Introduction to Simplified 3D (Cabinet Method)

Simplified 3D is one of the most commonly used methods in 3D Lettering. It’s easy, fast and therefor also efficient. But let’s dive deeper into what this method is all about:

Simplified 3D (also called Cabinet/Cavalier projection) is a simple drawing method and does produce somewhat convincing 3D designs. Technically, this isn’t actually real 3D since it doesn’t correspond to any view of an object in real life. 

What do I mean by that? Well, without going into too much detail: 

In reality, every line will converge to a vanishing point since everything gets smaller the further away it is from the viewer.

Just take the example of a straight road. If you drive a car, you know this all too well. Like we saw in the first session, also one of the things children will first perceive.


To understand anything, it’s always good to trace back where it originated but more importantly WHY it originated or why it’s being used. We could just leave it at: It’s simple. That’s a good enough reason for me. But let’s just dig a little deeper:

Cavalier/Cabinet Projection is commonly used in technical drawing. This refers to drawings whit the purpose is to visually communicate how something functions (like patents or instruction manuals).

Realism of an object isn’t the most important part of the drawing that’s why this technique works well here.

Most information I found about where it originated seems to stem from the 18th century. 

But the word “cabinet” comes from its use in illustrations by the furniture industry.


There are a lot of great tools to be used. Mostly triangle ruler with parallel lines inscribed into it.

Or a ruled paper to place behind your paper (if it’s thin enough or if you have a light source)

But once you get the hang of it, you’ll skip this tool unless you need to be extremely precise. In most cases it’s enough to do it all by the eye. Especially as you get better.

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