It is widely known that every art and craft starts with a design. Woodworking is no exception to this, the designs will aid the woodworker in creating a perfect blueprint needed to birth the great ideas of the woodworker during woodworking. All woodworking niches depends on a creation of a solid and unique design to stand out. During the previous years, woodworking designs were done with pencils and other technical drawing tools on sketch pads and drawing sheets.
However, the rise in modern technology has now made it possible for many businesses such as woodworking to create designs with digital technology. In recent times, there have been various software applications made to simplify the woodworking design.
The essence of these applications is their features which is able to make the design process easy for the woodworking designer, produce 3-dimensional visualizations of designs in real-time, and advanced and simplify editing. Interestingly, the 3-D visualization feature of the software eliminates the need to make smaller prototypes to troubleshoot ideas before scaling them up. Good, right? Technology seems to have a solution to everything. Woodworking is made easier with the advent of digital technology.
In today’s post, we will discuss in details, various woodworking design software that are very essential to a woodworker. We will talk about their various advantages and disadvantages, their pricing whether free or paid, also the special features of this software applications. Sit back and relax.
Here is a list of some woodworking design software;
- CADPRO Furniture Design Software
- Blender 3D
- Fusion 360
- Easy Woodworking Design
- SketchList 3D
- MacDraft Pro
CADPRO Furniture Design Software
CADPRO furniture design software is an application that allows users to design furniture and visualize them in 3-D. also, CADPRO has a feature that aims at documenting your works, so that your ideas can be crystal clear and can be shared with other users online. The software comes with a user-friendly interface, that is, you don’t need a prior knowledge of CAD to get started with designing on this application.
Furthermore, CADPRO is among the few woodworking design software that supports sketch tracing. What is sketch tracing? Sketch tracing involves the scanning of designs sketched on paper and importing the scanned copy into the CADPRO interface for more advanced edits. Speaking of the interface, CADPRO has an interactive furniture design features that allows you to preview your edits to designs in real-time.
- CADPRO design software integrates smart dimensioning tools, auto snap tools, and auto shaping tools. this features makes it easy to use.
- On this software application, your designs are saved as PDF files. PDF files are compatible with almost every viewing application in the world today.
- Its user-friendly interface makes the software beginner-friendly.
- It is an amazing collaboration and presentation tool. CADPRO provides users with the voice documentation support. This designing software makes it possible for you to record your ideas and attach voiceovers detailing each component of your design.
- CADPRO is limited in terms of design testing before building.
- This woodworking design is a paid software that is made available at around $99. Some woodworkers might find this difficult to pay.
SketchUp is a very popular designing software today. google purchased SketchUp and this purchase was very instrumental in the increasing popularity and number of users of the SketchUp design application. However, SketchUP is owned by another company but its popularity remains on the increase due to its features and the advertising power of its parent company. skethUp was designed to suit both 2D and 3D modelling.
Furthermore, its responsive user interface makes it possible for users to make use of the stylus pen or their hands to draw woodworking designs. Also, this design doftware comes with vast amount of tools that makes drawing or editing very easy. Lastly, sketchUP has a feature that allows you to transform your 2D drawings into 3D models that gives more accurate view of your designs.
- It is user-friendly. It is very easy to use by a beginner or a professional.
- SketchUp comes with variety of drawing tools that including a woodworking plug-in.
- SketchUp is a free software, that means you can access all its extended features without paying a dime.
- Using the designing application for commercial designs comes at a cost
- It is limited in terms of testing the feasibility of your design as well as executing stress analysis.
One of the more familiar CAD (computer-aided design) application that offers various extensive features to woodworkers is the Blender 3D. The designing software, blender, is an extensive tool that offers 2D drafting, 3D modeling and animation. This application comes with a power packed CAD tool that competes with some of the best professional CAD applications in the market today for free.
Furthermore, you can maximize your blender application as a woodworker by accessing its furniture library and editing its designs for your personal task. You can choose to use blender for advanced woodworking designs or a more complex designs, with its sculpting, rendering, documentation and animation tools, you are good to go.
- Blender is a professional woodworking design tool with exceptional features that gives you room to become more creative.
- Blender almost scales through any limitation that you can have, maybe, except your imagination.
- Blender is free and it also features an extensive furniture library and a woodworking community that offers design packs free of charge.
- With blender, some basic blender knowledge is needed for you to operate its features successfully. It offers a steep learning curve.
SolidWorks is a Blender-look alike. It is also a professional grade design software that features advanced 2D drafting, 3D modeling, sculpting and animating tools. these features will help you to create whatever you choose to create regardless of the complexity of your thoughts.
- SolidWorks features testing and analytical tools that allows woodworkers to examine the integrity of designs before implementation.
