Is There a Preferred Program For Design?

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Forum topic by DavidNJ posted 604 days ago 673 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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384 posts in 617 days

604 days ago

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


78 posts in 619 days

#1 posted 604 days ago

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


3315 posts in 1437 days

#2 posted 604 days ago

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


520 posts in 1623 days

#3 posted 604 days ago

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


852 posts in 1314 days

#4 posted 581 days ago

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

View RonInOhio's profile


720 posts in 1488 days

#5 posted 581 days ago

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


1245 posts in 964 days

#6 posted 581 days ago

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


2786 posts in 1867 days

#7 posted 580 days ago

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


2131 posts in 1044 days

#8 posted 580 days ago

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


83 posts in 791 days

#9 posted 580 days ago

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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