Design furniture in Onshape - For woodworkers and makers (part 2) | Mathieu Dorion | Skillshare

Design furniture in Onshape - For woodworkers and makers (part 2)

Mathieu Dorion, Hi I'm Math! Welcome to my classes

Design furniture in Onshape - For woodworkers and makers (part 2)

Mathieu Dorion, Hi I'm Math! Welcome to my classes

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9 Lessons (30m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Taking a look at the joinery

    • 3. Sketching and extruding the main cabinet with miters

    • 4. Reinforcing the miters with splines

    • 5. Making the drawer with rabbets

    • 6. Making the leg base and joinery

    • 7. Making it look good

    • 8. Optimizing our material before cutting

    • 9. Conclusion

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About This Class

Learn to design and model furniture with Onshape. This is part 2 of my series on woodworking (Part 1 is here.

Aimed at beginners, in this class we build upon the skills learned in my previous classes which focused on the basics of CAD and Onshape (so be sure to check them out, link is below). Now by using those skills, we model a table with a bunch of different joints to explore features that help us model joinery easily. We also use a drawing to optimize our cut list. This is not necessarily a class on how to fabricate the table but we’ll make sure to consider that part while we’re designing.

Onshape is free for hobbyists, makers and students. It's also cloud-based so there is nothing to download or install and it only requires a decent internet connection so no need for a powerful computer. Make an account here :

If you're not sure about going premium, you can get 14 days free (instead of the usual 7) by using my link!

Part 1 and Part 2 of my CAD and Onshape classes. Be sure to check them out as all the basics are covered in those classes first!


Meet Your Teacher

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Mathieu Dorion

Hi I'm Math! Welcome to my classes


Hi! I'm Math, and I'm a mechanical engineer (but that's the boring part). I'm also a maker, fixer, tinkerer, whatever you want to call it : I love building random things. I've built stuff ranging from a massive industrial vacuum forming machine to a bike frame, and everything in between. I love gaining new skills and every time I do, I feel like I'm unlocking a whole new set of projects that I can tackle.

