One question that always comes up when talking about cabinet design software is “how extensive is the cabinet library”? CabWriter has taken a multi-pronged and innovative approach to managing your cabinet library. We, of course, have many standard cabinet types (a total of 14 in all between uppers and lowers) to start with that are listed below:
- Standard Base (with or without a drawer)
- Drawer Bank Base (2 types)
- Blind Corner Base
- Pie-Cut (Lazy Susan) Base
- Diagonal Corner Base
- Sink Base
- Divided Base or Upper (Cabinet w/ customizable fixed shelves)
- Standard Upper
- Blind Corner Upper
- Diagonal Corner Upper
- Refrigerator Upper
Since CabWriter is a parametric drawing program, you can take any one of the above cabinets and customize it to your heart’s content; frameless, face frame, or something in between, with nearly endless variations to choose from. Each and every cabinet in your project could have a unique construction method. Over time, every project you do is essentially building a library of cabinets that are specific to your needs. The traditional approach is to allow you to save the unique cabinets you create to a library so you can pull it back into another design if you need to. You can still do that by utilizing SketchUp’s native library management options, but that can be cumbersome and take up a lot of space and it can be time consuming to search the library for exactly what you need.
CabWriter’s approach is a bit different. You have a couple of choices. The first option is to save the parameters you used to create a specific cabinet to a file which can be retrieved later to create a cabinet with the exact same options. You’re not storing an entire cabinet, you’re storing the settings that you used to create the cabinet, which is very quick and efficient. Most of the time, you don’t want to create another cabinet of the exact same size, but wish to create it with settings you’ve used before. This approach allows you to do that easily by creating as many different parameter files as you want.
However, the complexity can get overwhelming; imagine having a number of different construction methods and parameter settings within the same project. How do you remember which parameter settings you used when you created the cabinet? Fortunately, there’s a simple solution. CabWriter stores the parameter settings used to draw a cabinet along with the cabinet itself; we call it the cabinet’s “DNA”. This is an extremely useful and powerful concept.
Using the “Retrieve Cabinet Defaults” tool , the parameters that were used when the cabinet was drawn can be automatically loaded into the current parameter settings. So, even if you had a number of different construction methods in the same project and needed to draw a new cabinet similar to an existing one, you simply click on the cabinet, then on the “Retrieve Cabinet Defaults” tool to pre-load the parameters and draw the new cabinet. Similarly, you can open any previous project you’ve done, copy one of the cabinets into the current project, and quickly retrieve the parameters and start drawing in that same style. This makes it very quick, easy, and efficient to manage multiple construction methods within the same project and/or replicate cabinets that you’ve designed previously. Every cabinet you design automatically becomes part of an extensive, personal cabinet library. Now, with CabWriter 3, you can also copy a cabinet from another project or a SketchUp component library and use it as is by using the new Move tool to move it into the correct position for the new model. The cabinet can then be edited as any other cabinet to change its size or construction method.