technical drawing of Milled wooden section with dimensions

Shop drawings are one of the efficient ways for error-free design development of millwork. Detailed millwork drawings establish seamless communication between all design stakeholders with the manufacturer to eliminate rework and save cost. 

Architects across the industry aim to lower the design costs of millwork furniture. Cost is a primary concern especially in case of grooved products, joinery and custom millwork cabinets. Since millwork designs are closely associated with architectural plans several design stakeholders are involved. 

As the project advances to the manufacturing stage, shop floor engineers and manufacturing contractors are added to the decision making process. This creates a clutter of information and tons of rework to drawings causing indefinite delays and adding to project costs.  

But to control costs effectively, your primary need is to get the millwork shop drawings right and error-free for the design development stage with minimal iteration. Production-ready millwork drawings developed from architectural floor plans will enable seamless manufacturing of wooden and metal furniture of top-notch quality. 

Furniture drawings developed in tandem with drafters and designers are tight in quality control and hence room for error is substantially small. Whether it is an architectural structure such as fireplaces moldings, mantels, door casing, fireplaces or furniture like workstation, office desks, etc. millwork CAD drafting saves cost

5 ways through which millwork shop drawings control project costs: 

1. Finding millwork design errors early in the process 

Material waste is a critical factor in millwork manufacturing and it is proportional to the rise in product development cost. One way to achieve control over this is when architects or interior designers share their design with the drafters quality checks can be done early as the design develops. A shared CAD file allows the architect as well as the CAD expert to review the file simultaneously. 

This integrated CAD approach saves time, avoids miscommunication, spots design error early and saves costs by rectifying design changes early in the process. Hence, your shop floor workers can plan better with raw materials and percentage of material waste could be dropped up to 40%, and you can end up saving a huge amount.

 

Millwork drawings for architectural design of a museumMillwork drawings for architectural design of a museum

 

A furniture design and manufacturing firm from the USA needed millwork shop drawings for traditional architectural design of a museum. They collaborated with an offshore millwork expert to model & create 2D millwork shop drawings for all sets of furniture. It resulted in fewer errors due to better collaboration between contractors, architects and manufacturers. Raw material waste was minimized and saved costs.

 

2. Allows monitoring design intricacies during design development

Millwork shop drawings provide you with an opportunity to monitor the design details and explore fixtures of furniture gradually as the designs develop. Design drafts showcase not only technical specifications but also micro to macro-level information of design and furnishing.

Detailed millwork drawings warehouse minute elemental information of bigger furniture assemblies. For example, design can see the enlarged scale of CAD-based millwork drawings and smaller parts with a 360° view. Details as small as internal nails, and bolts, etc. can be viewed through sectional drawings, part drawings, and hatch patterns and approvals can be quick. 

3. Ensuring quality of final product

Millwork shop drawings depict all technical aspects of furniture design; they communicate the design intent to the shop floor. Thus, quality is the most delicate aspect across millwork; one can set a benchmark as high as they wish. All it takes is excellent quality control before the drawings are released for production. 

Millwork drafting keeps the quality of the product intended

Millwork drafting keeps the quality of the product intended

 

Further, sectional drawings of millwork designs all intricate details are communicated across teams to convey all design intent. It essentially helps during assembly and installation without damaging the product and keeping the quality as intended.  

For example, millwork shop drawings can project all the functional attributes of furniture models. If it is a wooden locker, the animated models display how drawers open and fit in with each other for customers. Alternatively, for manufacturing/production teams, the model itself will show up to what angle the doors should be pulled open for safe operations.  

4. Shorter design time cycle 

If you consider a traditional cabinet design, it is pretty simple. There are only a few parts such as doors, hinges, and drawers at times which have fixed locations. In such a case, an architect follows a standard design process and manufacturing is carried out as usual.   

But the challenges arise when your designer starts customizing the cabinets. There are bespoke needs of every project and the specifications could vary from design dimensions, utility, material, functionality, type of mounting etc. Such millwork items invite revisions and hence are time consuming. 

Millwork shop drawings allow all stakeholders – furniture design experts, architects, and manufacturers – to work on the same file by sharing options, tracking changes and reflect updates immediately. This speeds up design approval cycles even when you have to deal with an 8-piece door/an additional face-frame/specialty hardware and so much more. Millwork drafting thus produces the final product with the best suitable fits and quality with less time and hence lower costs. 

5. Getting a hold on accuracy 

Millwork drawings with finer accuracy & details

Millwork drawings with finer accuracy & details

 

Accuracy is the top most desired parameter in the millwork construction. Accuracy and tolerances in furniture must align with architectural plans to avoid clutter during manufacturing. When drafters and architects work together, they can easily synchronize tolerances and geometric dimensions (GD&T) across the drawings. Designers can instruct the drafters for tolerances and limits, both negative and positive, for every dimension and the changes are reflected in 2D/3D drawings. 

For example, a furniture designer while making joinery can streamline the workflows by partnering with an external CAD drafter. CAD drafters work closely with the designer to develop shop drawings with finer accuracy and details. Such collaboration will save time up to 25% reduce iterations to avoid delays and save project costs.  

Precision designing smoothens millwork manufacturing 

Precision drawings and designing not only shows design features clearly but also help to get the desired output. A complete set of information related to the product can be found in one file using CAD shop drawing. It spares the machine operator to hinder his production activity to contact the designer for every single detailing query.  

Another vital factor, in case of woodwork, is to calculate the amount of moisture content in the wood logs received from the workshop as raw material. The measurable moisture limit in wood logs during the manufacturing time should range between only 6 and 10%. An architect aware of this information develops the designs and drawings accordingly to achieve quality. 

Millwork specialists at Hitech CADD Services work in tandem with your architects or interior furniture designers to develop shop drawings as per the shop capabilities. Get in touch with us to design your dream millwork interiors at cost effective solutions! 

Usha B. Trivedi is an engineer at Hitech CADD Services, a provider of computer-aided-design services. She frequently writes about mechanical and industrial equipment designs, furniture designs and the fabrication industry for manufacturers and engineering professionals. Follow her on LinkedIn.