In that spirit, I want to pay it forward by sharing the knowledge I've gained over the years in my studies, work and projects so that more people can enjoy making stuff. More importantly, I want people to do it mindfully, with the right knowledge and safely. So my classes are focused on developing good practices and acquiring a more profound knowledge of the underlying principle... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, and welcome to my class. Thanks for joining me. So in this series, my goal is to give you the tools to tackle your different woodworking projects with Don shape. As a reminder, just a quick reminder on shape is a browser-based CAD software. So there is nothing to install. That's really nice. And it's free for makers and hobbyists. And this class we'll be focusing more on how we can easily model different types of woodworking joints using the Boolean feature. Then we'll make a drawing that optimizes our CUTLAS and reduces waste. So if you haven't checked already, I encourage you to check out my earlier classes, especially the cat basic swans, as I'm building on that. 2. Taking a look at the joinery: All right, so let's take a look at the table before move forward, just so we know what we're going to be building today. In this lesson, I wanted to explore different kinds of joint R3. So let's look at what we have here. So obviously, but joint here, I'll leave that as is. We've got a couple of miter joints for domain cabinet. And I've always been a big fan of adding splines to reinforce miter joints. So we have this here going to be exploring that. And then the main joint R3 will be for the legs. So the legs look like this. Here's a couple of tapers than joinder is quite interesting. So I've got a bridal joint here. So if I highlight this part, we have something that looks like this. And so bridle joint for all the four legs. And then the other one here is the half-life gap between the two main stretchers. So I'll write this one. So as you can see, half of the material is removed from this one and then half is removed from this one. You can kinda see it here. There it is. And then the draw here uses a rabbit for the bottom. So let me hide this. So as we can see here, we have a rabbit joint where the bottom is insert into the sides of the drawer. So let me put everything back in. So yeah, these are the different joint reason we'll be looking at in this lesson. Also as usual, I'll be trying to use different features to build this table. And I'll make sure to use a workflow that allows me to be pretty much as lazy as I can't and allows me to make the least amount of work. So that's always nice. So as usual, let's start fresh for me new RStudio. 3. Sketching and extruding the main cabinet with miters: Okay, so the first thing we're going to be building is the main cabinet. So if I go back to my original parts studio, the, this whole area here. So let's make a sketch on the front plane for that. So I'll be making a center point rectangle like this. And dimensions are obviously my dimensions are for the example, but you could use whatever you want and that's the beauty of God. We could also come back whenever we want to just suggest these dimensions. So now we have the exterior. We're going to be selecting all of that using the offset. And then the other way around. So the inside and I want 15. So now I have my panels, I need to divide them. So in this case, I'm using miter joints, so it's quite easy to do that right here. I'm just dividing my sketch. Like this. Don't have to measure 45 or anything by using the offset command and makes it super easy to make them hydrogens here. So now we have our main cabinet. So we do have the divider in the middle to add. So let's do that right here. And the dimension is 15 as well. So there you go. Quite simple sketch. And let's extrude depth and our main cabinet. So let's use the extrude function. And I'll be selecting these two sides. So I'll need to extrude in different steps. Reason being if I select this whole thing, it will extrude as one piece even if I use the new feature. So this is kind of a bummer, but not super difficult, so we'll just do that. And so I want to be like this. So I like to have my sketch right in the middle so late later it will allow me to use the different planes here to make symmetries or mirrors, all that kinda stuff. So it's good to have that in the middle. So this is looking good. And let's just show the sketch again. Use the extrude function again. And then this and this. And so what I can do here is extrude up to a specific face here. And then second end position. I will do the same thing up to face. So I prefer to do it this way instead of using the same parameters, so symmetric and 500 as the site panels. That way, if I go back and I want to change the depth here, I only have to change the depth of the side panels once. And then to top and bottom will adjust automatically. Okay. And we can now extrude or may our middle stretcher. So Extrude, I'll select this face. And the same thing year up to face, and I'll be using this one. Then the second end position. Not blind but up to face, and I'll be using this one. There you go. So quick and easy. Now we have our main cabinet with the miter joints and we have our five different parts. So instead of extruding one part by using the different extrudes here, what we have is what we will have in real life. So five different panels here. 4. Reinforcing the miters with splines: Okay, So next let's reinforce the corners. What are splines? So we'll be doing a sketch on the front plane again like this. And I'll keep it super simple, like debt. And then I want this corner and this corner to be coincident, to be like this, and then have this parameter here. So I'll just make sure my blade doesn't come through this corner. So something like this, but I want this to be equal. There we go. So this makes sense. So what I'm going to do here is mirror this feature here on the other side and on the bottom. So I'm airline here will be right