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Cabinets - to BIM or not to BIM

Don Seidel

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Some of us who've drafted cabinet elevations for, say 40 years, have a difficult time finding the efficiency in modeling cabinets to create interior elevations. At the moment, VW has several cabinet-model tools (not unlike the several stair tools) which can be confusing at best. Each has a different approach with inherent advantages/limits. Most offices either draw "realistic" cabinetry, or "schematic" cabinetry, which might offer some direction in choosing which VW tool to use. However all the VW tools offer far too much lifework for the "schematic" (one--line) documentation of cabinetry. 


Bottom line: if I can still draw it 2D much faster than modeling it 3D, what's the point of 3D cabinetry? Most projects for us have only minor interior elevation changes. So the up-front time to model Cabinets does not return time dividends. The new Custom Cabinet tool holds promise, but needs several tweaks to be useful.

- More control over position and orientation of pills

- door swing lines for Hidden Line render mode

- adding a shelf (shorter depth) or a clothes Rod

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I would say there's little point, with the following caveats:

1. You utilise the model to produce schedules of information... only useful if someone is asking for them

2. As you build up your own library of objects then 3D becomes more efficient.

3. It's easier to identify problems in 3D; very much so on a building scale, but probably not as important to someone who's drafting cabinets and has been doing it for 40 years.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We normally use the 3d cabinet tools.  Increasingly, we model everything because - 

1.  It helps us visualize the design

2.  It helps our clients visualize the design

3.  Modeling the project speeds the process of design revisions that occur between schematic design and final construction documents

4.  the parametric objects speed the process of scheduling casework (our projects tend to have tons of casework in classrooms and other spaces)

5.  All of this speed the process of making multiple sections, elevations and visualization drawings


I agree with all of Christiaan's points above, except that there's little point in modeling.  Like everything else, it becomes easier the more you do it.

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