Key features of 3D software for designing larger projects in the woodworking industry

The use of 3D technologies within CAD/CAM systems is already standard in the woodworking industry today. However, for more complicated or extensive furniture processing projects, 3D modeling can cause difficulties and disrupt the smooth flow. It is precisely these difficulties that CAD/CAM is supposed to eliminate, focus on the specific problems of processors and enable them to increase their performance. What are the necessary software functions to be able to respond to the challenges associated with 3D projects in project processing, and what is the added value of the TopSolid system in this context?

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Key features of 3D furniture processing software

In order for the 3D software to meet the needs of the user from initial study (design) to production, it must offer the following functions:

  • Use of elements from project documentation: at this stage, the software must allow the 3D import of various file formats (for example: IFC format according to the BIM, DXF or DWG standard) developed and used by Autodesk, a widely used architectural software among professionals in the field.
  • Modeling the environment: The 3D software must be adapted to the definition of the environment – for example: the creation of walls, floors and ceilings with the inclusion of building openings (doors, windows, etc.).
  • Development management: the software must include features that enable 3D furniture design – for example: definition of panels and joints, grooving, profiling, assembly, etc.
  • Incorporation of manufacturer technologies: for this purpose, the software offers libraries with various parameters of 3D parts and components.
  • Customization of production processes in 3D: production processes must be able to be personalized so that they can be perfectly adapted to the production cycle.
  • 3D visualization: to guarantee relevant decision-making and effective communication, the software must offer an accurate and ergonomic visualization of all design details.
  • Project organization by spatial zones: zones are bounded by 3D solids to facilitate their design and modeling and especially for large projects to collaborate on the project.
  • Incorporation of machining technologies: from the initial definition of a 3D project, the software can adapt to different machining technologies so that production can be automated.


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Advantages of a 3D integrated CAD/CAM solution

3D technology in an integrated CAD/CAM system has a number of advantages. Let’s take a closer look at the 5 most important ones.

1. Better ergonomics in all phases of a woodworking project

Already from the initial study phase, 3D allows you to precisely define the shapes of objects in a given environment. Subsequently, 3D technology is absolutely necessary in the phase of finding and developing new procedures for assembling furniture. 3D is also of great benefit in refining machining programs for complex parts in the case of 5-axis digital measuring control. In all phases of processing projects, high-quality and well-managed 3D technology facilitates work and thus enables increased performance.

In global manufacturing project management, the 3D functions of an integrated CAD/CAM system represent a significant benefit for communication at all levels.

  • Technical aspects of the project: the digital 3D model serves as a demonstration aid when presenting the product to individual actors working on the project. The integrated CAD/CAM system helps in decision-making in this regard. Accurate visualization of the processed object allows you to choose the right technical solutions, because all the details are better visible.
  • From a business perspective: by creating 3D visuals, the integrated CAD/CAM system allows the client to imagine the final product in a completely realistic way. This way, the joiners communicate better with the client and the project progresses much faster.

2. Limiting the risk of error

3D visualization of how the individual parts will fit together, for the initial study of complex assembled structures, animation of the assembly of the object in the given space, analysis of static or dynamic collisions. You can use such necessary 3D features to make your design error-free without having to have a physical prototype beforehand.

By eliminating the risk of error at the very beginning, the joiner will not only save time, but will also have a reliable guarantee at his disposal, which will further strengthen his reputation.

3. Thanks to 3D modeling, you will significantly save time in the product manufacturing phase

Good planning to save time during the demanding product manufacturing phase: this is what CAD/CAM software with an integrated 3D modeling function promises. 3D configuration in the design phase of the part mainly represents a realistic and detailed view of the given object, thanks to which it is possible to estimate how it will be handled. In addition, the production simulation on the machine allows you to visualize the individual stages and estimate how long they will take.

By combining CAD and CAM and automatic plan generation, 3D software can predict what the production process will look like already at the design stage. After eliminating all errors and securing the data, the product manufacturing phase can begin, which is more reliable and faster thanks to the previous steps. Thanks to this, when organizing tasks, you can respond to client requests faster, but at the same time, quality and productivity also increase!

4. Realistic visualization of changes with a real-time 3D modeling tool thanks to CAD/CAM

In order to be able to effectively respond to the current needs of clients, which may change during the design phase, 3D modeling requires maximum accuracy, supplemented by the ability to respond quickly and reliably. In this regard, real-time and interconnected CAD and CAM are the mainstays of 3D software. A parametric 3D modeling tool allows you to evaluate a project at the study stage, however complex it may be and include any number of elements that must be worked with (dimensions, material removal, assembly of parts, etc.). The object is processed in this way according to the specification set in advance by the client and then visualized, while all parameters are automatically verified without increasing the amount of work. This will increase the reliability of the design and save time. Plans, product inventories and machining programs are updated in real time. The changes are then immediately transferred to production and the machines in the workshop are adjusted to the required parameters.