blame. And then I'll select these two mirror using the top plane, which isn't a middle. There you go. So another good advantage of having my origin here that was super easy then have to make a line and just use the planes we have already had. So that's good. Now let's use this and x true. So my workflow here, we'll maybe seem a bit weird, but don't worry, it will make sense. And I'll use an eighth of an inch because I know that's what my table saw blade is. And I'll use symmetric here. And I'll make sure I use new. Okay? So like I said, this doesn't make a lot of sense now, but it will. So what I'll be doing now is, if you remember correctly, I have three splines and each corners. So I'll be using the linear pattern here and a part pattern. And I know that the four last part I just made are my splines. T direction I want is home this line and I want it centered. So this works a bit like symmetric with wood. So too, and I want 175. There we go. So this looks good. So right now we have the parts, but we don't have the opening for them. So let's use a new function we haven't used yet. So the Boolean function here, and we'll use the subtract. So our tools will be each and every one of those lines here. So I've selected my tools here and then my targets will be these panels here. And I'll make sure I select key tools. I do want to keep them. So what Boolean does here is it takes my tool here and then it's substract this zone occupied by the tool from the target here. So if we accept that, and let's say I just hide this part here, part number 10. And now we have an opening here in both my pieces. And it would be the same here. Height part. There you go. So quick, easy way. We had one extrude willing or pattern and then one Boolean for 12 splines. So as I said, I am lazy and this is a very lazy way to do it. So let's create. Okay, so now our miter joints are reinforced. It might be difficult to real life to actually make those cuts. But for the sake of this lesson, I think it was nice to explore the Boolean function here. So next we can move on to the drawer area here. 5. Making the drawer with rabbets: Okay, now so for the drawer, we'll start with the main face. And since I want the chore face to be flush with the front of the cabinet. I can select any of those faces for my sketch plane. So let's get to it. I'll just go. So the first thing I'll do is add some clearance here. So let's say five millimeters. It could be a bit less, but I think that will do same for here. Five, there you go. To should be like this. And I want this site to be 30. Then this side, and this side. Then I want this and this to be 20. And I want the angle here be 150. And if those two are equal, we should have a fully constrained sketch. Yes. So small clearance here to make sure my drawer we can go in and out. And then this area here is whatever looks good or feels good. So nothing too complicated here. So close my sketch, selected and extrude the other way around 15. So same thickness as the arrest. New. Okay. Already, we have a sense of what it looks like now. So next I can work on the drawer sides. For that. I'll add a plane. So plain. And I want it to be exactly on this face here. So no offset. There you go. Well, that's good. First of all, I'll hide this because it's in the way. And I'll use my point number 1 to make a sketch. So what I'll be doing is the four sides here, assuming that the front is only decorative. So let's build a rectangle. And I'll be using those sites here. This corner and this corner coincident. And then here adding some clearance. So maybe 10 just to make sure I draw it doesn't go past the rear. And then we'll use the offset just as we did for the cabinets. So offsets direction is good. But I want 50. Okay, So now instead of using miter joints, I'll just use butt joints. And so let's just make lines here like this. This one. And this one here. Super easy, so that's good. And then we'll use the same strategy that we use for the cabinets. So we'll extrude in two parts. So first will be these, these two, and I want majora sides to be as high as this face here, so up to face this one. So that's good. So let's do the other ones now. Let's just bring back that sketch. Extrude. So this and this. And then I'll use up to face again, up to this face. And I want new. Okay, So that's good. So now I have my four sides. Let's write this. Take a look. I can also write plain number 1. So let's take a look like this. And then we have our four sides. All but joins with screws. Doesn't really matter. It's a drawer, we won't see it. So now we need a bottom. So let's use plain one again and build a new sketch like this. And I'll be going like this. So what I'll be doing here is I want an overlap like this. And I want this here to be half the thickness of my drawer side. So for remembering correctly, we can be lazy and just go like this. Let on shape to the work and the math for us, because obviously 50 divided by 2 is too difficult for me. There you go. Thing here. So now my sketches done, my bottom here overlaps by half the thickness of my drawer sides. So let's extrude that now. And let's say I'm using a 10 millimeter instead of 15, so a slightly smaller bottom so I don't waste too much space. Okay, new, That's good. X through it. So now what we have, let's write this. Now what we have is an overlap, just like we did with the spline. So let's use the exact same strategy. So Boolean again, we're going to subtract. Our tool will be the bottom, our targets will be the four sides. So four sides. This one again, I'll make sure I keep IT tools. And except if I make this transparent. So now we can see what we would call rabbits for the bottom here. So that's great. I love the Boolean tool when in worksite death, super simple, super lazy. So let's bring back our different parts that we just hidden and our main cabinet is done. So quick recap. We have miter joints reinforced with splines. We have a bug joins here probably in real life we enforce with some kind of dowels, are pissed schizophrenia