Refrigerators, CAD, and Circumcision #2: Cutting the cabinet and installion

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Blog entry by oldnovice posted 10-17-2012 05:24 AM 8267 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Introduction Part 2 of Refrigerators, CAD, and Circumcision series no next part

Cabinet Circumcision, Virtual and in Reality

The entire cabinet is veneer covered particle board and is heavy. There were four screws in the bottom, four screws in the top, three screws in the back, and six staples holding each of the dividers (perhaps a little overkill?). The hardware was not added to the model to keep the model count below 60 as that is a limit for the free version of Creo.

The cabinet top and bottom were doweled to the sides with eight dowels in each edge. Figure 8 is the sheet, created by Creo, of the exploded front view and an unexploded rear view; the labels for each of the cabinet parts were manually added to the views but could have been added by Creo as well as part of the BOM, Bill of Materials.

Fifgure 8 -- Exploded 2D cabinet Drawings

The two exploded views above are one of the sheets of this drawing.

Cutting the cabinet virtually

After reviewing the size of French door refrigerators it became apparent that shorting the cabinet by 4” would allow any of these refrigerators to fit. The next four figures show how the cabinet height was reduced by 4”. Figure 9 shows the initial selection of the items to move by dragging a rectangle over the items of interest.

Figure 9 -- Selecting the items, edges to move

Figure 10 -- Selection completed and the Move 3D label appears

Figure 11 -- Move complete with distance moved indicated

The move operation is actually a “drag” but the drag can be completed by entering a value into the box which in this case was 4”. This makes it easy to enter higher accuracy values as if in this case the value could have been 3.375” or the like.

Figure 12 -- Completed reduction in height

The cabinet has now been reduced by 4” and was a lot easier then the real world operation!

Cutting the cabinet in reality

I used a Rockwell Versacut™ saw, as it was a birthday present, and I have physical difficulty using a standard circular saw. Even though this saw was new to me it proved adequate for this operation after only a couple of practice cuts. This saw only has a 1/16” kerf, and, with the dust collector attached, was nearly dust free even in the MDF. Although I didn’t need the depth adjustment for this operation and it is somewhat difficult to set exactly; once set it can cut the thickness a business card in half very accurately. (I saw this in a TV commercial and thought I would try it and it worked!)

When cutting the doors I made sure to cut from the proper side to reduce the chipping of the veneer as they were the only real parts of the cabinet that had a visible edge. On the sides and the dividers I scored the front edge veneer before cutting so that chipping would be reduced. All in all, the amount of chipping was very limited (see photographs of the veneered doors below) as would be expected with a carbide blade. The veneer was stripped from the door cut-offs and re-applied to the cut edges of the doors.

Since the cabinet was heavy, I decided that I would only install the central divider and screw it in place as before and to install the remaining dividers after the cabinet was hung. In order to hold the top edges of the dividers I cut 1/8” dadoes into the top and only use screws in the bottom to hold them in place. Obviously, the dividers would need to be 1/8” taller than the central divider.

To do this in the solid modeling program I just needed to select one of the three dividers, since they were shared parts, and select the edge I want to move up the 1/8” and therefore moving all the three at once. I then subtracted the dividers from the top creating the three dadoes as required for the top edge.

After cutting the sides to the proper height I used the cut-offs to locate the dowel locations in the new top edge of the sides. The dowels were only glued into the top and not into the sides so they were cut flush with the top edges and used as screw locations.

Figure 14 -- The new refrigerator and the cut down cabinet

Figure 15 -- New refrigerator installed (doors opened with a user defined configurations)

Configurations are an assembly in which the parts are not in the same position. This is useful for assembly views and moving parts out of the way to get a better view, without disturbing the actual view. Selecting/deselecting a configuration moves the parts desired in another place or back again. It’s main use is to show an exploded view which can then be used to make a 2D drawing of the configuration while the actual model is still assembled.


Obviously I did not need a CAD program for this project! All I really needed was a good ruler, a saw, and patience since these cabinets are no longer available and a mistake would be difficult to hide!

Links (I told you this was a commercial)

The following link is the free download and information site Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Express

Creo Elements/Direct Modeling

Those familiar with Sketchup will find a lot of similarity with the modeling tools. As stated before, rendering is not available in Creo and there is a 60 part limit to one assembly. The 2D annotation portion is part of Creo and enables the ability to create 2D drawings, orthogonal, isometric, section views, scaled detail views of any parts and/or assemblies and plot them as PDF files.

All of the variables in the annotation portion are also under user control; dimension metric, inch, feet-inch, dual metric/inch, fonts style/size/color, arrow size/location/color, geometry borders/tangent/invisible visible/hidden/size/color, and many more options. None of these need to be changed as they all have default values but each and all can be set to the users choice and saved as part of the users environment.

In my use of Creo I have basically 2 environments; woodworking and electronics which I can load when I start a modeling session or chose not to load and use the default environment.


Versacut™ is a trademark of Rockwell
In inches the print sizes are 8-1/2” x 11”, 11” x 17”, 22” x 34”, 44” x 68” respectively
In mm the print sizes are 841×1189, 594×841, 420×594, 297×420, 210×297 respectively

Next some of the CAD tools used in this exercise

-- "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley

2 comments so far

View derosa's profile


1597 posts in 4334 days

#1 posted 10-18-2012 01:06 AM

Nice job on the rendering and glad to hear it went well.

-- A posse ad esse

View love2cad's profile


39 posts in 3555 days

#2 posted 11-02-2012 03:26 PM

Cool, thanks for sharing. While I am an AutoCAD, Sketchup guy I like seeing other packages being used and explored. Isn’t nice to have the ability to make modifications, revisions and such long before a single piece of wood is cut? I think so… I am huge proponent to model twice, cut once!!

-- Bobby

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