37 Replies Latest reply on Jun 1, 2018 10:56 AM by Vinoth Kumar N.

    Furniture design in SOLIDWORKS

    Adam Humphries

      Hi All,

       

      I was hoping to get some community wisdom from you all: sorry in advance for the long post.

       

      Recently I have noticed a lot of furniture companies are making the move or have already made the move to SOLIDWORKS. Being heavily involved with a range of different companies in this industry myself I’d be interested to see what the community’s opinion is on the use of SOLIDWORKS for furniture design.

      I have four main areas of interest:

       

      Furniture work flows:

      I think currently the general consensus of furniture SOLIDWORKS users are multi-body modelling and using weldment cut-list rather than standard assembly modelling and BOMs. Whilst I can see the benefits and down sides of both. I’d be greatly interested in peoples experience with this and for what reason you have chosen or would recommend a specific workflow.

      On top of this the use of smart components and Library features seems like a no-brainier when it comes to furniture but would be greatly interested in other features in SOLIDWORKS that can be used to speed up and improve the standard process.

       

      Visualization

      Everybody loves a good render! Whilst I’m aware of the Visualize post on the forum with some absolutely amazing renders and a few furniture related renders. How many people out there are actually using Visualize – (or other software’s) – to create realistic furniture images for customers, websites ect.. and also any struggles you have found in doing so.

       

      Manufacturing

      Obviously many furniture companies will manufacture in-house. I have seen many long winded work flows, of users saving out individual DXFs sorting into materials or groups then apply tool paths in different software or manually nesting components in SOLIDWORKS and then saving out as DXFs to import onto the machine. Taking user a needlessly long time. Does anyone here have similar experiences, a more improved work flow or any third party software’s to speed this up?

       

      Composer

      Lastly in my mind composer fits extremely well with furniture – many might disagree. Is anyone out there using composer in connection with furniture design – I would be interested to hear your opinions on this. Any examples of this would also be great to see shared.

       

      Thanks in advance – I look forward to hearing everyone’s views

        • Re: Furniture design in SOLIDWORKS
          Todd Blacksher

          I'm sure you can get a TON of great information from John Stoltzfus and Betty Baker

          There are indeed a lot of furniture companies using SOLIDWORKS - Ashley, Century, Flexsteel, off the top of my head . . .

          todd

          • Re: Furniture design in SOLIDWORKS
            John Stoltzfus

            Adam Humphries  - You bring out great points, however the catch is all companies run a different ship, therefore what works for me won't for you etc...

             

            "Furniture work flows:"  (Your Idea of using multibody and weldments) - Wouldn't flow here, it is a bit difficult for me to explain exactly why, is it because we're stuck in the "Workflow Mire", no I don't think so.  Worth Berry another fellow woodworker/designer actually sent me a model that was done using multibodies and it didn't rebuild cleanly, weldments have their own issues when it comes to Custom Properties and BOM's, also we are "One Part - One Part number" company good or bad, that's what we got. One of the biggest reasons is that, we not only manufacture furniture, we have Designers that design furniture and I am the go in between guy that takes awesome designs and turn them into complete shop drawings and models for the manufacturing dept.  So it could be that we're in the middle of the project and all of a sudden I need to switch gears, now, so I need a model that is nimble enough and the basic structure needs to be able to have parametric features so that any changes that do occur "Everything" else needs to follow through. 

             

            I have one document for the drawings and each drawing has multiple tabs. 

             

            "Visualization"   - Another no flow through our system item... Even though I have done renderings, those were mostly for our in-house use, not something to set in front of customers.  Understanding the mid to high end furniture is all about feel, color and design.  Color can only be conveyed two ways, the one we're set with, the other we're not, first one is sample pcs, the customer receives a sample board and signs off on which ever one that they like, they get a few different samples, the other way would be to render the finish and that we're not set up for.  First, you need to take calibrated pictures that get loaded onto color calibrated computer screens and the customer would need to also have a color calibrated screen for final approval.  Sample pcs are easier, real and the final say.

             

            "Manufacturing"  - Yep - we got that long winded workflow, but it is the only system that I've ever seen where you see absolutely no Drawings, unless it's a new pc going through or a Custom pc.  All the manufacturing is done with routers and all the instructions are there, it is amazing to see.. We also changed our manufacturing process from a production shop to a production one piece flow shop.  That is also amazing to see, our process is from gluing panels to final finish and delivery.  We have weekly delivery routes for the Northeast, Southeast and Midwest, equipment is from a rip saw on thru a complete glue line, 5 & 3 axis machining centers, to hand process, to hand wipe finishes, scuffing, baking and state of the art spray booths, awesome assemblers, dock workers and truckers...