- It is excellent for performing complex woodworking designs.
- Just like blender, it also comes with a steep learning curve
- It is a paid software. It is not free for neither personal nor commercial use.
Fusion 360 is another excellent woodworking design tools that features an in-built design that aids the creation of expert woodworking designs. Fusion 360 is one of a few designing software to allow product creation and CNC GCode on a single platform. This feature made a lot of woodworkers use this designing tool to design products for woodworking. Furthermore, this software application integrates 3D visualization features and 2D documentation that improves your design.
- This is a free designing application that you can use for your personal woodworking designs
- It features advanced plug-in and ties into more professional Autodesk products which improves your versatility when designing
- Fusion 360 is a cloud-based woodworking design tool. That is, it makes collaboration and remote working easy.
- It is features a user-friendly interface that makes designing and editing from the scratch very easy.
- Fusion 360 requires a costly fee when used for commercial designs.
- It has a steep learning curve.
Easy Woodworking Design
Just as its name implies, easy woodworking design was developed for woodworkers to make quick and easy woodworking design without any prior technical know-how of any computer-aided design. The application software features one-click design and reporting tools. also, it enables 2D drawing and 3D modeling. Furthermore, it is possible for users to easy woodworking design to develop reports and analyze building costs. The application supports the uploading of external designs into its interface for cost evaluation.
- It allows woodworkers to drag and drop boards while displaying these edits in real-time.
- Provides support for computing shelf spacing, cut angles and other design calculations.
- It can also serve as a project management tool.
- It features an intuitive user-friendly interface that allows for quick creation and editing of your designs.
- It has no support for examining the integrity of your designs.
- It is a paid design tool that may be a little expensive for hobbyist woodworkers.
Sketch List 3D
The SketchList 3D was particularly designed for woodworkers. it comes with a lot of tools suited for woodworking designs. As a result, the features are easy to access and use for a woodworker. Most times, this application allows woodworkers to design woodworking projects by dragging and dropping components. Furthermore, it features a one-click joints, one-click curtails, drill hole emulation, various wood types and custom design materials for woodworking. This woodworking design tool also allows you to import designs from other platforms and edit them on SketchList 3D.
- It features an easy learning curve, unlike other CAD tools.
- It comes with a one-time payment that gives you lifelong access to its amazing features.
- Also, it allows woodworker to create a project report detailing the number of materials needed for a job and the cost of completing the job.
- It lacks the advanced features required to test the integrity of your ideas before implementation.
- SketchList is not free and it can be quite expensive for woodworkers that only get involve with designing personal projects.
If you are a woodworker and you use a MAC book for your designs, you would understand the designing limitations faced by MAC users due to the limited amount of CAD applications built for the MAC operating system. However, MacDraft is one of few woodworking design software developed solely for MAC PCs. The application supports 2D drafting of woodworking ideas. This designing tool possess a very intuitive user interface that supports documentation of your ideas and it also uses the MAC’s retina feature to improve how designed projects look when completed.
- Smart snap, object snap, and guide snapping features that enhance design activities
- This tool allows users to save their designs in different file formats.
- It supports the documentation of your ideas
- It comes with a user-friendly interface that can be changed into a dark mode for dark mode lovers.
- It is an expensive woodworking designing software
- It has an inferior visualization features when placed side by side with other designing tools.
The Pro 100 is a specialized woodworking designing tool for cabinet makers, interior designers and commercial woodworking outfits. This application allows users to customize it for their presentations and visualizing design ideas. It features a 2D drawing and 3D modeling tool that is powered by a powerful 3D rendering engine. Furthermore, Pro 100 comes with a drag and drop feature that allows easy implementation of your woodworking ideas. Lastly, it is able to generate reports such as cut lists, cabinet lists and various options of design materials.
- It comes with a user-friendly interface.
- It features a powerful 3D rendering engine that allows the creation of woodworking designs and record presentations.
- Also, it supports the importation of external data for editing on the Pro 100 platform.
- Pro 100 is a professional tool priced at $150 for every month.
- The pro 100 is not a complete CAD tool.
This was the prominent design application back in the days before other options came into the lime light. AutoCAD is a professional design tool that possess numerous features that allows you to create simple and complex designs with much ease.
- It is a commercial-grade software with advanced design features
- It aids visualization of your woodworking ideas
- It is expensive and suited for commercial woodworkers
- It has a steep learning curve
As promised, we have given our concise view on a few woodworking designing software. These woodworking designing tools are perfect in their ways, it is up to you to check them, compare them and choose the one that best suits you. and if you are still using your pen and sketch pad, it is good but now might be the perfect time to embrace the advent of digital technology and revolutionize your woodworking business.