. It has a couple of dedicated annosets, and one view that doesn't show walls, floor, ceiling or backdrop. 

 

As Graham points out there are ways. For instance I make door symbol (which can be anything) from different parts, and have different textures on them before converting to a symbol, those parts can have individually applied textures. Export symbol and alter in SU, then import. Plenty of ways to hack existing symbols too. 

 

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1 minute ago, MarkMc said:

I do lot of and with cabinets, those don't need to be in a room BUT once you start adding in primitives having four walls helps a lot. 

I have a template just for making symbols. Cabinet defaults are Blank with no separations  on all sides with no toe, no counter, separations set to zero. It has a couple of dedicated annosets, and one view that doesn't show walls, floor, ceiling or backdrop. 

 

As Graham points out there are ways. For instance I make door symbol (which can be anything) from different parts, and have different textures on them before converting to a symbol, those parts can have individually applied textures. Export symbol and alter in SU, then import. Plenty of ways to hack existing symbols too. 

 

 

I also prefer working in a room. The other advantage is that you can now showcase your piece in a real looking environment. You could also create a showroom for your pieces, add lights and everything. That would be a great way to sell your pieces.

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1 hour ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

This took about 20 seconds to do. Created a cube primitive, exploded it, applied different colours to each face and then converted it to an architectural block. Now I can change the surfaces without having to un-block it.

 

590e3e4c56b2b_Untitled1.thumb.jpg.250ecddca20d6c191af94ef7ba6f3b34.jpg

 

Id encourage you to see the rest of that video - since its well beyond the simple cube example*.  In furniture design you'd have newels, fabric billows, etc etc which Chief simply doesn't have the ability to refine down to that level and adjust the visuals.

 

There have been conversations about furniture design in Chief and Chief has themselves come out and said they do most their furniture modeling in 3DS.  I mean Chief isn't even anywhere close to providing this sort of detailing IMO.

 

 

*Although, I will point out the obvious that this sort of operation you show then precludes further shape solid modeling on that item.  Thats a fairly serious limitation if you have to make adjustments to the model.

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Johnny - I agree that this is not Chiefs forte and it is certainly not as intuitive as a dedicated 3D modeling program such as 3DS. However, one would be surprised at what can be done if you take the time to learn how to work around Chiefs inadequacy's. For example, you say that I can't go back and change the shape. Yes I can, I just have to un-block the Architectural block and I have full access to every surface plane. Each surface plane is just a polyline and can be fully manipulated on it's own, curved, extruded an so forth. The altered object can then be re-blocked. If I were to have converted it to a symbol I can resize the symbol through the symbol DBX and by using the stretch zones where I can define where the stretching will take place. If I create a tapered leg and the taper is to be fixed at 6" then the stretch zone would be in the area above 6"s. I can then change the height of the leg and the taper will always be 6" high.

 

I believe are you underestimating the capabilities of Chief. What is really the difference in building a house versus building a piece of furniture other than they have two differing names. All they are is a combination of a few very basic shapes.

 

 

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Here's another example. This Library wall unit, if I eliminate all of the design thinking time, took no more than a few hours to create. I have control over every element, can dimension every element, elevations, plan views, generate a material list, explode it out to generate assembly drawings. How long do you think it would take in 3Ds and from the information could you provide all of the other things necessary to make the design a reality.

 

590e5b4802986_Library_Final1_lzn.thumb.jpg.53ee0e1940b8df7f8c4cd024bf61bbb2.jpg

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Anyone else use CA for the custom design of tables and cabinets? 

 

Yes, see some examples of things I have designed entirely in Chief below.  Depending on what you are trying to design, this can be quite easy or quite difficult but almost always possible using native Chief tools.  If your pieces are mostly rectangular case goods, it should be fairly easy.  If you have any compound curves or complex shapes, then things can get much more complicated.  The armoire below was very easy but If I had wanted it to have an arched top it would have been much more difficult.

 

In general, you will find that the cabinet tools are very flexible and easily adaptable to a wide variety of furniture pieces.  Think of them more as building blocks instead of just as cabinets.  Don't forget that it is pretty easy to design almost any molding shape and apply them in many different places to get more accurate details.  I will also make custom parts in separate plans just to build into symbols for the various components.

 

armoire (render).jpg

bed frame (chief).jpg

bed frame (const).jpg

desk (chief).jpg

dresser (finished).jpg

dresser (render).jpg

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21 hours ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

Johnny - I agree that this is not Chiefs forte and it is certainly not as intuitive as a dedicated 3D modeling program such as 3DS. However, one would be surprised at what can be done if you take the time to learn how to work around Chiefs inadequacy's. For example, you say that I can't go back and change the shape. Yes I can, I just have to un-block the Architectural block and I have full access to every surface plane. Each surface plane is just a polyline and can be fully manipulated on it's own, curved, extruded an so forth. The altered object can then be re-blocked. If I were to have converted it to a symbol I can resize the symbol through the symbol DBX and by using the stretch zones where I can define where the stretching will take place. If I create a tapered leg and the taper is to be fixed at 6" then the stretch zone would be in the area above 6"s. I can then change the height of the leg and the taper will always be 6" high.

 

I believe are you underestimating the capabilities of Chief. What is really the difference in building a house versus building a piece of furniture other than they have two differing names. All they are is a combination of a few very basic shapes.

 

 

 

I didn't say you couldn't change the shape of the surface but I did say you could no longer operate with your cube as a solid (solid being key word, not face) shape.  To model another cube from the face would mean you'd have to convert the new cube back into faces to apply the correct texture and the whole thing goes around and around - repeating the same work over and over.

 

If the statement is:

 

"Someone can model anything they want in Chief, face by face, item by item, spending 100x longer than it would take using an app with better generic modeling tools would...."