             

            "Composer" - No we don't do that either - we have our own photo room, set up by a designer and high quality real photo shoots, these pictures are taken by professional photographers and sent to a high end graphic design company that designs all our catalogs and sales literature etc...

             

            And that difference is here....

             

            Studio Pictures

             

             

            Below the Picture is Rendered using Visualization

              • Re: Furniture design in SOLIDWORKS
                Adam Humphries

                Hi John,

                 

                Thank you for your response. It is honestly great to get some feedback on this topic. I completely agree with you in regards to every company being slightly different. Having been into many furniture companies they all have their unique quirks or way of working. Hence the difficulty or impossibility of defining a standard work flow for all. For me this post was more to understand the underlying reasons behind peoples decisions.

                 

                Work flows - Personally I agree with many of your points on this - there are many benefits in my mind that comes from the "one part - one part number" system. In my opinion if the component is separate in real life then it should be separate and have its own unique ID. However I still find many companies will model in Multi body- whether this can stem from lack of training, people will come on the basic essentials and find that modelling everything in a part is easier and as such will stick to that way of modelling. many times they will not take the time to consider how it will actually be built - i.e connectors. and will leave the nitty gritty to the guys on the shop floor. not really using SOLIDWORKS to its full potential. So it great to hear how you are using the software.

                 

                Visualisation - In all honesty i had not considered the actual "feel" of furniture in the image for the customer. I guess that in many ways a quick render can come across as quite cold and would not necessarily give the customer the desired response to the product. I can without a doubt see the reasons behind this but is still feel like renders should not be ruled out completely for customer visuals - i guess this is something i will take a deeper looking into, i have seen some amazing renders and i'm sure with a bit of thought and effort we could get something incredible output.

                 

                Manufacturing - I Guess currently without the use of third party software the workflow is as quick and as efficient as it can be. once the files have made it the shop floor the actual manufacturing process on the shop floor is always amazing to see. Especially when it is as efficient as it sounds yours very much is.

                 

                Composer - I guess in many ways composer can be for a quite niche area in the furniture industry. For high end furniture which i imagine is constructed on site and delivered there is not need to give the customer an instruction manual or technical documentation. possibly something for the guys on the shop floor but technical illustration would be more useful for the more mass produced flat pack furniture IKEA, Argos, Tesco ect...

                 

                Lastly many thanks for your response it has given me some things to consider. Thank you for taking your time to respond

                 

                Adam

                  • Re: Furniture design in SOLIDWORKS
                    John Stoltzfus

                    Adam Humphries  You're quite welcome..

                     

                    Going back to the Visualization - where you mention rendering....  I feel the same way, that "renders should not be ruled out completely..."  That is how I felt when I first got into the furniture industry, why spend all that time and money sending the Customer (3-4) sample based on the customers requirements.  In time I changed my mind on this because when I seen the subtle color differences between the samples, it's like turning the computer screen just slightly and it'll give you a different hue, plus the customer actually signs off on the back side of the sample board and that same sample is used by our quality control people to assure the customer is getting exactly what they ordered.   The samples not only show the color, but also the wood grain which is a huge part of the customers decision as well...  The other thing to point out with some wood species you get two completely different colors and hue from the same board, just by turning the board or like in our house we have a wood floor and if you stand on one side the boards look light, switch sides the same board looks dark, and the floor has no stain or color other than the natural color/grain etc, which would be almost impossible to show in a rendering... So I don't see Visualization taking over here anytime soon...

                     

                    What is your position in the Furniture Industry?.... 

                      • Re: Furniture design in SOLIDWORKS
                        Adam Humphries

                        Hi John,

                         

                        You make some great points - something honestly I had not considered when rendering wood. Giving in more thought it does makes sense, its a shame computer renders cannot take a greater role in the visualization of furniture. However i'm still unable to give in just yet. I've seen some great renders in my time and although i agree with your points i think there is benefit to being able to quickly show the customer their furniture in the room environment.

