In the first of this series of posts we’ll be looking at intelligent design in the woodworking, cabinet design and furniture manufacturing sector and introduce you to Furniture Design software that accelerates design and manufacturing processes, improves productivity and helps improve bottom line profitability for furniture makers and associated joinery manufacturers.
As companies move beyond the initial adoption of 3D design technologies that deliver first stages of productivity improvements and understand the power and impact on bottom line profitability that intelligent design and process automation brings, thoughts often turn to how business owners they can automate their own industry design requirements and downstream processes to maximise return of investment on CAD software and of course expensive CNC machinery.
If you are reading this Blog you are probably already aware Autodesk Inventor is a 3D CAD modelling package aimed specifically at Product Design, Engineering and Manufacturing.
But today we will be looking at extending its functionality even further specifically for the woodworking industry, furniture design and manufacture with an Inventor woodwork add-on (or plug-in if you prefer) called Woodwork for Inventor (W4I) that literally puts Inventor on steroids for our Industry.
Changing Customer Needs & Challenges
Our customers are becoming more and more demanding and it’s becoming harder for us to offer a fast turnaround of designs, while remaining flexible enough to cope with last minute design changes.
Many of us are able to offer a standard range of designs, but every customer demands that we make changes to our stands to suite their own requirements.
In addition, our customers are increasing requiring more and more entirely bespoke work that is unique to their project.
What becomes difficult for us, is the constant work and re-work of design data to prepare procurement lists, cutting tickets and CNC files for manufacture.
Automating the Design and Manufacturing Process.
This is where Autodesk Inventor with the Woodwork for Inventor plugin-in can help you.
Autodesk Inventor features a parametric workflow. This simply allows you to create libraries of parts that can change to suit your new design.
Imagine being able to take a 3D parametric model of a door. By changing the parameter values that you built in, you can re-size that door to suit your current project. What’s more – any drawings you created of that door will also up-date automatically!
And we can add to that. If we link the height of our parametric door to a parametric carcase, we can update the sizes of a whole cabinet quickly and easily.
Autodesk Inventor is flexible in the way it works, allowing you to model your components the way you want to make them. This ensures that you are capturing all the 3D data you need for downstream CNC programming while you work.
Finally, parameters can be exported, allowing us to automate the process of creating procurement lists and cutting tickets directly from our 3D model.
Autodesk Inventor of course also includes tools to allow us to create a ‘Digital prototype’ of our design, including Simulation, Stress analysis and Rendering as well as a full set of tools for delivering Building Information Modelling (BIM) models and data for your construction customers demanding BIM objects.
In our next post we’ll look at how Woodwork for Inventor can automate the process of adding matching cut outs for dowels, hinges and other fittings with its woodwork hardware library.
To find out more about Woodwork for Inventor to get a quote please click on the link below.