A while back, I wrote an article on the theory of the 3D warehouse. I touched on several topics, the Pony Express, Ted Stevens, and the Internet. There's even some information in there on how Sketchup's 3D warehouse works!
So, if you've taken the time to go back and read that article, you should have a pretty decent grasp on how the 3D warehouse works (Unless you got sucked into the link to asteroids that I buried in there)
As more and more kitchen designers discover Sketchup, more and more companies are taking their catalogs and putting them online in the 3D warehouse for anyone to use.
Kraftmaid has recently made a big push into the 3D warehouse. If click here, you can see their main 3D warehouse page. They have have several categories, Universal Design projects, Extreme Home Makeover, and Projects by Achitects and Designers to name a few. One of my projects was featured in the latter category, you can see it here..
You can also browse the individual cabinets that Kraftmaid has posted for you to use in Sketchup to design your kitchen. The design I created above was done with cabinets from this collection. After I placed all the basic cabinets, I drew in the accessories and countertops.
The next entrant in to the 3D Warehouse is Medalion Cabinetry. Their 3D warehouse collection features several different lines of cabinets, some finishes, and a few different door styles.
The last cabinet company to throw their hat in the 3D ring is General Casework. They have a well organized catalog of basic, slab front cabinets.
If you are unfamiliar with Sketchup and the 3D warehouse, you may be at this point thinking "Great, I found a bunch of 3D models, but how do I get them into Sketchup?" Well, there are two ways, you can use the 3D warehouse button right in Sketchup to download models right into your model. Or you can use the component browser right in Sketchup. Using the component browser has several advantages. You can browse online just like you did with the links above, and you can also save "favorites". I find this method very useful for marking commonly visited sections of each manufacturers offerings. (I typically have "bases" "walls" and "talls" marked for each cabinet company) The component browser also allows you to search, and bring in models without having to start your search over each time you bring a model in.
So, these three comapnies have provided us Sketchup users with a selection of models of products they offer. There are several issues that come up with these new offerings... First, are they useful to you? Would you rather use these instead of a dedicated design software (such as 2020)? Do you use these models for just presentation, or are you using LayOut to create construction documents? How do you feel about everyone in the world having access to information that was previously for designers only?
Before I go off on one of my colorful rants laced up with asteroids and YouTube, I want to see what you out there have to say. If you don't have Sketchup already, go get it (its free), search for these collections, and try it out for yourself! I'd love to see what you come with, and hear any of your questions, comments, concerns. If you have a model you have created with these cabinets, I could also feature it in my next blog post.
If you are new to Sketchup, refer to these older blog posts for tips on how to use Sketchup to create a kitchen design.