                         

                        I work for a re seller based in the UK - I mainly deal with manufacturing and furniture companies using SOLIDWORKS and related third party software. I have interacted with many companies but made this post with the intention of getting some feedback from people like yourselves who work in the industry daily, to better understand the reasons behind peoples workflow and decisions. I have learnt some valuable points and hopefully other people reading this have too.

                         

                        Again many thanks for your response.

                          • Re: Furniture design in SOLIDWORKS
                            John Stoltzfus

                            One thing I did miss mentioning is when you need to do Wood Grain renderings, the renderings are a lot more realistic " If " - you apply the wood appearance to every part, this obviously takes longer but gives you much better results verses just using Visualization.  Visualization makes you apply the appearance by zones and it becomes much harder to manipulate, unless it's just me, but I prefer the individual part appearances..

                             

                    • Re: Furniture design in SOLIDWORKS
                      Betty Baker

                      Well said John Stoltzfus.  Our process are very similar.

                       

                      Furniture Workflows - We don't use multibodies or weldments either.  We draw each part as it would go through the factory and build our assemblies as they would be built on the assembly lines in the factory.

                       

                      Visualization - Our Designers dabble in renderings a little but as John stated, furniture is about feel, color and design.  We also build samples, show them at the furniture markets and do professional photography.

                       

                      Manufacturing - As I stated above, we draw each part just as it is going through our fabrication facility.  Panels saw, Drill, Router, edge treatment, etc.... It is also put together the exact same way as it goes down our assembly lines.

                       

                      Composer - We do use Composer but only for our instruction sheets. To explain how to attach a mirror to a dresser or put feet on a unit.

                        • Re: Furniture design in SOLIDWORKS
                          Adam Humphries

                          Hi Betty,

                           

                          Workflow - Again great to hear how you work - Interesting to see you also model within assemblies.

                           

                          Visualization - After reading both yours and Johns reply i can defiantly see your reasons why. it is obviously difficult to communicate the same feel with a computer generated render to a real life photograph but i'm sure there is still room for renders. I'm a big fan of being able to show some one something that look real but does not actually exist. With the new enhancements with Visualize VR i think there a load of possibility available to us as designers.

                           

                          Manufacturing - I think the best think with the actual production is the correct and efficient work flow. Which sounds like you have down perfectly - i'm sure many companies could learn from this.

                           

                          Composer - Is that just documentation for the guys putting it together or is that something that the end customer sees?

                           

                          Many thanks for your response - i do appreciate it.

                           

                          Adam

                        • Re: Furniture design in SOLIDWORKS
                          Worth Berry

                          Hi Adam,

                          Here is a brief background on how I use SW. I draw plywood upholstery frames in SW to send to our router to be cut and assembled at another facility. I think that you nailed it with your assessment of the multi body/weldment workflow. I have found that to be the absolute easiest way to draw an upholstered furniture frame. However, @John Stoltzfus@ was right. In order to export the frame as a DXF to our router, I have to isolate and save each part separately. This can be both good and bad. I have had 2 instances that a part didn't update when a change was made and sent to the router.

                           

                          We are in process of switching over to a newer CAD software package that will accept SW files directly into the router. However, in order for this to happen, I have to draw the frames as an assembly. This has been a slight learning curve for me. I'm sure it will work better in the long run, but using a weldment is just easier.

                           

                          We don't render or use any other add ins at this time.

                           

                          Some times I do create drawings of hardware for outside vendors to produce for us.

                          • Re: Furniture design in SOLIDWORKS
                            Raymond Yau

                            Furniture Workflows

                             

                            Solidworks was recommended to us by an ERP consultancy which had a proven track record in integrating Solidworks. Multi-body parts was the proposed method by our Solidworks VAR during the early stages of integration, but it wasn't long until we ditched this and went with the traditional bottom-up assembly structure model as it allows for individial part numbering. Like John, my company is also "One part - One Part Number". Another reason I can think of for ditching the multi-body method is the BOM structure. By modelling, say a cabinet, the full carcase would become the parent part containing all the cutlist items/panels. The fixings applied thereafter would be within an assembly environment which would come in at the same level as the carcase within the BOM. It doesn't make sense in a BOM structure and routing point of view to having fixings at the same level as the full carcase. An arbitrary part number would be needed for the bare parent carcase alone.

                             

                            My company is placing is huge emphasis on cost and traceability of parts through the factory and by having a unique part number per part, it allows us to assign unique properties to each individually and the part numbers will reflect the different stages of the manufacturing process.