 

....then I suppose that is technically true but its like saying you could travel the world on foot alone (expect oceans of course). That said, I realize there are easy furniture projects that could be done in Chief.  Its just hardly practical to think Chief could be the main tool for someone wanting to do furniture design.  If Chief themselves use another APP for furniture design then I think that is saying something.

 

Cabinets - Chief is amazing.  Agreed.

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Not furniture, but I did these just to see if I could using Chief.

 

The frustrating part was trying to angle a member in two directions.

 

These are frames for a leg press, and I stopped (gave up) before modeling the moving part.

 

Snap5.thumb.jpg.2a28427319aaf67863e5926fbd21108b.jpgSnap4.thumb.jpg.271802c58c5353b2a92c6589487c79ff.jpg

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Here is actually one of the simplest example of modeling a sofa in 3DS.  I can't even contemplate how this could be done in Chief....

 

 

I say the above is easy, compared with say this sofa model - and yet the presenter calls this a "simple" sofa:

 

 

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Johnny - The cube I posted is not a solid, it's an Architectural block comprised of individual surfaces (faces), as such you do not have to explode it to change the texture of any of the surfaces within the block. As I have repeatedly stated, this type of modeling is not Chiefs strong point but it is capable of handling some fairly intricate work. You just have to dig deep to figure it out. The most difficult task is creating sculpted/irregular contours, challenging but not impossible.

 

I'm not trying to convince you to use Chief, just attempting to demonstrate that Chief has a wide range of capabilities that are not always obvious at first glance. Being able to exploit these requires one to apply a certain level of thinking beyond just replicating a tutorial.

 

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I have no doubt that 3Dmax is better. I suppose if I did much custom upholstery it might be needed (once upon a time I did build it for several years). I don't really want or need to add in learning or supporting more software.

I've taken the time to learn how to get what I need out of Chief with an occasional foray sending something from it to SU for an adjustment.  I messed with FormZ occasionally over the last year thinking it might help but always went back to CA, uninstalled it a couple of weeks ago.

It depends on what you need.

For the attached I have access to all of the parts and generations used to create the parts. In many cases a generation amounts to 3 minutes and a save as.

 

1-Dermot mentioned curved case work and the OP asked about casework to begin with. Did this in about an hour tonight while watching the tube.

2- installing this week- this was the easy part. The custom radiator covers were a bear to work out-not Chiefs fault though. Fixtures and furniture are only meant to approximate what is there all made in CA.-light is two psolids and a solid cylinder and a bulb, bed is an altered bed, psolid, and altered posts, cabinet is custom turnings, drawerfronts, and hardware done in chief

3-The single handle was made from a Kohler faucet in CA, about 5 generations about half an hour since it was the first time I tried that and took me a bit to find the right faucet :)- I cheated at the end and sent it to Mesh Lab to filter.

curve top cabinet.PNG

Cab DBX.PNG

Custom Linen Stand.png

Linen detail.png

Handle.PNG

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2 hours ago, Dermot said:

 

Yes, see some examples of things I have designed entirely in Chief below.  

dresser (finished).jpg

 

 

Nice Woodworking shop Dermot. But you need to let go

of those 9 volt Makita's. ;) Surprised you can still find

batteries for them that will hold a charge.

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Here is actually one of the simplest example of modeling a sofa in 3DS.  I can't even contemplate how this could be done in Chief....

I wouldn't contemplate it either.

Lets not forget that Chief wasn't designed or developed to draw free form furniture.

It was developed to design and document buildings.

I think that we should be thankful that we can at least draw basic furniture pieces as illustrated in the previous posts.

If you want to draw complex free form furniture, buy the appropriate software to do that and don't complain that Chief won't do something that it was never intended to do. 

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4 hours ago, glennw said:

I wouldn't contemplate it either.

 

I on the other hand I did.

 

I thought about my former comment concerning curves, which is most likely the greatest perceived challenge. This was created using only two of Chiefs built-in tools, I did not use any library components or symbols. Now that I have a technique, which is ridiculously simple, I could build this or similar in very short order, probably about 5 minutes. No tricks here and things can be accurately controlled/defined. It's not the name of a tool that defines it's application, it's what it can do that defines it.

 

590f115415494_Curves1.thumb.jpg.3872ab4dbfc22be55a304cbe4019c5f1.jpg

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That doesn't look like a very comfortable lounge! :wacko:

And...also...why can't Chief cook my dinner?

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9 minutes ago, glennw said:

That doesn't look like a very comfortable lounge! :wacko:

And...also...why can't Chief cook my dinner?

 

That's like looking at a single 2 X 4 and saying it does not look like a house. All the fundamentals are there. Dinner, no problem, from the library select a stove, some cookware and food items and then send this data to a sophisticated 3D printer. :)

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6 minutes ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

Dinner, no problem, from the library select a stove, some cookware and food items and then send this data to a sophisticated 3D printer.

 

Graham,

I am not sure that is a solution - I would probably add too much salt and burn it anyway.

Easy to order take out and get it home delivered - unless I wanted something really simple like toasted cheese.

 

Quote

That's like looking at a single 2 X 4 and saying it does not look like a house

And if I wait long enough and expose that piece of timber to enough pressure, I may get a diamond.

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3 minutes ago, glennw said:

And if I wait long enough and expose that piece of timber to enough pressure, I may get a diamond.

You don't have to wait, someone many years ago who understood the underlying principles involved in the creation of a diamond, applied this knowledge and there is no problem replicating this, they manufacture diamonds all the time, they are the real thing,

 

Who would have thought that a simple + or - voltage swing would result in the device and system you just used to post your comment.

 

My perspective is "Nothing is complex, it's only the arrangement of things that create complexity and ones inability to see the simplicity within".

 

 

 

 

 

 

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