Parametric 3D CAD modeling has given furniture manufacturers a definite advantage over traditional drafting practices for manufacturing drawings. 3D CAD’s ease in adopting new design trends and customization at affordable costs gives it a winning edge.
New-age furniture demands much more than just storage and comfort and the furniture manufacturing industry is fast adapting to changing customer preferences. The focus is now on offering functional as well as aesthetically appealing furniture.
However, bringing to the table, comfortable, durable and aesthetic furniture presents many challenges. It takes several iterations before designs are approved and manufacturing kicks-off.
This is where 3D CAD modeling in furniture design steps in to save the day!
3D CAD modeling saves time by allowing you to make changes in the existing design without having to build it from scratch, along with better design communication and improved quality.
Challenges Faced by Furniture Designers and Manufacturers
Contemporary furniture designing and manufacturing is dependent on the abilities of the designer to combine function with fashion. And as customer needs increase, challenges in manufacturing such furniture increase further.
1. Rising demand for custom furniture
Customization has now gone beyond changing dimensions or color to adding unique elements in furniture design. This compels design creation that is 90% custom and 10% standard.
Resimercial designs, a new trend in the furniture industry, give a residential touch to every commercial space. This rising demand for customized resimercial furniture leads to multiple design alterations and longer design curves.
2. Copied designs and ‘over-designing’
In the furniture industry, over-designing is a significant issue. Good furniture companies strive to re-engineer casings to maintain a strategic distance from plagiarism. Materials like aluminum that are lightweight, anti-rust, flexible, and environment-friendly are favored above others.
3. Staying within budget
The new age office furniture with unique interior structuring and style demands resources with high skills and competencies. While this directly impacts cost, customers are not really keen on stretching their pockets. Furniture designers need to innovate and meet the new design requirements without increasing manufacturing costs.
However, with parametric properties of 3D CAD modeling platforms, furniture designers and manufacturers can address these challenges easily.
What is 3D CAD Parametric Modeling?
In parametric modeling when one dimension is changed other dimensions are updated across the model, keeping the aspect ratio intact.
3D parametric modeling uses feature-based and designing tools to change the attributes of the system as required. It essentially allows designers to characterize whole classes of shapes and not just specific samples.
You get multiple configurations using a single set of parts. New designs can be readily produced using different parameters. You save designing lead time and shorten the design-to-production cycle.
Benefits of Parametric Modeling in Furniture Design and Manufacturing
In recent times, the furniture, especially the millwork industry, has embraced technological innovations. Significant advancements are seen with the introduction of 3D modeling and photorealistic 3D rendering. The capacity of designers to make life-like models that potential buyers can envision inside their facility has permitted them to draw in more customers.
Here are some common benefits of 3D parametric modeling in furniture:
1. Design flexibility
Parametric modeling offers the flexibility to alter dimensions without changing the whole design. A small sofa can easily be modified into a larger one with a triple seating capacity.
CAD experts employ specific software libraries to make these changes while significantly reducing the design lead time. The models thus created, can be directly used for seamless communication between manufacturing shop floor engineers and designers.
Furniture Manufacturer gains from reduced errors and accelerated engineering lead time
A US-based client from the furniture design and manufacturing space, faced the challenges of slow-paced design cycles. Due to iterative designs and improper communication between the designer, manufacturer, and general contractors the engineering lead time was increasing.
TrueCADD engineers developed comprehensive manufacturing drawings, accurate assembly and installation guides to eliminate rework which resulted in:
- Significant reduction in turnaround times
- Higher quality output
- Synchronized communication between design and manufacturing teams
2. Decreased cost of operations
This concept aligns with the theory of Postponement, where again, parametric modeling emerges a true hero. It can help you conveniently design and manufacture semi-final assemblies from the Bills of materials (BOM). These semi-final products can wait until the final demand arrives wherein they can be quickly assembled and dispatched. A modular design approach like this helps you create multiple final configurations with same semi-final parts and saves cost by achieving economies of scale in production.
Rather than mass-producing a particular design in one color or fabric, you can first understand the market demand and create products that get the most orders.
3. Minimum iterations
Since there is no need to create new designs from scratch every time a small dimension changes, 3D modeling in furniture designing helps decrease iterations. You can create aesthetically appealing designs and have more room to explore different options before finalization.
4. Fast manufacturing
3D CAD models make design approvals faster and can introduce manufacturing early in the engineering cycle. By building a precise 3D CAD model of furniture product; this model with strategic points will help create DXF files for manufacturing.
TrueCADD team delivers 70 times faster design cycle for furniture manufacturer
A furniture manufacturing client needed to reduce engineering lead time and improve accuracy in customization. Based on the custom design specifications, our SolidWorks engineers developed 3D CAD models which were later customized in DriveWorks.
The results achieved:
- Reduction in lead time from 4-5 days to one day
- 70 times faster design cycle
- Enhanced quality
- Significant reduction in material scrap during machining
5. Minimized costs
With 3D CAD modeling, furniture makers cut expenses by pushing away the chance of delivering structurally unstable furniture designs. Furniture models can be subjected to analysis tools like Finite Element Analysis (FEA) employing analysis by creating a fine mesh of the structure.
This way, a good simulation of the final product can be obtained as in actual loading conditions before manufacturing begins. To get all these benefits, an efficient CAD service partner can offer one-stop solution as well as save costs.
Furniture manufacturer saves 70% of design cycle time by offshore design development
A furniture manufacturer was facing difficulty in understanding the original design intent and accommodating changes within. They outsourced their project to TrueCADD and the decision resulted in:
- 45% reduction in transportation costs due to knockdown design approach
- 60% reduction in design costs
- 30% inventory benefits with a modular design approach
- 70% reduction in overall design cycle due to offshore design development
6. Quality marketing
Rendered furniture images of a comprehensive 3D CAD model empower marketing campaigns with high quality visuals giving them a competitive edge. These life-like furniture images using 3D rendering techniques have photorealistic effects in the design phase itself.
3D visualization helps manufacturers envision furniture texture or its look under different lighting conditions. Rendering essentially enhances physical properties such as shadows, dents, lighting and ambience and gives a more life-like feel to objects.
Check out the image below, for example.
As a furniture manufacturer, you would want to offer your clients excellent custom furniture. While putting resources into expanding your manufacturing capacities is necessary, quality furniture drawings are a central point that represents your furniture manufacturing proficiency. With intuitive PMI annotated 3D models you essentially create furniture designs with minimum iterations and have ease in engineering and economy both.