                             

                            "smart components and Library features seems like a no-brainier"

                             

                            Yes you would think that at first, but actually smart fasteners has brought me a lot of pain during the early stages of the modelling workflow. Lets say for example you have a tall shelving unit which contained 6 shelves, you might wish to apply dowels/pins/cams as smart components for each shelf (each usually contains 6-10 of these fixings). You would have to apply the fixings manually and it is painfully slow to begin with. You could pattern smart components, but that depends on the spacing of the shelves and the way you've modelled your assembly. If I remembered correctly, smart features and smart components have to be patterned separately. A big disadvantage in my opinion is that you cannot mirror smart components. So in this example, fixings used on one side/gable of the cabinet can't simply be mirrored to the opposite side/gable of the cabinet, you need to repeat the manual process.

                             

                            Depending on the type of furniture you design, if it is largely rule-based then DriveWorks would be a good addition to Solidworks. It's a bit unstable at times when using configurations with smart components. We're currently exploring this at the moment and may purchase a license at some point in the future.

                             

                            Visualisation

                            My company's interior renders are done using a piece of kitchen design software called Fusion2020 in the sales department. The quality is laughable and I wouldn't compare it to SW visualize. Its mainly used for initial client communication. The design/CAD department has Keyshot, but we've not really used it much. I would personally recommend Blender 3D just as a personal preference. Its a bit steep in learning curve, but it was my weapon of choice when I was freelancing a year ago. I 100% agree with John that photography would be the way to go if possible. No render can replace a real photo.

                             

                            Manufacturing

                            The company is quite fragmented at the moment and hence the need for an ERP system. We have various systems/software doing performing different tasks. Solidworks is not a one-size-fits all. We have a piece of software for panel nesting/optimisation - This allows us to batch various parts from different jobs into a single operation to minimise wastage. Fusion 2020 for interior kitchen design, initial planning and sales. Solidworks for product detail design i.e. drilling detail, calculate material usage calculation and so on. And the ERP will bring all the different areas together.

                             

                            Composer

                            We also have composer which we've still to look at, but eventually this will be used for creating 3D visuals for the factory and various types of documentation for external use. Hope it helps.

                              • Re: Furniture design in SOLIDWORKS
                                John Stoltzfus

                                Raymond Yau  - I did miss mentioning that the Custom Properties are the biggest reason that I have my workflow set the way I do.  Yes, all those nicey features sound good and there are times you can alter/change the work in progress flow, however, there are a lot of times we can't or don't have the status to change the companies manufacturing process/workflow. 

                                 

                                I do have a (2017) zip file attached of a cabinet model which shows how my Assemblies/Parts are setup.. Eventually I want to include all of the custom property info and the drawings complete with all the support temps and documents..

                                  • Re: Furniture design in SOLIDWORKS
                                    Raymond Yau

                                    Hi John, that looks impressive. Will definitely have a good look at it later. Speaking of custom properties, I've been following Luke Malpass's API series in creating a Custom Properties Tab (specific to furniture use). It should speed up the process of assigning properties. Not quite there yet, but will definitely share if its of any use to you.

                                     

                                    C# SolidWorks API Tutorial - 01 Getting Started Creating Taskpane - YouTube

                                      • Re: Furniture design in SOLIDWORKS
                                        John Stoltzfus

                                        Raymond Yau  - Here all of our Custom Properties are initiated by our ECN numbers, so for every project we have a manual ECN tracking system (Excel spreadsheet).  So I have a Custom Property Tab Builder file for every ECN and I have the templates set that all I need to do is add the Dates, ECN # and Customer/Product information.  After the design is completed and before the drawings get created I open every part and assembly and apply the custom properties using the CPTB file that I had just saved.  The assembly file has 3 custom properties that can be different from one assembly to the other, while the parts could have 10 -15 different custom properties.  If you have your custom property file set up in a simple manner, it doesn't take long to compile all the information to the files. 

                                    • Re: Furniture design in SOLIDWORKS
                                      Adam Humphries

                                      Hi Raymond,

                                       

                                      Thank you for your response - another great insight into the industry:

                                       

                                      More and more the benefits of assembly modelling and the "one part - one part number" seems to become apparent. As you mentioned its a great method of keeping track of costs and parts. You'd be surprised how some companies will just have a big box of fixings -hinges, brackets ect - and just re order when low. Having only a rough idea what hardware is used for each project.

