I recently wanted to buy a new work desk. However, almost every desk I saw online are either overpriced or not good enough. So, being a DIY guy, I wanted to make my own modular desk that can meet my specific requirements. Of course, I’m no professional. So, I took some help from YouTube videos and furniture design software to design the desk. If you are in the same position as me or if you are a professional and looking for good software that makes it easy to design furniture, then here are some of the best furniture design software you can try.
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SketchUp is a very user-friendly and feature-rich 3D design software. Though not a dedicated furniture design software, it is pretty good a designing the furniture. In fact, this is the software I used to design my own desk. One of the best things about SketchUp is that it is pretty minimal yet fully featured. This combination makes it quite easy to use and the learning curve is not that hard. Add to that, SketchUp has a huge 3D library which can be used to design your own furniture. Additionally, once designed, you can export the 3D models in a variety of formats like CAD and 3DS.
Of course, being software designed for professionals, all the measurements are precise. If needed, you can even try out different design variations of your current design with just a couple of clicks. Apart from Woodworking and furniture designing, you can also use SketchUp for 3D printing, construction working, interior design, etc.
Pricing: The base version of SketchUp is free but is limited in terms of features. For instance, you will not have access to the 3D library, 3D modeling options, support for 2D designs, style builder, etc. For advanced features, you need to subscribe to one of the paid plans. Depending on your use case, the subscription fee varies greatly. I recommend you check this page.
Platform support: Windows and Mac. If you want to, you can also use the browser version.
When it comes to 3D modeling and designing, SolidWorks is one of the most popular and gives you a ton of options to design the furniture the way you want. Since SolidWorks is a CAD software, you can pretty much create any type of furniture design you want. Add to that, you can try out different materials, textures, and other 3D elements for your furniture designs.
What makes SolidWorks special is the amount of flexibility you get and the ability to use third-party software alongside or within the SolidWorks. In fact, SolidWorks has a whole catalog of partner products that tries to enhance and make it easy to create your own furniture. Of course, being a popular software, SolidWorks has a great community and some huge woodworking libraries to get you started.
As good as it is, SolidWorks is not for everyone. Compared to SketchUp, the learning curve is steep.
Pricing: As of writing this, there is no pricing information on the official website. You need to contact the developer and request a quote. Depending on what your needs are and who you are the pricing may differ.
Platform support: SolidWorks is only available for Windows.
If SolidWorks is too much for you, you can try CAD Pro Furniture Design software. Now, just like SolidWorks, CAD Pro, being a CAD software, can be used for a variety of needs. What makes CAD Pro special is that it has all the specific tools you need to design your furniture.
Features of CAD Pro include but not limited to autoshaping, drafting tools, sketch tracking, MS Office integration, a huge library of DIY projects and plans, smart dimensions, etc. All in all, if you are looking for a software that is simple to use but has all the essential features then do give CAD Pro Furniture Design a try and see how it works for you.
Pricing: CAD Pro Furniture Design is a premium only software that costs you a one-time fee of $99.95.
Platform support: CAD Pro is Windows-only software.
SketchList is a purpose designed software that lets you create any type of furniture design you want. Being a purpose build software, it has almost everything a woodworker or designer needs to design good furniture. Those features include drag and drop objects, Snap-On objects, alignment tools, one-click contours, One click joints, drill hole emulation, wood types, custom materials, etc.
The greatest asset of SketchList is its ease of use and the detailed how-to articles and videos showing usage and tricks of the software.
If you are looking for a purpose-built software that is straightforward to use, then go with SketchList.
Pricing: SketchList is a premium only software that costs $149.99 per license.
Platform support: SketchList supports both Windows and macOS.
The name says it all, doesn’t it? Woodwork for Inventor is designed by AutoDesk to specifically meet the needs of woodworkers and furniture designers. Of all the software in this list, Woodwork for Inventor has the most features for furniture designing. In fact, the software comes with some interesting features like automatic mortises and tenons, box components, automatic measurements, material generator, size calculations, etc. As a bonus, the software can also work with a CNC machine, if you have one.
Now, with all these features, it is no wonder that it is a paid product. However, the deal breaker for most might be that you need to purchase the software from the local vendor. Depending on where you live, the website will give you the details of the vendor from whom you can purchase the software. Other than that little hiccup, Woodwork for Inventor is a pretty good software to design furniture.
Price: As of writing this, the website did not list the pricing. You need to contact the local vendor to find out. You can use this link for that purpose.
Platform support: Windows only
Hope that helps. If you think I missed any of your favorite furniture design software, comment below and share them with me.
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