Solidworks required for furniture designers?


I haven’t been able to find any information from a google search so I decided to post here. I am a furniture/product designer with 5+ years experience looking for furniture design work recently and I noticed a lot of companies are requiring me to have Solidworks renderings. I have worked with some of the most renowned furniture shops in the US and a little bit in China and none of these master wood workers needed a Solidworks rendering. There was always a level of respect for what they do and My initial feeling is that providing a rendering is silly and rude. They are Masters after all. Has anyone else had similar experience? I am extremely proficient in Solidworks so I have nothing against the program. I just wanted to know if anyone else out there has noticed the gravitation to Solidworks by Furniture Designers and Interior Design firms.

You would no more be upset if someone asked you to send them an email rather than faxing them something. It’s not rude it’s a form of communication. Nothing is being replaced here, it’s just being enhanced. You’d no sooner take a horse and buggy to go cross country because you’d sooner fly as it’s a more efficient way of travel.

All I’m suggesting is that it’s about point of view and perspective. What can be shown in several rendering of a furniture model rather than trying to make those several by hand is a night and day difference. The fact that you can test for weight, collision etc in most 3D software can save a TON of time out the back end when it comes to tooling/mold making.

During school I did a furniture project and my tutor only came in one day a week for that semester to critique our work. She is very well respected in the UK/Europe and is often referred to as a leading designer.

She was very much for prototyping in CAD which at the time I too found unusual thinking “surely it is better to see my design in front of me instead of on a screen”. During my project I spent a week making a rough model out of cheap wood for my design only to realize how bad it looked. During my critique all she said was “if you had done this in CAD like I said you could have seen how bad it was in 10 minutes and then rectified the problem”

Like cadjunkie said you can probably make 10 iterations of a table in the time it takes to make a set of four legs in the shop. I wouldn’t consider it an insult to the craft of being able to make furniture by hand but see it as your role as a designer to use what ever tools necessary to quickly and accurately COMMUNICATE your design.

With the tools that Soldiworks offers you can also test certain elements before bringing a concept in to the real world. For example folding tables etc.