Whether your intention is building a single chair, you plan to furnish an entire home or you are looking to launch a commercial enterprise, the right furniture design software is essential.
But software has limits, wrote expert Katharine Schwab. She reminds readers that furniture design requires more than algorithms. It also requires human ingenuity.
That’s where you enter the picture. Review these 11 programs and choose the one that appeals to you.
Some are furniture-design specific. Others help users lay out entire rooms, spaces and even staircases.
Many offer free demos or can be downloaded at no charge. It’s always a good idea to try before you buy if you are given that option.
So let’s see some of the top furniture design software tools in the market for both novice users or professionals. (The ranking below is in no particular order).
Sketchup offers you a 30-day free trial to test drive a program capable of helping you design your own furniture or anything else actually.
Employ their easy-to-use 3D modeler to think through and pre-build projects on the computer before you tackle them in real life.
There’s a practical aspect to this software: Visualize your projects endlessly without having to cut a piece of wood.
Using this software, you experiment with what SketchUp calls “the ultimate form of measurement.” Model precisely, take dimensions and create a cut list in 3D before you shop for supplies.
Accurate and relatively easy to use, the 30-day free trial should tell you everything you need to know about whether this is the right software for your skill level and project ambitions.
If one of the projects you’re been eager to accomplish is building a staircase, you can stop browsing now. Yes, you can use Wood Designer to build furniture, but you can go beyond that bench or chair.
Marketed as the software that delivers performance, quality and price, it’s hard to ignore commitments made on this website’s home page: Expect tools that are up to 5 times cheaper than competitor software programs, up-front pricing and you won’t be badgered by sales people.
Further, you get Wood Designers “No nasty surprise” promise in terms of hidden costs and fees.
Purchase the complete software version that leads to manufacturing or use the free version if you’re not quite ready to commit.
Check out the website’s blog while you’re browsing and look for deals on CNC machines plus training and support help, too.
The folks at Inventor want you to know how much customers love their product. Testimonials are posted on the home page, so if you want the skinny on user experiences, this is a good place to start.
Engineered specifically for the creation of “industry-specific furniture design,” the software’s claim to fame is that users can upgrade from the company’s simple Autodesk Inventor.
Built around the skeletal modeling design approach to rapid prototyping, the heart of this software is iBox technology.
Tools include pre-defined assemblies that incorporate woodworking functionality, so a furniture designer can stretch, shrink and modify shapes before “publishing” the finished project.
Used by woodworkers, designers and crafters of varying skill levels, this software is available in English, French, German, Russian, Polish, Italian and Spanish versions.
CADPro may be your solution if you don’t always understand complicated use directions. It has been featured on ABC News, gotten an Association of Educational Publishers award for easy of use and if you’re a fan of ABC-TVs Extreme Makeover series, you’ve seen it used for projects.
This software includes drafting, design, multi-view planning capability and material lists to get you from idea to blueprint to PDF file.
CAD Pro claims to be the only software on the market that allows you to incorporate voice instructions, add pop-up text menus and pop-up images into your work.
Make use of thousands of free clipart and symbol images. With 2.5 million users worldwide, testimonials posted on the CAD Pro site could help you decide if this program is likely to work for you.
It’s hard not to be attracted to the marketing pitch found on the Sketchlist home page that wants to assist you in creating “compelling mock-ups of furniture designs without toiling for hours.”
If you’re tired of scouring hard-to-understand software program instructions, this program could end your search, offering you quick proofs that can be modified as you model.
This resource claims to deliver a pencil and paper rendering experience, offering 3D building blocks that are dragged and dropped into your layout so you can continue to modify your project.
Sketchlist 3D software designers urge hobbyists to step outside their comfort zone and turn “anything from pieces made from old pallets to log benches cut with a chainsaw” into one-of-a-kind furnishings. Click on the “free 14-day trial” link to try the program and determine if it’s your best bet.
Try not to feel intimidated when visiting this website. Autodesk claims it “makes software for people who make things,” comparing your efforts to those who have created great things, only in the case of this company’s promise, you need to join the ranks of Autodesk users to achieve success.
Whoa, you say. I just want to build furniture. But suppose you decide this Fusion 360 product is so easy to use, you can tackle bigger projects down the road — projects that require integrated CAD, CAM, and CAE software to achieve unification of design, engineering, electronics and manufacturing?
In that case, this software could be your solution. License a version of this program for $495 per year, but to make sure this product will help you achieve your goals, sample the free trial version first.
