Free Woodworking Design Software
There are a some great 3D wood design software options on the market, but I’m not going to mention them, because I prefer free software for to design furniture. I use SketchUp, and I love it. It used to be called Google SketchUp, but Google sold the company, and another company now owns the free 3D wood design software. But SketchUp is still free for woodworkers like me. I find SketchUp to be pretty simple to learn, but it has the flexibility to let you get very advanced with your furniture designs as your skills grow. It allows you to draw woodworking plans, but it also lets you see and move around your design in a 3D space. It also generates a cut list. I find it most helpful in figure out how to fit woodworking joints together.
There are a lot of free tutorials online and on YouTube, but I’ve found the resource that helped me the most is this SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers:
It’s only about $16 and the DVD loads the videos and class project files on your computer. It’s a little old, but it’s not outdated. I still go through these tutorials anytime I need a SketchUp refresher, and the lessons work just fine with the new SketchUp interface.
Again, you can certainly watch free YouTube videos to learn SketchUp (I’ve embedded a good one below), but I didn’t find YouTube videos nearly as helpful as this guide. The author, David Richards, just really knows SketchUp for drawing woodworking plans and 3D models. But below I’ll share some other resources for SketchUp: