All Replies on Woodworking specific CAD programs?

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View Andrew714's profile

Woodworking specific CAD programs?

by Andrew714
posted 07-19-2017 08:38 PM

6 replies so far

View Jon Hobbs's profile

Jon Hobbs

147 posts in 1582 days

#1 posted 07-19-2017 09:21 PM

I’ve been using Sketchlist for years. I’ve tried to learn SketchUp many times. Just can’t get the hang of it. I can knock-up a piece of furniture or cabinet in no time using Sketchlist.

The software was created specifically for woodworkers. You create your drawing by inserting boards into your project. So it’s pretty intuitive.

Where it’s a little weak is in curved parts. So if you do a lot of bent laminations or steam bending type work, it may not be the best. I also struggle a little bit when I need to adjust the dimensions of the overall project. “What if the trestle table were 80” long instead of 76”. I wind up having to resize all of the boards individually, which is fairly quick and easy to do.

You can add edge profiles and holes and curved or angled cuts fairly easily. I don’t get too anal about the edge profiles being exact. The software handles the basics (chamfers, round-overs, cove, basic ogee). Like you said, the end result is highly dependent upon the bits I have in my arsenal. I’ve never encountered any issues with the profiles in the software not matching the profiles I actually cut.

Overall, I love it. They have a 30 day trial, so it’s worth a look.

-- Jon -- Just a Minnesota kid hanging out in Kansas

View DanceParty's profile


59 posts in 3399 days

#2 posted 07-19-2017 09:24 PM

Depends on what type of work you are doing. Most programs are specific for certain types of woodworking.

For general woodworking, I use Autocad and for years and have never had a problem drawing anything I wanted. It’s extremely powerful if you know what you are doing. Matter of fact, Autocad is pretty much the standard in professional mid to large shops. Only problem is that it is pretty expensive, around $4,195, which puts it out of reach for most people.

If your looking for a 3D CAD program I know that Autodesk Inventor has a plugin called “Woodwork for Inventor” that specifically deals with furniture/cabinet design. Again, it’s pretty expensive (base program + plugin). I know that you can export your 2D design into inventor pretty easy. Also, if your doing CNC you can also export to CAM software.

What type of stuff are you looking to draw?

View DS's profile


3570 posts in 3298 days

#3 posted 07-19-2017 09:45 PM

Cabinetvision is highly specialized for woodworking.

It is expensive, has a steep learning curve, but is scalable and nearly invaluable as a sales, drawing and manufacturing tool for any serious cabinet shop.

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

View Andrew714's profile


62 posts in 2153 days

#4 posted 07-24-2017 07:21 PM

Thanks for all the input, I’ll have to check out Sketchlist at the least. Cabinetvision sounds like it could be promising as well, at least for cabinet design.

View DS's profile


3570 posts in 3298 days

#5 posted 07-24-2017 07:26 PM

Other specialized woodworking programs include Microvellum and KCD among others

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

View Tom Bloom's profile

Tom Bloom

18 posts in 4805 days

#6 posted 07-24-2017 08:52 PM

Rhinoceros 5? is a good CAD program. It works well for drawing, CNC router work, lazer work and 3d printer. Great support and customer service.

-- The cost of a thing is the amount, of what I call life, which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.

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