5. Everyone perfectly understands the documentation in the workshop

A workshop that receives plans with 3D views immediately understands what parts to make and how to assemble them. This way, you will avoid returning the documentation for clarification, make it easier for the staff to work in the workshop and reduce the risk of error even more. A great way to save time. CAD/CAM will generate this easy-to-understand 3D documentation without any problems and will also suggest which tools to use for 3D visualization directly in the workshop.

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TopSolid’Wood: 3D system to simplify processes

Technological solution TopSolid’Wood with integrated CAD/CAM perfectly meets the needs of processors thanks to its advanced 3D modeling functions. The TopSolid’Wood tool works on the basis of the exact parametric modeling tool Parasolid, using functions that are associated with the processing of furniture, in addition, it includes 3D Import and Export interfaces that are compatible with most CAD systems available on the market.

3D software TopSolid’Wood it also makes it possible to effectively respond to the increasingly demanding requirements of current projects, especially in the area of ​​personalization of parameters, tailoring, etc., and handles a whole range of other adjustments that are associated with it. Whatever the number of adjustments required, the result will have a significant effect on the value chain:

  • Editing dimensions: even if only one dimension of one element is changed, the entire development/production chain must be reworked.
  • Functional modifications: these are even more fundamental and have an even greater impact. They relate to the shape or directly the function of the given element. The configuration and way of manufacturing products in the working environment must therefore be completely redesigned.
  • Aesthetic adjustments: here you have to be ready for anything and, above all, be able to adapt to any requirement, whether it is about color, surface treatment, starting raw material or material.

Everyone can easily imagine that in order to maintain the quality of the project, it is necessary to strengthen the control process and avoid any possible errors or data loss. In our context, this would significantly translate into a loss of time and profitability.

In order to ensure the highest efficiency of CAD/CAM processes, it is essential to simplify them as much as possible. Therefore, the TopSolid’Wood 3D system already in the design phase brings together all the documentation associated with the project (sales lists, parts plans, elevations, assembly manuals, etc.) so that everything is available in one reference document: the basic document. By eliminating the risk of error and the time needed to recover data, 3D software turns problematic editing into a competitive advantage. The processor can then create a proposal faster and with even better quality.

Whether you use the 3D modeling functions or import 3D geometry, the design of the product processing in TopSolid’Wood makes it easy and error-free to use the technical data about your project. Workers on the shop floor, your subcontractors, and your clients benefit directly from this.

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The benefit of the TopSolid CAD/CAM system for large-scale projects

Can 3D software with integrated CAD/CAM be used to manage complex and/or large-scale manufacturing projects? Yes, if the tool allows the various departments involved to work together in a coordinated and efficient manner. However, this is the minimum required!

TopSolid’Wood combines not only the aforementioned, but goes even further. It offers developers a wide range of options and access to work by zone while working on the same project.

The whole concept consists in creating different ergonomic work spaces with their own functional data. Each such zone is intended for one of the disciplines participating in the project. These spaces are separated from each other similar to a tree-shaped structure, according to the technical specifications from the project documentation or a basic document that can also be created elsewhere from CAD files from external software.

Workers have the option to choose from different levels of design detail according to their needs: a simplified design for overall work or a more sophisticated version with details displayed in the target zone of the project, e.g. for assembly, moldings, materials used, etc. Everyone will perform their work according to the given zone, using data from the basic document. This means that any edit recorded to this reference document will trigger an automatic update of the work zones, allowing individual workers to quickly incorporate them into the design. This is called a comfortable job! Once all zones have been processed, the project supervisor will proceed with the final merging of all files to check the overall integrity of the project.

This flexible operation is an effective way to speed up and secure development for large-scale projects. Every craftsman has the same information available at the same time, communication runs smoothly and collaboration is more efficient.

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What to add in conclusion?

The TopSolid’Wood 3D software with an integrated CAD/CAM system is used especially for complex projects for demanding customers: individual workers can quickly and efficiently respond to various problems in the woodworking industry and implement adjustments in real time. At the same time, none of this will affect the processing of the proposal, either in terms of time or quality.

Thanks to the optimization of the phase of the initial study and production of standard or specific designs, the 3D software TopSolid’Wood significantly reduces the processing time even before the start of production. Ultimately, you will get a system combining 3D technologies and a CAD/CAM system that will allow you to overcome the challenges of profitability and competitiveness in the woodworking industry.


Source: Aktuality – 2D a 3D CAD Design Software by www.cad.cz.

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