Ed's Custom Woodcrafts
If you have a full size model to look at you can determine how the size works relative to the place where the project will be ultimately placed.
Making a cut list from your model can most of the time be done automatically and can save time and money, as you can see in this image it makes the building and assembly of the project that much more enjoyable.
This Kitchen Island that I just made was a huge project and couldn't of completed it if it were not for this process, this software bailed me out of a couple of tricky situations and as a whole saved me a lot of time and more importantly it was a great way to convey the design to the customer without actually buying a single piece of lumber.
Creating Working Drawings
This is where the fun begins for me working drawings are essential to a successful project because you actually get to see a 3 Dimensional image of what it is you want to make.
For those of you that are great freehand drawers and can whip up a plan with only paper and pencil, I truly envy you. Me on the other hand couldn't draw a straight line and needed to rely on other methods on getting that project image out of my thought process into a form I could physically see, but not actually make it. That's why I turned to 3D computer software and despite popular belief you don't have to purchase the top of the line software and it doesn't take that long to master the basic maneuvers in getting that 3D rendering completed. I will go into the Sketch up application that I use in another chapter.
After you have spent some time making the drawings and you have settled on a concept sketch that comes closest, its time to assign dimensions to the project. Since I will be using computer software I don't really need to worry about scale as the software automatically does that for you, and that is why I like using it , it takes away all that time consuming drawing in drawing everything to scale and you get a working 3D model in a very quick amount of time, depending of course on the size of the project you are going to undertake, I have spent maybe a week on some big projects that I have completed and others only a couple of hours.
Once you see the overall size of the project you can see clearly how the size and shape of the components relate to each other, you can also determine the method and the sequences of joinery also become more obvious. These working drawings are a bridge between your 3d model and a master cut list, which will then in turn lead to actually building and assembling the wood project.
Tedious tasks of finding out the exact dimensions of a part are made so easy such as above trying to determine all the drawer components measurments.