The ArchBlocks AutoCAD furniture block library includes architectural CAD symbols for designing CAD furniture plans, space plans, and CAD elevations. ArchBlocks CAD Furniture Blocks library of AutoCAD  Pillow Set Blocks include three CAD bed symbols with different pillow set combinations for those interior design projects that require a certain number of pillows depending on the room. The great leap forward for me came when I switched my focus from the finished drawing to building the model.
Three-dimensional modeling is far more direct, if you focus first on making a good model, then extract the two dimensional information you need from the model. Most of that is furniture design and making detailed drawings of furniture and cabinets for publication. Like my irate reader, I thought SketchUp looked too cartoony, and that the interface had been simplified to the point that I couldn’t do serious and accurate work. Two dimensional CAD is essentially an efficient version of conventional drafting-it is an interpretation and representation of a physical object. You don’t spend time mentally translating because the language of SketchUp is closer to the language of building-this goes here, that goes there and this other piece goes in between.


Last summer I co-wrote (with Glen Huey)  Furniture in the Southern Style and all of the illustrations came from SketchUp models. When you learn mechanical drawing, you learn a language that allows you to communicate the details of a physical object.The problem is that any form of drawing, from a napkin-sketch to a set of CAD-generated blueprints, forces you to worry as much about what the drawing looks like as the physical properties of the object.
Do that one time in SketchUp, and you don’t spend any time worrying about whether or not the plan, elevation and section agree. Eventually I made the move to AutoCAD, and bit the bullet a couple of times when a new computer or new software release meant I had to shell out a bunch of money to replace software that met my needs and worked just fine. The format is similar to my first book Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture, and my other books of measured drawings.
Most of the problems I had were complications I tried to introduce based on my past experience. Shouting at SketchUp in AutoCAD language doesn’t do you any good, even if you shout really loud. I don’t use AutoCAD very often these days, so I moved back from the big boy version to LT, and I keep an old machine on life support for when I do need AutoCAD.


All of the illustrations in the earlier books began life as CAD drawings, so the differences between AutoCAD and SketchUp have been on my mind lately. Best of all, you don’t need to visualize what the relationship between parts will look like in three dimensions, based on different orthographic views, you can spin the thing around and look at it from any angle or distance you want.
The last book was faster to produce, with more accurate results, and more options for what eventually appeared in print than the first one, thanks to SketchUp.
I kept getting surprised when I found out that an operation I expected to take four or five steps to complete took one or two.




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