or something. And then ask for or drawer, we have a couple butt joints with screws and then a nice rabbit at the bottom here. So I would call our cabinet Don, so we can move on to the base now. 6. Making the leg base and joinery: Okay, So next up is the base. So let's first start by a sketch on the bottom of our main cabinet. So what I'll be doing as a rectangle by ascender here. And I'll just show my origin and make sure these two are in the same place. There you go. So now what I want is for this be 75, and for this to be 75 as well. Okay. And then I can draw my first leg. Well, not exactly my first leg. So what I'll be doing here is working only on one leg assembly. So one-quarter of the stretcher and then one leg. And then I'll use the mirror function twice to build my whole base. So now I can use the offset here, this direction. And I want my leg to be roughly an inch wide, so 25, so 25 divided by 2. And I'll use the offset in the other way. Once again, so 25 divided by 2. So now I have my leg. This is construction and my whole rectangle is construction. So I went ahead and did that. So now I can simply close the legs. This one and this one. I'll make sure I just want to constrain that. So this line and this point, but now what I can do is this. So what I'll do is make this and this square perpendicular. There you go. So I'll do the same on the other side, this and this, and then these two perpendicular. So now I have one leg, that's the only thing I need. So so now I can extrude that leg. Let's do that. This area here, 25, that's fine. Not ad I want new. And there you go. Doesn't look like much now, but I'll do all the work on this area only on this one leg. And then once I use a mirror, I'll have my old base. So next thing I wanna do is add a slight taper here. So I'll use the draft tool here for that. And they'll use the neutral plane. And then my entity to draft will be this. I want it the other way around and I want 15. That's great. There you go. Okay, so now what I can do is use this face here and then I will draw my leg here. So and use Sketch and simply a line like this and like that. And then I can't come back and constrain everything. So I'll make sure these two are coincident. So I want the base here to be one inch. And I want this year to be 13 quarters. That's good. And then I could either add a dimension like this or what I'll do is I'll, I'll control the height of the whole thing like this. So I don't want 375 here. Okay, so that's my leg. So from that sketch we can extrude. And not like it's true. Both areas. And I want to extrude up to face and this face here. There you go. New. That's good. So now we can't use the Boolean just yet for the bridle joint, will need to remove some material from these treachery before. So the area I'm drawing here. So what we can do quite easily is extrude, remove, and then use portion of sketch number seven. So this here. So what I want to remove, I know this is 25 mils wide, so I'll remove a third of that. So 25, and then I need to make sure I'm moving from this part here. So that's great. We have one done. Okay, So now for the backside will need to make a new sketch. So let's just select that sketch and we'll do it the lazy way. So this, this, this, and this use. So now we have the area here that we need to remove. So let's select that and do the exact same thing. So remove 25 by 25 divided by 3 and then merge scope. I want to remove from this. So there you have it. Okay, so now if I had a couple of things, I'll highlight this part. Here you go. So now we see that we have half of our bridal joint done. So now we can use the Boolean to remove that central area from the part here. So willing again, subtract, my tool will be this. My target will be the delay here, and I want to keep the tool. There you go. So if I highlight this now, my part number 24, and now we have a nice bridle joint. Super easy. So now we have a quarter of a leg assembly done. Next part, we'll use the mirror and do the half lap joint in the middle. Okay, so now let's use the mirror function to build our base. So mirror. And I'll select these two things here. And then my first mirror plane will be the front one. So half of my x is done, knew that's what I want. Okay? And then the same thing again, so mirror and oscillate these things here. But now I'll use the right plane. So that's one advantage of taking a couple of seconds just to think. At first when we're building our main cabinet with having it centered around the origin, simply use the right and front plane. And now we're know that everything is symmetric. So that's good. So now we have to take care of this area here because this is not half lap. So what I'll be doing here is a quick new sketch from here. So sketch and I'll use the area here. So use that, that piece to hear that use. So now I have the area I need to remove my material. So let's use the extrude function again. I'll remove my region will be this this thing here. And obviously, since it's a half lap, I need to remove half the thickness here. So that would be half of 25, so divided by two because it's nice to let on shape, do the math for us. So now I need to select either this one or this one. So I'll just select whichever. So that's good. So that will be the upper part of my half lap. So that is good. And then you've figured it out by now we can use the Boolean again. So we're going to subtract tool will be D2 and then the target Fe2. And I'll keep the tools. There you go. So now my joint is good, but the only thing I'm missing is that these parts are all four separate parts. That's not what I want. So I can use the Boolean again, but this time using the union function. So I'll just join those two. So now this part here is one piece, so I'll do the same Boolean in union. And these two guys, there you go. So now we don't have this split line near because now this is one piece. So if I hide this one, should be able to see our half lap. Yes, so we're seeing our half-life there. And then if I add this part here, now we can