Designs of kitchen layout have changed over the years. From a few shelves under the counter, an average looking storage box and a table to stylish modular kitchen cabinets, custom drawers and pull-outs upper and lower cabinets, the complete form and finish of the furniture has changed. What details do you need and how you assemble each component is something that an architectural millwork designer would help you decide.
Face-frame cabinets are standard in the U.S., while kitchen cabinet makers and designers in Europe are quite familiar to the frameless cabinets for some time now. Between the upper and lower cabinets, there are hundreds of styles, girders, hinges, and doors are customized. But at the end, all that a cabinet maker will opt is make a box of wood that can be stacked up against a wall and assign features to it.
Selecting a cabinet design and specifications is a daunting task. What’s even more difficult is getting manufactured the exact bespoke designs. There are so many questions revolving, “Where do I start from?”, “What is the easy way to model?” and many others of the kind.
About starting early and going digital
As a manufacturer or a woodworking company, you have your own prejudices. And they are all valid. But what’s more important for you to make profitable growths is to meet the expectations of the pull-type market trend of the millwork industry.
Because the work of custom kitchen cabinetry originates based on the architectural plans, it is highly unlikely that any two design specifications chosen at random will be the same. They may appear identical at the first look, but they do differ in the very essence of geometrical dimensions. This leads the designer to an idea of starting early and going digital with CAD modeling and sketching tools.
CAD: Because precision is addictive in millwork
For a segment like millwork furniture designing, where everything is interdependent, meticulousness is of the highest importance. And at the same time, unique designs are trending. At this juncture, exploring design ideates, tweaking designs, visualizing a cracked design idea, and what if scenarios are encouraged.
Parametric CAD software are precision tools that can help designers develop both, traditional and modern designs and convey them to manufacturers through shop drawings. With CAD, details are perfected. It lets you try out the space planning in a virtual area and redefine your designs altogether.
Additionally, conveying every single design detail to shop floor is vital. Although digital manufacturing with CNC machines have greatly refined the quality of fabrication results, the need of accuracy and detailing in shop drawings still remain important.
Of cabinet accessory and interchangeability
Furthermore, accessories on kitchen cabinets increase the accessibility and add functionality to a simple box of plywood or particleboard cabinet. Raised panel door construction and dovetail drawers are slowly making their way amongst the high-end kitchen cabinetry.
Simultaneously, ergonomics and aesthetics factor are becoming growing needs for high-end customers of kitchen cabinets. Hardware that constitutes for soft closing doors, concealed hinges, and self-closing pistons remain in demand.
Such an endless combination of accessories and constant usage, the possibility of damage and [hence] replacement also increases. Customers, thus, would want the characteristics of interchangeability of parts and easy availability of clones in the market. Also, cabinet manufacturers to see profits within as they only need shop drawings, assembly and installation instructions done only once, unless there are design modifications.
Designing in CAD, the millwork and furniture designer can ensure the standardization of each part drawing. By adhering to any particular system of standard – regional or international woodworking standards – interchangeability of all the parts in a modular kitchen cabinetry could be increased dramatically. Standardization increases both, replication of part manufacturing and flexibility.
Investing in the right way
A good software is as important as an elite physical cabinet. By investing in the right kind of CAD, you, as a cabinet manufacturer, are ideally investing in the sustainability of your business and greater profit margins. The paybacks for CAD systems are heavy and a vast quantity of CAD designs can be made available.
Usha B. Trivedi is an engineer with Hi-Tech Engineering Services – a company providing design support services across the globe. With years of experience in CAD drafting, conversion, 3D CAD modeling and 3D rendering, she provides insights for solutions in process challenges of fabricators, designers, contractors, engineers and architects.