SolidWorks

CAD plots

Mechanical CAD plots for kitchen units, workbenches and learning.

The kitchen, some furniture and transferring designs off pieces of paper provided some motivation to learn the SolidWorks package. The sheet metal is excellent, but we have not had anything laser cut yet, and are looking forward to exploring that in more detail with some machine design work.


We purchased SolidWorks Professional at the end of 2012.

Our initial interest was sheet metal and weldments. In 2013 we did some house renovations, and it came in really useful for kitchen design. In 2015 and 2016, we designed wooden furniture.

We bought a cheap MIG welder many years ago, but have since learned that you need to buy quality tools to avoid disappointment. We bought a decent European TIG welder (ESAB) in early 2017.

Photos of kitchen in early days

Various CAD plots for welded frames, some furniture and transferring designs on scraps of paper into something that can be backed up or edited (and found!).

Half of the centre unit for the kitchen. Upside down, sanded and welds smoothed.

Same unit given a metal etch surface paint (galvanised tubing).

Shown from another angle. Coated with a white epoxie paint (using a roller as now inside and the frame will be clad with oak).

Kitchen frames

Initially modeled as an extruded solid, the planks were made of meranti sections that were jointed with Festool dominoes.

The shelf fitted into the frame shown in the series of pictures above. The SolidWorks mating, assemblies and photo reaslistic rendering were good enough to convince the customer to give the go ahead — little did the wife know that it would take a while longer than a sesson of The Block, the TV renovation show that compresses time and expense for a public nurtured on reality TV shows. It is better to get permission and then beg for forgiveness than to put in something that was not requested, no matter how useful or good looking.

The meranti was experimental, easy to work with, but not always straight (twisted), so the shelf unit was coated with epoxy paint. Sliding glass doors to be added later. The request was for a white finish for the sides (counter tops are PNG Rosewood).

The frame to the right (painted and with a floor shelf). The base shelf has slots cut out in melamine for vertical drawer unit supports. The metal frame was to keep the units off the floor for easy cleaning underneath. It was epoxy coated. There are 18 drawers and the counter top is 2000 × 1200 mm.

The frame for the other half of the centre unit on its side, sanded and ready to be moved inside (and painted).