As floor spaces shrink for apartments, workspaces and retail shops, multi-functional convertible furniture becomes an overriding need across the furniture industry. Accurate and detailed furniture shop drawings are pivotal to driving efficiencies in convertible furniture manufacturing.
As per Global News Wire, folding furniture market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% from 2016 to 2022, to reach $13 Billion by 2022.
Convertible furniture, though costly, has attracted designers, manufacturers and customers, as floor area shrinks by the day. The success of convertible furniture industry demands high performing furniture drawings to ensure design intent is maintained across stages from design ideation to manufacturing. And this is where most convertible furniture projects go wrong.
To overcome these challenges, perfectly engineered shop drawings are the solution as they act to be the single source of truth for design communication between teams.
Furniture shop drawings carry comprehensive information about product manufacturing, assembly and installation that helps convey design intent without any deviation. For example, an ideal furniture shop drawing for an office work station will show the type of wood, laminate, screws, etc. to be used, hidden components, joints and other connections, product specifications such as type of metal etc.
With drawings of such clarity, chances of rework are reduced as they are developed keeping in mind the architectural plans and machine shop’s tooling capabilities. The design intent clarity that these drawings bring to table help the furniture manufacturers understand what’s specified by the designer and make informed decisions.
For furniture, foldable chair, foldable sofa or foldable kitchen island, every piece is a multi-component assembly. Thus, it is quite possible that part drawings can be reused for new pieces. Also, parts are hybrid, such as frames are made of metal while the body maybe of glass or any other material. In such cases, design handoffs between the furniture designer, metal fabricator, and glass manufacturer must be precise.
Additionally, these parts are manufactured at different sites and transported to the location of installation and assembled there. Parts get damaged often time during transit, unpacking and lead to hampering work. Thus, they need constant guidance for unboxing, assembling and installing in the right manner – which can be done easily by a set of furniture drawings and sequential video.
Shop drawings have a set of documents and several types of 2D furniture drawings to be delivered to the manufacturer or the architect. An ideal CAD drafting expert will adhere to predefined system of standards that industry has accepted for sheet presentation, drawings styles, notes, etc. to maintain uniformity. Standards allow all stakeholders to maintain coherent communication channel between and across the organizations – especially when each part of the furniture is custom made.
A uniform presentation style avoids back and forth of the documents which saves time and finishes the project within stipulated timelines. It helps the manufacturer save in overheads and reworks. Another interesting thing about furniture drawing files in CAD is that it allows you to reuse drawings for other projects where there are similar parts. It essentially helps you to allocate resources better.
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While there could be no limit to how much details should one include in their furniture or joinery drawings, there is a primary set of information a CAD drafter must include. The checklist goes as:
CAD automation comes in handy when designs are complex but a lot similar to your previous works, you can use those drawings as master models to automate your drawings to new specifications. Either using inbuilt macros or functions of CAD platforms such as SolidWorks or Inventor, you can customize your designs faster.
Alternatively, if you are good at programming and scripting, or have an expert automation resource on board, you can customize these macros. By doing so, you can use logical scripts to develop APIs and plugins to implement automation across platforms and remove drawings customization errors.
Second way to use automation for CAD is using automation platforms like DriveWorks or Tacton to eliminate repetitive tasks. They use powerful rules-based engines to configure drawings along with BoMs to reduce engineering lead time to just a few minutes.
Convertibles have created an ever-lasting impact on furniture industry by offering ease and ergonomics even in small floor spaces and closed interiors. At the same time, industrial arena is changing and the furniture industry changes even faster and evolves for better. New tools are being accepted by industry experts giving a boost to new designs.
A few years ago, imagining a wooden foldable table or a bed that can be converted to a sofa were alien concepts. But as we keep on expanding our horizon and experiment with the design ideas, these concepts are now a reality.
To keep up with the changing needs, a manufacturer needs to deliver furniture with higher operational efficiencies. And to meet those needs you need perfected furniture shop drawings to help your engineers, designers, and manufacturers to be on the same page!
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