Refrigerators, CAD, and Circumcision #1: Introduction

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Blog entry by oldnovice posted 10-15-2012 05:01 AM 18014 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Refrigerators, CAD, and Circumcision series Part 2: Cutting the cabinet and installion »

My wife wanted a bigger refrigerator with a bottom freezer. I agreed (he who doesn’t agree with his wife is a fool) because, I was also tired of bending down to get things off the bottom shelf, not having enough freezer room, and low efficiency of the current unit. Figures 1 and 2 below show CAD models of the old and new refrigerators and are a result of a high resolution print of the screen contents of Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Express. Since the refrigerators were white, the background was changed to off-white.

The single door refrigerator model was created in the CAD program while the French door model was obtained from a web site, one of many that have free CAD models ranging from O-rings to extremely complicated assemblies. The GE side by side was modified to represent a French door model and rescaled so that the height and width would be identical to her selection.

Figure 1

Figure 2

It is obvious that the new refrigerator is taller and wider than the current one and that is the problem with the associated kitchen cabinetry shown later.

The drawing in figure 3 below was created from model in Figure 1 by the Creo and printed as a PDF. Any part of the 2D annotation screen can be copied and pasted as a bitmap, Window (enhanced Meta-file), or other formats. Figure 3 is a direct copy from the annotation view of the drawing and either method can be used for building or documentation purposes.

Figure 3

Any model or parts of a model or assemblies can be turned into a drawing by Creo by selecting the item from the model browser that lists all of the currently available models created by the user in the current session or previously created models from another session.
At this time you may wonder why I used CAD models as opposed to photographs and, there a number of reasons:

  • The kitchen island location intruded for a proper photograph.
  • It is difficult to create an exploded view with a photograph.
  • I wanted to show some the capabilities of Creo.
  • I use Creo for woodworking, mechanical, and electronic designs.

As a free program, Creo is an outstanding tool and this document is essentially a commercial interspersed with a real project.

Limited introduction to CAD with Creo Solid Modeling
Creo is actually two applications in one. The main application is the solid modeling application while the second, called annotation, is a 2D complement used to create 2D prints of the 3D models or create 2D drawings directly. The solid modeling application is a very powerful application that has too many features and tools to describe in this document.

Actually, even after ten years of using this program, I probably haven’t used all of the features or tools of this application. The first release of the program was called One Space PE (Personal Edition) which compared to this version now called Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Express, was archaic in user interface and number of tools.

Note that I used the word “solid” because the items created are truly solid like a piece of lumber or metal, or whatever other material may be selected and is not unlike many of the other solid modeling programs such as SolidWorks, AutoCad, CorelCAD®, Alibre, IronCad and others.

Annotation, 2D drawings
The annotation application provides the capability of creating 2D drawings of any model or assembly of models and can be annotated (dimensions, text, notes, BOM, and the like). The 2D drawings can be any orthogonal view, isometric views, or other angle views along with section and detail views. Any, and all, views can be scaled and positioned on the sheet as desired.

Dimensions can be added to any view and the properties of the dimension text, lines, and arrows are all under user control as is any text or hatching that can be added to the drawing. Switching between 2D and 3D is a done by a tool bar selection.

Additionally, any changes to the model will be reflected in the annotated views. A drawing can consist of a minimum one sheet to a number of sheets in standard drawing sizes A, B, C, D, E#, A0, A1, A2, A3, A4# in either portrait or landscape and custom sizes. Each of these sizes has a title block that can be used as is, modified, or ignored. Custom sizes do not have title blocks so you can add you own if desired.

Now back to the kitchen
The following image is the north wall (and part of the west) of the kitchen showing the old refrigerator and the surrounding cabinetry. Creo (the free version) does NOT support rendering but it does support lighting, object colors, and parallel/perspective views.

Figure 4

The properties of the image above are 2053 pixels wide x 1579 pixels high, resolution is 96 dpi and bit depth is 24. Perspective view was enabled and lighting was chosen to match the overhead kitchen lights. The cabinet color is close to the actual but NOT rendered as wood. The wall, what is shown, is near the actual color and the floor is actually tile, not a single color as shown.

The following two drawing were created by Creo. The properties of the lines were set at .002”, the tangent lines at .002” (they can also be hidden), the hidden lines were left hidden. The dimension text color was set to black (default is blue) the dimension text size to .125”, and all other text color and size to match the dimension color and size. The dimensions of interest were added to the 2D drawings and plotted creating a PDF print.

Orthogonal Views

Isometric Views

The Upper Cabinet
The entire purpose of this project is to reduce the height of the cabinet above the refrigerator; an exploded view of the cabinet is shown in figure below. Creo allows configurations under the structure tools with a number of automatic options for exploded views; an assembly can have any number of configurations. For the explosion below all that was required was the scale of the explosion; how far the parts move from each other.

Exploded View of Upper Cabinet

The line drawings are not as clear as the should be as they were converted to JPEG images so they could be used in this document. Links have been provided as part of the image title for downloading or viewing the image!

Next cutting the cabinet virtually and in reality

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

9 comments so far

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

669 posts in 3278 days

#1 posted 10-15-2012 10:07 AM

My God, and I am struggling to learn SketchUp. Dare, pun the words isometric and orthogonal.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4241 days

#2 posted 10-15-2012 01:17 PM

Looks like fun, and a very capable program. Hope the major surgery on the cabinets works out. Buy new cabinets andyone?

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 3130 days

#3 posted 10-15-2012 02:16 PM

Cool, i use autodesk inventor , but am going to download it and try out creo

-- Joel

View oldnovice's profile


7702 posts in 4444 days

#4 posted 10-15-2012 04:17 PM

DeLayne, Creo and Sketchup aren’t that much different except when it come to the 2D part (and that 3D model parts are solid) which the free version of Sketchup does not have. Please note that Creo created the 2D orthogonal and isometric views, NOT ME. In the 2D annotation part you can select “add views” and you are given the chance to select which part/assembly and which views to add which include all of the orthogonal and all of the isometric plus a number of isometric angles.

Jim, The program is very capable and you will see more in the next segment.

Jap, you will enjoy using it and if you need help it is included and you can PM me. After you download, when you install it make sure you select the OS you are using otherwise it won’t behave properly.

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View Ralph's profile


167 posts in 3209 days

#5 posted 10-15-2012 04:21 PM

Wow, lots of work. I tried Sketch Up a few times, but found it frustrating. From your drawings the benefits of mastering Sketch Up are obvious.
Maybe I’ll give it another shot, meanwhile I use Autodesk’s AutoSketch, two dimensional but powerful.

-- The greatest risk is not taking one...

View oldnovice's profile


7702 posts in 4444 days

#6 posted 10-15-2012 04:24 PM

Ralph, this is NOT Sketch up!

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 5034 days

#7 posted 10-15-2012 05:25 PM

This reminds me of Cabinet vision. I like the way it generates all the different views as you work in 2D. The render engine and textures leave a little to be desired..typical Solidworks looking results. I went to the Creo website but couldn’t find any download they offer a demo?


View oldnovice's profile


7702 posts in 4444 days

#8 posted 10-15-2012 05:49 PM

I did not get that far in my blog to provide the download sites so here it is:

Creo Elements/Direct Express FREE DOWNLOAD

After the download make sure you set it up for your OS; XP, Windows 7, etc.

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View adamjohn's profile


7 posts in 2998 days

#9 posted 05-20-2013 10:14 AM

Very thorough details. It would be fun to open the doors and find food!I imported this as an IGES file and modified it to a 3 door, freezer on the bottom. I did not convert the skin portions to solid but other elements w…
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