see the other half of our half lap. Super cool. So now our base is done and actually looking quite good. So it was quite easy. We built only a quarter of it and then use the mirror tools to build the whole base. So with only a few clicks and a strategic use of the Boolean tool, we weren't able to build our base quite easily and having our bridle and half lap joint done pretty easily. So there you go. 7. Making it look good: So actually a table is done now, so let's add a few finishing touches just by changing the appearance of the whole thing. So let's say these things here. So we'll make the whole cabinet bid on the lighter side of color. I'll probably to this line also. I believe that's the color. And then let's select the whole base. So select our stretchers, the legs here. And then right-click Edit appearance. We've done that before and that select a dark color. So there you go. And then I'll do the same with the splines as well. Okay, so now this looks really good. I like having the splines of different color, so that really pops the joint. So obviously, since this is all parametric and you know that we could go back and change any dimension, any angle just to play with the design. But I'm quite happy with this one. So the next part will be to make the drawing so we can actually go in the workshop and built this thing. 8. Optimizing our material before cutting: Okay, So we've already covered drawings in a previous lesson. But this time I want to show you a little trick that we can use to optimize our CUTLAS in the workshop. So let's say you want to build this cabinet here out of plywood. What you can do is put a sketch anywhere in departs studio here. So that's what I did here. Of the sheet size of the plywood you can buy. So in my case it's four by eight, so that's what I did. I simply put a sketch here that's four by eight and we're going to be using that in the drawing. So let's start a new drawing. So we're going to be inserting our sketch, so we need to select Sketch here. And then I built this one, bird studio 5, and I'll go all the way down because it's my last sketch. And I'll simply insert the sketch here. So scale is a bit small, so maybe 120 would be good. I've got some space at 15. So that's good. So let's, let's put this here and I'm going to be inserting the different parts of the Cabinet inside my square here and trying to put them in a way that can optimize my catalysts and hopefully respect to green. So we've already covered how we can insert view. So I'll just go quick here. Parts studio 5, and I'll start with my biggest one, which is the top one. And I'll use the top view if that's what I need. So I'll just put this here and then Escape to release. And I'll do the same thing here with the side parts. Now the site parts, I want a right view. And now my right view is not in a good orientation, so I'll just put that here. Escape to release and then right-click on my view, view property. And then I'll rotate it by 90 degrees. There you go. That's good. Now I need a second one it is because we've got two of them. So I'll insert five again. Let's use part two this time. And then I want the left view. And I can just put that wherever I want. And then escape. Same thing here. We're going to be rotating that by 90. That's good. So we have this, we have this, we have this. So wouldn't it be nice if we had enough space here for the lower panel? So let's insert the lower panel again for us to year 5 that we part number 4. And I want not the top view. Bottom not bottom view. Okay. So is there enough Blaze for us? There is not. So through things we could do here, you could either go back to our parts studio and adjust the dimension slightly. We don't mean much, so we could use only this part of the sheet for the whole cabinet, that would be nice. But if you're really stuck on those dimensions, then I mean, this could work. Also. There's tons of variation. You could do whatever you want. The goal here is just to show that you can use whatever stuck you have. And if you've got something else that smaller remaining from a different project, then that could also be useful to just try to optimize your Catullus. Now if we went back and changed the dimensions so that we could have all of this on the same line here. That would be obviously that would be super nice because then we would have to hold wood grain that would wrap all around the cabinets and that would be nice, but it's not necessary, especially for the bottom one because we're not really going to see it. So if the top one and then both sides all in the same line, then our wood grain would be following. So that's nice. So yeah, like I said, we've covered drawings before. So you know how to insert your legs and then your stretchers and all of that. But the dimensions you want, I just wanted to show this little trick here to help you optimize your catalyst. Now obviously you can add whatever that mentioned. We've already done that before. Just make sure you try to account for your blade curve. In this case, if you're trying to squeeze as much width as you can in your panel here. So once again, I won't go too far on the drawing. We've done that before. If you haven't checked the previous lesson, make sure you go there. That's where I explained everything. But for this one, I think that will be enough. 9. Conclusion: And there you go. So the goal of this class was mostly to explore different joiners and especially using the Boolean feature to do them easily. We've explored miter splines, bridle joints, half laps. That's not all the journeys that exist in woodworking and all that. But the same principles can easily apply to anything else you might want to do. We had finger drawing stuff, dels, DDOS, whatever really. So the goal really here is to show you the tools. And then hopefully you can get inspired and you can come up with your own design and use them in your own way on your own piece of furniture. So I really hope you enjoyed it. Thank you for joining, and hopefully I'll see you on the next one.