Software to help design? Free Maybe? Bar Cart Idea

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Forum topic by PatrickIrish posted 01-21-2015 09:58 PM 1622 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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120 posts in 2072 days

01-21-2015 09:58 PM

I downloaded Sketchup and it’s gonna require to time to figure out.

I want to design a bar cart, have the idea in my head, and thought a software program would help in cut lists.

I’ve seen plans online of cad drawings and such and really liked the idea.

I can’t get sketchup to make a 3 level bar cart let alone have the top of cart have a step. I’m sure it’s not as hard but wondering if there’s better programs I’m not aware of that are free or maybe online based.


6 replies so far

View NoThanks's profile


798 posts in 1555 days

#1 posted 01-21-2015 10:31 PM

There is a new one out that has hardly no learning curve to it at all.
It’s called Activoice Plus. All you do is tell it what you want and sit back while it draws it.

OK, just kidding.
Sketchup does have a learning curve to it, but I’m pretty sure that most programs will.
Maybe someone else knows a program that would be easier.

Post some hand drawings or pics of some kind, and I’m sure you will get some help. Sounds like a great project to get into learning sketchup. The cutlist part of sketchup will take a little more learning than just drawing.

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3782 days

#2 posted 01-23-2015 03:12 AM

A sketchup guru gave me a really great piece of advice- draw your project just as if you were building it in the shop. Making a cart you could start with the bottom shelf, add each corner upright, add another shelf, etc.

There are lots of tutorials out there, too. Check Joe Zeh’s stuff-


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View RobsToolBelt's profile


2 posts in 1243 days

#3 posted 01-26-2015 06:51 PM

I use sketchup…sort of. Jay Bates has some really good videos on how to do some of the more tedious functions of Sketchup and makes it way easier to use than trial and error. Here is his site:

Good Luck!

-- "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." ~ Benjamin Franklin

View OSU55's profile


1701 posts in 2016 days

#4 posted 01-26-2015 07:09 PM

I don’t think you will find a 3D drawing package that is any easier than Sketchup – you may find something about equal. While Sketchup is intimidating/frustrating/difficult…....pick the word….........all of them are until the basics are learned. Over the years I’ve watched some of my design guys work in some of the high powered CAD programs, and compared to those Sketchup is a piece of cake.

I got started by using the tutorials, and then as I wanted to do certain things, I looked for tutorials on that item. Yes, you will invest many hours learning how to use the program, but as you use it you will get a lot quicker. It may take 40+ hours for the 1st design, but 30+ is learning the program. Also, the amount of detail in the drawing can extend the amount of design time. Most things I build are designed 1st in Sketchup, where I catch a lot of mistakes or realize something just won’t work, before I ever cut a board. The time spent learning it is a good investment, but it doesn’t help if you are in a hurry to get a project built “right now”.

View MinnesotaMarty's profile


126 posts in 1244 days

#5 posted 01-31-2015 04:19 AM

I’m going to try to add my 2 cents here and hope it helps. I have found ALL software takes time to learn. I have Chief Architect for my design/build business and to learn it I dedicated an hour a day for about a year to get it. Sketchup is easier IMO. But, my point is that you can learn anything if we just practice it. I don’t spend dedicated time on Chief as I used to because now I have it and I use it daily in my work that I don’t need to practice everyday…I am practicing by using it.
Sketchup is the next for me. There are so many applications where I see Sketchup as such a great tool. So, I agree with OSU55, If you need it right now pencil and paper would be the best because Sketchup takes some learning.
Making a 3D model, which Sketchup is, makes it visual for everyone.

-- I can see the cheese heads from here and it is great.

View JAAune's profile


1802 posts in 2343 days

#6 posted 01-31-2015 06:41 AM

Sketchup is all about components. Don’t try to build the entire piece all at once. Build one section at a time and turn it into a group or a component. Those can be moved around and pieced together to form a completed project.

-- See my work at and

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