|Project by daltxguy||posted 02-12-2008 07:11 AM||4400 views||3 times favorited||12 comments|
This TV stand by itself is nothing too extraordinary. It has some nice features which I designed such as the rear baffle to run the wires to the back and the removable back to access/hide those same wires. It’s made of clear Radiata pine ( Pinus Radiata) and there is some hardware pulling it together( by request) but, for me, the truly interesting thing about this piece was the design process with my customer.
After visiting with my customer, we decided on certain dimensions and certain characteristics. They had very specific ideas about where it would fit, how big it should be, what components they wanted to put into it/on it, whether they wanted it open or closed. They wanted to paint or stain it and they wanted it to have a modern feel and a very IKEA look to it, in order to fit in with their tastes and their existing furniture ( or the look they wanted for the rest of their furniture when they finish furnishing their house).
They were a young couple, computer and tech savvy and I knew they would appreciate the opportunity to interact and participate in the design of the unit.
I took the opportunity after the last Sketchup table design contest to use my new skills with this tool to draw up the design with the dimensions they requested, in the color they wanted as a first iteration. I took a few images of the model from various directions and sent it off to them in an email.
Being given the chance to see their design before it was realized led to some changes and some requests for additional features ( this is where the hidden back was added to keep the dog out from the wires ). Redoing the design to these new specifications was relatively easy ( though I am still awkward with Sketchup ) but once they saw the changes they loved it.
I’ve now completed and delivered the piece and the customers were ecstatic about the piece. I can’t help but wonder if involving them in the process and the ability to fully visualize the piece before it was constructed led to it being exactly what they wanted (rather than what I would have wanted to build them), and therefore a greater satisfaction.
I’m showing here how the final piece compared to the ‘sketches’ I sent to them.
The model was not only useful for them, but also for me, as it generated the cutlist and I could always go back to design decisions I had made earlier for which I couldn’t remember all of the details when I came to construct. I didn’t have to have endless pages of drafting diagrams showing details ( or more likely, little bits of paper with sketches on them). If I wanted to check a dimension I could just use the tape measure feature and measure the model.
As an exercise in using Sketchup as the final design, I did find that I made some minor changes along the way, mostly minor construction details, but I’m not sure that it would have made a difference if I had put those details in Sketchup. There are also some things which I think would be tedious in Sketchup without some more basic woodworking toolkits available ( such as an easy way of adding joint details, such as dovetails or the use of biscuits ).
All in all, I would definitely use Sketchup again in such a process.
-- If you can't joint it, bead it!