                                       

                                      i can see your frustration with smart components its a pain as even though it does some of the work for you it defiantly still has a manual process associated to it. biggest benefit as i see it is the step towards standardising the fixings - size, cuts ect..

                                       

                                      Driveworks defiantly could have a benefit with furniture design but i guess that is largely based on the kind of work you do.

                                       

                                      Visualization

                                       

                                      i agree with the fact no render can replace a photo but i still think there is room for it- especially as you said for initial client communication - as i'm sure you know when the client actually sees the design they

                                      regularly want some sort of change - if its been made and photographed its a tad late - bespoke orders though really of course. As John said at the start every companies different so one option cannot work for everyone - but very interesting to see how it plays a role currently in your work flow.

                                       

                                      Manufacturing

                                       

                                      I would be interested to know what nesting software you use? does it accept native solid works file or do you have to save to another format?

                                       

                                      Thanks again for your response - it is appreciated you have taken the time to outline you process.

                                       

                                      Adam

                                        • Re: Furniture design in SOLIDWORKS
                                          John Stoltzfus

                                          Adam Humphries wrote:

                                           

                                          Visualization

                                           

                                          i agree with the fact no render can replace a photo but i still think there is room for it- especially as you said for initial client communication - as i'm sure you know when the client actually sees the design they

                                          regularly want some sort of change - if its been made and photographed its a tad late - bespoke orders though really of course. As John said at the start every companies different so one option cannot work for everyone - but very interesting to see how it plays a role currently in your work flow.

                                           

                                           

                                          We could always go backwards very easy if the customer would pick out the finish or look from somewhere else and bring it to us, for us to match the color, so we need a certified website with all the finishes etc, the customer downloads and sends us a copy and then we can color match, viola... we're done...

                                          • Re: Furniture design in SOLIDWORKS
                                            Raymond Yau

                                            Hi Adam,

                                             

                                            Glad to know that you find my rambling useful. The nesting program we use is a proprietary software by Biesse. From what I know, the scheduling department has been using their software for decades. I know that Biesse has a few software solutions specific to furniture design and production but I've never used it personally. I don't believe Biesse software takes in Solidworks files. I think we have setup the nesting software to pluck the part dimensions directly from our new ERP system. Obviously, the part data would have to be exported to the ERP from Solidworks prior to scheduling.

                                             

                                            EDIT:

                                            You'd be surprised how some companies will just have a big box of fixings -hinges, brackets ect - and just re order when low.

                                            These things still happen time and time again even here at our company which is why backflushing material is necessary for some areas of production. This is a workable solution as long as a proper process in place.

                                        • Re: Furniture design in SOLIDWORKS
                                          Francisco Martínez

                                          I am in the same boat however, the company I am with started with solidedge and none of the files are multibodies. When I started is when they finally got on board with solidworks. Still a work in progress since we seem to shift directions every week.

                                          A great thing we did was ditch bobcad/cam for alphacam 2017 , which is capable of 99% automation to create gcode and mpr files ( german weeke cncs) for our processing stations and routers

                                           

                                          This entire post is a good read for me

                                          • Re: Furniture design in SOLIDWORKS
                                            Carsten Wesseler

                                            Hi,

                                            Our company is producing furniture for shops (shopfittings), interiors (hotels, apartments etc.), ships (lounge etc.) worldwide.

                                            So it's not the "one piece furniture" it's the most time much bigger / more.

                                             

                                            Furniture work flows:

                                            We are modelling every furniture / shop with assemblies and parts. Mutlibody is only used if we need a fast design to show the customer, after he accepted the design we used the multibody part as Skeleton to placed our panels and so on.

                                            The BOM is exported from epdm to our ERP, so we can do an export to our ERP at every level of the assembly and everything will fit.

                                            After the construction is done we have a workflow inside pdm to send the assembly to our cam colleagues, he will check the CAM data of each file (only if it is changed or a new file). while the cam part is checked the contruction makes the drawing for the assembly and needed parts (such as purchased parts).

                                            After the CAM colleague has finished the BOM will be exported to our ERP again (this will add some manufacturing information to each part such as routing lengths, count of hole drills and much more).

                                             

                                            Visualization

                                            We sometimes render some Models for our customers, but as we get the design the most times from architects we don't need to render that much. If our own architects do the design our colleagues in our headquarter will do the renderings with 3D Studio Max, Pytha...

                                            To discuss something with external architects or customers we use the drawing and / or eDrawings.

