Is There a Preferred Program For Design?

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Forum topic by DavidNJ posted 12-24-2012 01:09 AM 1225 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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389 posts in 2234 days

12-24-2012 01:09 AM

I’ve seen lots of plans in Google Sketchup format. I also have TurboCAD (I last upgraded to version 16). Is there a preferred tool to use for designing woodworking projects?

I noticed both have support, there seems to be more readily available for Sketchup. For example, tutorials here:

What do you recommend?



9 replies so far

View WillAdams's profile


86 posts in 2236 days

#1 posted 12-24-2012 03:11 AM

Pretty much anything will work, depending on one’s workflow and style.

Sketchup is popular since it starts at free and has good 3D visualization.

I use Macromedia (Adobe) Freehand, since I’ve been using it for graphic design since it was Altsys Virtuoso.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5819 posts in 3054 days

#2 posted 12-24-2012 04:55 AM

Sketchup is okay. Pretty easy to use for furniture design. I just wish you could select and move items without having to be so deliberate. Punch Architechtural Series is great for drawing buildings, but I prefer sketchup for furniture design.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View mrg's profile


853 posts in 3240 days

#3 posted 12-24-2012 05:05 AM

I use Adobe Illustrator because that is what I use for work. Autocad is good and so is sketch up. It all depends what you like using. There are times that I find it easier to do a drawing on graph paper old school. Their is no one program or one way of doing things.

-- mrg

View Richard's profile


1922 posts in 2931 days

#4 posted 01-15-2013 09:28 PM

What ever works best for You is the best one to use.

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 3105 days

#5 posted 01-15-2013 09:44 PM

The learning curve for these CAD programs usually is pretty steep for all. So depending on what you cut your
teeth on will probably determine what you use.

I have DesignCad Max 3D and am learning on that. Also have Sketchup (the freebie). I find DesignCAD pretty intuitive for 2D drawing, so I am using that for now. Haven’t used it enough yet to go to 3D.

I will say that TurboCAD has a ton of features and add-ons availible. Its a good program. They have several add-ons like Furniture Maker , etc. I have heard some discouraging reviews on that particular software however. The support is limited.

TurboCAD also has a steeper learning curve than most CAD programs that aren’t full fledged CAD systems, like AutoCAD, for example. But its also packed with features.

View madts's profile


1884 posts in 2580 days

#6 posted 01-15-2013 10:04 PM

I like to use AutoCad because i am trained in it. I do not use paper any more as cad is just so much faster.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View MrRon's profile


5277 posts in 3484 days

#7 posted 01-16-2013 08:08 PM

Sketchup is good for getting a 3-D concept of the project, but you need a CAD program, like Autocad to design the details. If you want to use just one program, then you need to get a CAD program that can draw in 2 and 3-D. Much easier to learn one program than two programs.

View DS's profile


3046 posts in 2661 days

#8 posted 01-16-2013 08:19 PM

I make my living with Cabinetvision Solid.
Probably a bit spendy for the hobbyist though.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Derakon's profile


89 posts in 2408 days

#9 posted 01-16-2013 08:24 PM

RonInOhio is right—3D modeling programs are all hard to use, and while the skill to use one program does transfer a bit to another, generally you’ll be most comfortable in the program you first really figured out how to handle. For example, I learned in Blender, so that’s what I use for my projects. It’s not really designed for architectural stuff (won’t show you the gaps between objects or the like, so you have to look up their positions and do some math) but it gets the job done.

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