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How Autodesk Inventor Helps In Woodwork Designs

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Generate Woodwork Drawings & BOMs made easy with Inventor
Inventor has emerged as the preferred modeling and design tool for furniture industry in the 3D space. Its ease of use, ability to enhance design efficiency, response to design changes and improved accuracy has helped it outpace conventional 2D CAD platforms.

Over recent years working patterns of woodworkers across the furniture industry have significantly evolved, moving through a number of innovative processes in design and manufacturing. 2D CAD drafting for woodworking posed certain serious challenges such as:

Inventor makes the design process for wood furniture simpler and more powerful whether it is for cabinet design or joinery design.

Design challenges faced by woodworkers

Let’s take a look at few bigger ones at hand:

Tedious dimension and generation of BoM

BOM Generation

Once the idea is conceptualized and modelled on 3D platform, the main challenge is the generation of manufacturing specifications. And for complex designs such as patios or industrial furniture products, evaluating critical technical details becomes necessary for any woodworker to ensure operational safety.

Design changes

Suggestive Design Changes

‘Change in one part not simultaneously reflecting in other related parts’ is a common error that jeopardizes the design process. For instance, if there is a change in the height of a cabinet, it should be mirrored in the positioning of the shelves and other parts.

Manufacturing shop drawings for production quality

Designing a component is just one part of the design process. Inclusion of critical manufacturing details in shop drawings such as orientation, bending and hole sequence are equally important and require that sufficient time be allocated for this process.


Amidst these challenges , woodworkers need CAD platforms to ease designing phase and develop a hassle-free manufacturing stage. Autodesk Inventor is one of the finest CAD tools to help woodwork design engineers meet end goals at design as well as production stage.

Inventor benefits to woodworking industry

Building of furniture skeleton easier than before

Skeleton into a standard Autodesk Inventor assembly
Skeleton into a standard Autodesk Inventor assembly & continue
to use it at the assembly level

Inventor for woodwork offers a set of DressUp features that has commands to efficiently and quickly create base-frame structures of furniture items based on the furniture volumes and design complexity.

To create the board body of the furniture piece, the designer needs to specify the volume and thickness which also helps in creating the shelves of the cabinets. All that a designer needs to do is indicate the body of the board that has already been created and specifies the offset distances clearly, to automatically create the cabinets. While for board body, the designer has to specify working surface and furniture product’s shape, for transforming it into a board.

Inventor iLogic Configurator reduces engineering time from 4-5 days to few hours.

Product Configurator using Inventor iLogic

The sales team of a leading U.S. based manufacturer of doors and vanities received high volumes of drawing change request from customers which was difficult to manage for the engineering team.

With the application of Autodesk’s Inventor iLogic Configurator, Hitech’s automation team reduced the engineering time from 4-5 days to few hours.

The solution helped client customize products faster as well as provide more accurate quotes to customers.

Read Complete Case Study →

Easy material assignment

With Inventor, assigning furniture materials such as solid wood, laminated board, multilayer board, rod, desktop, veneer/film, edge banding, paint becomes visually easier.

Construction of complex cabinet furniture to stairs, wooden windows etc. is made possible with Inventor as it enables selection of material types from a wide range.

Inventor can efficiently handle both, the design of simple and composite parts as well as the calculation of materials and parts.

Generation of models and drawings automated (iLogic)

iLogic offers design automation solutions to quickly generate necessary and critical manufacturing documents, installation guides, 3D models and shop drawings with a few clicks and commands.

Logical rules automate visualization area in the drawing sheet and set the parameters for generating holes based on the grain direction, and edge bending as a part of the documentation. This will not only ensure the quality of the final furniture product but also help in informed decision making.

Automatically Generated Documents
Automatically generated documents

Data integration

Autodesk Vault Professional data
Automatically included along with the component into
the Autodesk Vault Professional data

Autodesk Vault Professional product data management system allows integrated information.

Various data parameters like work piece dimensions, material or color codes can be automatically transferred with proper configuration of Inventor and Autodesk Vault Professional.

Systems can be set up such that any parameter generated in the Inventor could be moved to the Autodesk Vault Professional data tab. For example NC files can be generated automatically for manufacturing. This goes as an additional component property.

Moreover Inventor can be configured, wherein used files can be included in the Autodesk Vault Professional data.

Supports Adaptation

Inventor is adaptable to the woodworking industry needs, and is user friendly. It offers self-updating for various features which is missing in AutoCAD.

AutoCAD also posed a great challenge for the woodworker to see that a part may or may not update itself when existing geometry is manipulated. This is when delete and repeat technique were born in Inventor.

One of the greatest features of Inventor is that it doesn’t use layers, or a command line, or a UCSISON.

The user-friendliness of Inventor surpasses its peers making it a prime choice for woodworkers in ways more than one.

Inventor for Woodworking: An Indispensability

Irrespective of the furniture design complexity, Inventor for woodwork assures quick and accurate delivery. Additionally, Inventor and iLogic together unleash the limits to customize existing designs.

You can not only add your own components to the Inventor Library, but also download 3D models of components and parts from your supplier’s website. This makes Inventor an indispensable choice for professional carpenters and woodwork designers.

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Tags:
Autodesk InventorCAD Drafting for WoodworkersGeneration of BoMManufacturing Shop DrawingsWoodwork DraftingWoodwork Drawings
Authored by:
Usha B. Trivedi

is an engineer and she contributes in-depth articles for mechanical and industrial equipment designs, furniture designs and fabrication sector. Her contributions are primarily focused on enabling engineering professionals, furniture manufacturers and fabricators to optimize design outcomes through CAD and CAE tools.

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