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Having trouble importing a "functioning" self-made Cabinet

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Whenever I create a cabinet with Sketchup and import it with Chief Architect (X5 32-bit), it does not "function" like a cabinet from the CA library. My imported cabinet is missing the "Front" tab (along with the "Sides/Back" and "Manufacturer" tabs) in the "Wall Cabinet Specification" window (when I open the object). This is what is missing:

Wall Cabinet Specification   Front Tab   Original.cropped



I did a test using a simple cabinet from the CA Manufacturer Catalogs, trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. I picked the "Armstrong "24" High x 18 Deep Microwave Cabinet" and dropped it into a new/empty floor plan. This is what that simple cabinet looks like (I put a wall in the back just for this photo) :

Armstrong 24 High X 18 Deep Microwave Cabinet.cropped



Then I exported it as a .dwg from the "Perspective Full Overview" 3D-view. After importing it into Sketchup and assigning the cabinet's open space to a layer I named "Opening", I exported it as a .dwg from Sketchup. Using the "Import>3D Symbol" in CA and choosing "Cabinet" in the "Choose the symbol category" drop-down menu and selecting the "Show Advanced Options" option, brings me to the "Symbol Specification" window:

Symbol Specification   Cabinet Front Symbols Tab.cropped


Here is where I defined it as "Wall Cabinet", and highlighted the Layer "Opening" and defined it as "Appliance". Note that in all of my testing I have also tried defining it as "Drawer", "Left Door", or "Right Door", without better results. After clicking "OK", the cabinet is successfully loaded and added to my "User Catalog".


I inserted my imported cabinet into my floorplan (to the right the original cabinet" and went back to my 3D-view. The imported cabinet looks the same as the original in every way, but when I open it, the "Front" tab is missing (along with the "Sides/Back" and "Manufacturer" tabs) :

Wall Cabinet Specification   Front Tab missing   Imported.cropped



No matter how many times I've tried to get this to work with different settings, etc, I can't figure this out.

Does anyone have an answer to what I'm doing wrong? Thanks in advance for any help.

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You've come up against one of the shortcomings of Chief's Symbol Import.  The problem is that Chief creates cabinets parametrically from the data supplied in the cabinet dbx - it's an internally programmed cabinet that CA refers to as a "Native Object".  Importing a cabinet as a symbol is not much more than you would get importing it as a piece of furniture.  The only real differences are that you can put a countertop on it, insert a sink into the top - and it will be on the cabinets layer.


There is a way to create Cabinet Symbols using "Primitive 3D Faces" for the openings, etc.  I've done it but after several less that 100% successful results I decided it wasn't worth the effort. Each opening has to be a 3D Face of a different color and as I recall you name them "Drawer1, Drawer2, Door1, etc.  IAE, it's a PITA so I said "forget it" and moved on.

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There are a few cabinets and a few modifications I use often that Chief won't do- recess corner sink base, recessed angled plate rack, side access with glass, non matching interiors, integrated side panels, some angled cabinets, unequal depth pie cut...I can make them in 2020 in a snap, export to cad, open in turbocad, export from that to 3ds or SU but STILL I've had no luck importing them as symbols. So...


 I eventually have had to build them out or "parts"-loose shelves, seperate backs, cabinet 3/4" or 1/16" deep, stacking multiple cabinets, psolids, loose doors. All in all a PIA but at least I can get there. Once in a while I've had luck creating in a seperat plan-perspective-delete surface add to library- but that doesn't always do what I expect.

Most times now when I can't get the DBX to do what I need I go directly to "custom fabrication"


Alas I have not always been able to reuse these wonders- sometimes block- library and resuse works out, sometimes open old plan copy and paste works out- most times something quirky happens requiring more work. The upside is it helps when talking with the factory.

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Thanks, Joe and Mark for your answers.


It is somewhat confusing though why CA asks you to define areas as "Drawer", "Left Door", "Right Door", and "Appliance" in the "Symbol Specification" window during the import process. Why, when these don't function like normal cabinet-fronts?


Oh well, there always seems to be something missing in programs...


Btw, how do manufacturers create "functioning" cabinets for the libraries?

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