Coffered ceiling by Woodworking OC.
The firm uses Google SketchUp to share
renderings with clients.
- Wood interiors and casegoods firms are adopting Google Sketchup, an online design tool, to engage customers in collaborative 3D renderings in planning projects.
Orange, CA-based Woodworking OC, a commercial and residential custom woodworking firm near Los Angeles, uses Sketchup to work with both home and business clients.
âWe do a wide range of cabinetry including residential and commercial projects,â says company founder Alex Adamonis. âIâm proud that customers like my work and enjoy what Iâve done for them.â
Adamonis projects, frequented by Hollywood media stars, include high-profile restaurants such as Casa Surf Project and House of Big Fish, in Laguna Beach, CA; and AnQi Gourmet Bistro in Costa Mesa, Crustacean Beverly Hills, and Sila Bistro in Los Angeles.
Woodworking OC, which also goes by Woodworking LA, was founded in 2002 and specializes in fine woodworking and custom cabinetmaking. Services include custom kitchen and bathroom cabinets, entertainment centers, bookshelves and libraries, wine racks, cellars and bars, custom built-ins, Murphy beds, and fireplaces.
"Finish carpentry is an important part of any remodeling or construction project. It demands a lot of fine skills, specific tools, and a precise understanding of design theory," says Adamonsis. "Though finish carpentry is typically the last undertaking of any home design, it is also the very thing that catches everyoneâs eye."
Adamonsis is currently promoting his firm by offering free 3D rendering of wood interior proposals through Google Sketchup. Clients can even download the SketchUp application, and review projects with only a little training. The website at Google shows case studies of woodworking projects done with Google SketchUp.
| Karl Mead, Steelcase Nurture.
Steelcase, Grand Rapids, MI, has supplemented its more powerful software applications like Pro Engineer, Micro Station and AutoCAD, which require significant computing power to render very highly detailed models, with the more streamlined design collaborative design solution Sketchup to make it easier to iterate concepts on the fly.
Steelcase began using Google SketchUp in 2004. Designers use it to create models of preliminary design concepts earlier in the design process, without having to power up a bigger computer. âSketchUp let us see what products would look like, or model complete worlds full of many products, using our existing Macs and Windows machines,â says Karl Mead, principal designer at Nurture, a Steelcase
company focused on developing workplace design solutions for healthcare
Steelcase designers also use SketchUp in collaborative development of design ideas in the product development process â from R&D to concepting and prototyping product ideas to developing final product specifications.
âWe can start solving problems very early in the product development process," Mead says. "SketchUpâs simple enough that non-engineers can use it," he says, so "it makes it easy for designers to solicit and integrate feedback from customers and sales and marketing folks."
Steelcase designers are using SketchUp to develop and share design ideas during product development process â from R&D to concepting and prototyping product ideas to developing final product specifications. According to Mead, âWe can start solving problems very early in the product development process and get to better solutions faster.â And because SketchUpâs simple enough that non-engineers can use it, it makes it easy for designers to solicit and integrate feedback from customers and sales and marketing folks. According to Robin Bowles, Principal Designer, Steelcase Workspace Futures, âPeople download SketchUp, and with little training, validate products before we go into hard engineering.â
SketchUp is also used in Steelcaseâs sales and marketing efforts. Salespeople access a large library of images of the companyâs products, which Steelcase stores in a Google 3D Warehouse, to show customers specific product features, or to create custom models of complex solutions (sample shown below). Marketing people also use the companyâs image library, to create marketing materials.
"Steelcase maintains 36 catalogs that include 45,000 images. In the past these images have been drawn from engineering information by an ad agency at 100.00 an hour. Today new drawings for new catalogs are created using the Industrial Design Sketchup files," says Michael Kanoza, consulting graphics analyst for Steelcase. "Drawings for the catalogs are started sooner in the process.â Because images can be readily shared online, Steelcase also uses SketchUp to start training dealers and pre-selling new products, three months earlier than it used to, according to Kanoza.
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