                                             

                                            Manufacturing

                                            We use Solidworks, Enterprise PDM and a third party addon (Pascam Woodworks and Pascam Bea for the wood specific parts and cam Parts) since 2008.

                                            We start an assembly inserting panels from a library (they have some prededined properties and features).

                                            The we add the hardware (hinges and so on) to the assemblies at the level we need them.

                                            Based on the Hardware the machinings will be applied in another step and we can also apply machinings without hardware.

                                            This is all done using the Pascam Woodworks addon.

                                            The machinings bring the cam data with them. So every part has it CAM data always actual.

                                            If we have a similar Proect we just copy the one and make our changes to the new one. the cam data always fits.

                                            Sometimes we need to add CAM information o the parts and at assembly level as the panels will be routes before and after gluing them.

                                            We generate the CAM files for different machines (in germany and russia we use Homag and Weeke Routers, in spain we use morbidelli routers) from teh same Solidworks file. Only if the machine doesn't have the matching cutter we have to change it by hand, everything else fits as there is a SQL database in the background which adjustes the Toolnumbers and so on.

                                            In our ERP the BOM has information from the datacards (Custom Properties) and additional Information for manufacturing from the addon.

                                            So if we export the data we can calculated the price and the time for the manufacturing.

                                             

                                            Composer

                                            We use composer to make documentations how to build up the furniture if it won't be installed by our own fitters.

                                             

                                            Regards, Carsten

                                             

                                            Here is one (very) old rendering from 2010 made with one of the first Photoview 360 Version:

                                            Counter.jpg

                                            • Re: Furniture design in SOLIDWORKS
                                              Matthew Kressin

                                              Furniture work flows:

                                              I tried every approach in the book, and found that each has inherent drawbacks.  Speaking frankly, I do not think that Solidworks is the best for this type of work.  I would like to hear more about the approaches that others take. 

                                               

                                              Multibody parts:   this is by far the fastest way to draft, and the easiest way to make hole patterns.  The huge, huge issue is that you cannot explode multibody parts in an assembly.   (Yes, you can explode a multibody part, but you cannot re-use it in an assembly. ) We need the exploded views, with all the hardware, so that our factories can understand the construction, quote the job, etc.  So inevitably, I have to save out all the bodies and place that into an assembly, then hope and pray that any updates are reflected in the assembly.  Another huge drawback of multibody parts is that I can't place hardware until I have everything in an assembly, which often means not creating hole features until the assembly.  Things like dowels must be added after you have it in an assembly, or else you need to import the dowel into the multibody part.  

                                              I tried using weldments, for example with door profiles, but I found it to be more trouble than it's worth.  If I tried to switch to another door profile, then the entire door blows up, and loses its references. 

                                              Overall, our team decided not to use multibody parts to draft furniture in the future, except for a quick concept drawing.  It just causes too many issues downstream. 

                                               

                                              Top-down modeling:

                                              I switched to top-down modeling of furniture, using a layout sketch of the outside dimensions.  I use parameters to change the overall size, and other critical dimensions.   It is more time consuming, by far, but in the end it gives you more useful features.  The main issue that I have for this approach is that hole features are very frustrating.  You have to propagate the hole feature to each part.  Then, when you try to mirror the hole feature (let's say for shelf holes that are on both sides of a cabinet), the holes often do not mirror correctly.   Making revisions on a top-down assembly is much more challenging, too.  If you want to change the style of a joint from a butt joint to a rabbet joint or miter joint, it can be very time consuming.  A change that would take 1 minute in multibody drafting takes much longer in assemblies.  Inventor is actually much more flexible for this type of work, in my opinion, having used both.  

                                               

                                              Configurations:  I thought I could get away with using configurations to model 3 cabinets with similar construction, but different outside dimensions.  Or maybe you want 3 cabinets that are similar, except one has crown molding.  The configs kept blowing up, and caused me more trouble than they are worth.  I could write an entire post, just about this.  Avoid using configs for furniture, unless your configs are strictly on one stand-alone part, or one piece of hardware.  Attempting to use configs for an entire assembly is playing with fire. 

                                               

                                              Overall, I would advise someone in the furniture industry to consider other parametric software, because Solidworks can be frustrating for this type of work.  It is great for surfacing, injection molded items, etc. but furniture is not a strong point.  I have talked to other colleagues who switched to other software, from Solidworks, or resorted to 3rd party add-ins.