While this 3D CAD software comes from a company that produces sophisticated products, this version was created just for folks who aren’t interested in complexity, so it’s not difficult to understand its parameters and limitations.
Easy to master and intuitive, this program could shorten product development time, reduce costs and improve the quality of the furniture you produce.
Program facets include 3D Creator, 3D Sculptor and the Drafter component that gives you tools to craft 2D drawings and 3D models. Because this company prides itself on being user-friendly, they also makes apps for kids.
Burrow down into the website to find the conduit to a trial run so you can properly evaluate the usefulness of this product for your unique objectives and projects.
If you decide to buy, the cost of this software depends upon your status, so whether you’re a student or an entrepreneur, there’s a version for you.
PRO100 doesn’t appear to be complicated but it’s not necessarily the program you need if all you want to do is make furniture.
Marketed as a 3D software for cabinet makers, cabinet dealers and kitchen designers, closets and garage cabinet manufacturers, this software is loaded with features.
Generate reports like cut lists, cabinet lists, job costing and pricing, and according to the manufacturer, advanced computer skills aren’t required to figure out how to navigate the tools.
“Pro100 is one of the easiest programs to learn and use in the market today,” because it’s packed with extras not usually found in other products.
Render your project within a specific kitchen layout or stick to only the cabinet shape, ultimately viewed as panoramic views, 3D renderings, high resolution images and more.
Download a demo version before you buy, and if you love the program but can’t afford it, PRO100 offers installment plans to help you out.
Whether you’re a hobbyist or a commercial furniture builder, this product will serve you well. Unlike aforementioned programs focused on staircase building, kitchen cabinet design or creating the world from scratch, ART-SHOP X-Lite consists of three segments, each tailored to your specific goal: produce pieces, turn yourself into a furniture vendor using the program’s tools or refine your architectural skills.
This software program’s database consists of more than 3,000 articles related to furniture design and production, taking the user from rendering to virtual reality and ultimately, the creation of blueprints.
The latest version of this program doesn’t cost a thing, so you can download it for free if you’re just getting your feet wet.
Seeking an understandable product that doesn’t cost a penny? You may want to start your journey right here.
If you were impressed by the Woodwork for Inventor software because it’s available in English, French, German, Russian, Polish, Italian and Spanish, Sweet Home 3D is prepared to outdo them, offering you 27 language choices.
Since there is no charge to download this software, your projects will be sweet indeed. Precisely draw straight, round or sloping walls using a mouse or keyboard, drag-and-drop doors and windows into rooms, arrange furniture using shapes culled from the program’s library, leading to the production of photo-realistic images and videos of the rooms you lay out.
The ability to print and export layouts as PDFs, bitmap or vector graphics is an advantage, as is the program’s compatibility with Windows, MacOSX, Linus, Solaris and Java-supported platforms. Sounds like a great program if you’re designing rooms, but furniture? Not so much.
Room Sketcher is “an online floor plan and home design tool that lets you create floor plans, furnish and decorate them and visualize your home in impressive 3D.”
Not produced for the purpose of designing furniture, this program is used by real estate professionals, interior designers and homeowners seeking ways to create layouts that morph from line art to 3D renderings.
This program is available to consumers in a few Scandinavian languages, so if that describes you, that could be reason enough to try it.
Room Sketcher has been around for 10 years and more than 5 million users in 180 nations have acquired it, so if you seek a room layout program that is relatively affordable (and if you happen to speak Swedish), this software could make a nice addition to your software library.
SWOOD is a design software entirely dedicated to woodworking. Furthermore, SWOOD is an add-in fully integrated into SOLIDWORKS.
From design to manufacturing, SWOOD is an all-in-one solution which let you create, manage, set, organize… all the furniture/cabinet projects among others things!
Finally, SWOOD, is 1 solution and 5 products!
1) SWOOD Design makes it easier to achieve woodworking projects. Design faster using dedicated features by drag & drop.
2) SWOOD CAM manages NC machines with woodworking technologies inside. Create your programs and production documents directly inside SOLIDWORKS.
3) SWOOD Nesting generates automatically the most optimized way you can nest your furniture components into one sign layout.
4) SWOOD Center automates your design and production with a SWOOD configurator.
5) SWOOD Beam & Wall generates programs for timber construction NC machines (prefabricated house, carport, modular home, carpentry.)
The company has a great deal of experience (thirty years on!) and they are offering their solutions in almost 50 countries.
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