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Which CAD software is best for furniture designing and visualizing?

Frank K. Solomon  Member

Hello Friends,

I am new in furniture designing. There are many design software available, for ex. SolidWorks, AutoCAD, 3Ds Max, Photoshop, Lightroom, V-Ray, etc. Can you suggest me which software is useful for designing an item of wooden furniture, as I am fresher in this field which software will be easy for me to work with?


9/24/19       #2: Which CAD software is best for furn ...
Mark B Member

For me it would involve a bit more criteria. Do you need to present digital renders of the work you will design to customers? Will you be using the software only for design and not using it for any down stream machining/manufacturing/cad/cam?

And the biggest one is your budget. The budget question alone may well guide your options far more than anything.

9/24/19       #3: Which CAD software is best for furn ...
pat gilbert

Sketchup, it is free and it has some apps for woodworking and a lot of woodworkers use it. And you can import free apps and free models which is huge.

If you have never used a cad program it is actually easier to learn, if you have used a cad program it takes some getting used to

IMO SW is the best at 3d as it will do things that Auto Cad won't

Auto Cad has the most applications that have woodworking buttons and has the most users by far which means that every nuance has been addressed.

The usual cabinet programs can cost big bucks and will be too limiting for furniture, and the global controls will do you no good.

For furniture I would think that Sketchup is what you are looking for because it has no limitations and if you want to download a window or sofa it is there for free.

9/25/19       #4: Which CAD software is best for furn ...
Hiral Patel  Member


This is a great question.

The selection of the software is governed by the utility of furniture designing. The designers or the leading furniture designing firms do not categorize these platforms as per the functions.
Thus the utility and classification of the best software for 3D furniture designing and visualization depend on what is totally your need.

If you are looking for 3D designing of the furniture products then you will get more ideas from quora where this question is explained in detail.

9/25/19       #5: Which CAD software is best for furn ...

I have used Rhino for many years and find it to be ideal for the furniture and millwork I draw and machine (with RhinoCAM plug-in). The latest version (6.0) has very good native rendering tools, to say nothing of the incredibly powerful 3D capabilities of the program itself.

I also use it for architectural work, though a program like AutoCAD is more expedient in that regard. It is easy to import files of nearly any type (including Sketchup), so one can integrate geometry from a variety of sources.

Rhino isn't free, but it is very reasonable compared with a program like Solidworks - less than a grand and no annual fees (and lifetime support).

Starting with a program like Sketchup, which can be had for free, as Mr. Gilbert notes, might be a good place to start, but if you find yourself needing something more powerful, Rhino would be something to consider.

Sketchup has become more useful over the years, but you may want to consider the wisdom of devoting a lot of time learning a program which may ultimately not do everything you need.

10/11/19       #6: Which CAD software is best for furn ...


The software tool I would suggest is Autodesk Inventor 2020 with an additional tool that specifically tailors it to the wood industry Woodworking For Inventor

It is easy to learn and has the ability to create all types of furniture and millwork from the most basic to the advanced.

Full functionality for all types of materials
Hardwood , softwood , panel processing , metal , plastic ,glass

There are free trials on all software .

examples can be found on

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10/15/19       #7: Which CAD software is best for furn ...
David Wishengrad

Autodesk published a white paper with one of their vp's and somebody that had come over with Maya when they purchased it and in it they said that they believed that the design in design build was designing the parametric formulas to create your models. They also said in it that any solution had to be 100% parametrically driven or it was flawed. I disagree. I can point the countless situations where the education level and price point of someone to understand the parametric's and the programming in order to create specific shapes and assemblies is far beyond what the woodworking industry pays and this is in the face of other solutions whether it's just walking up to the saw and just cutting what you need are using some other feature recognition technology to replace driving the shape parametrics. the reality is is any first person shooter video game and even SketchUp which is built on that technology already stores the 3D matrices of the objects to allow them to be transformed later 2 squared to the WCS to be measured in real time with the length on the x the y on the width and z on the thickness. Basically what I'm saying is that we figured it all out and it's not being deployed.the solution is a compromise of what works best in a specific situation and a software has to be flexible straight across the board or it's just not really a solution for everything. the design comes first and it should be free of the complexities of mathematics and all those other weird things that people that understand how things should look should not have to be bothered with.

10/15/19       #8: Which CAD software is best for furn ...
David Wishengrad

I should add a note that that specific software for inventor that you're talking about is built around an idea that I developed and actually it's more than one of my ideas but regardless the dude that did most of the programming released originally did a great job. Absolute kudos on that. That end of it he did a great job on.

10/27/19       #9: Which CAD software is best for furn ...

Are you looking to get into furniture design or furniture engineering?

If it is just design and visualization try Blender
It's is the coolest most powerful free design software out there. The new 2019 release crossed a threshold where major design studios are finally integrating it into their design pipeline.

If it's for furniture engineering and manufacturing you can start out with Sketchup or AutoCAD. If this is going to be your profession you'll need to know several software packages.

I use TopSolid Wood, Modo, Maxwell Render, Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and Illustrator and a simple architectural ruler, plastic T-square, on a small 12" x 18" sewing vinyl cut board.

10/28/19       #10: Which CAD software is best for furn ...
pat gilbert

It should be mentioned that what ever software you choose keep the goal in mind.

It is pretty easy to go down a rabbit hole that has nothing to do with the goal of making cabinets and money

10/29/19       #11: Which CAD software is best for furn ...
David Wishengrad

Words of wisdom Pat. There is just no faking legitimate hard worked experience in making these decisions. It's all a part of the cost of an education. How much does it pay and for how long? The list of variables is endless.

12/9/21       #12: Which CAD software is best for furn ...
Sushmita Roy  Member


I feel easier to work with SketchUp. It is a web-based program and comes with a library of 3D models that can help you create 3D furniture designs and visualizations. You can use it for creating wooden furniture designs as well. If you are interested in taking a look at other options available for the same, then check this out.

12/9/21       #13: Which CAD software is best for furn ...
Steven Modern

In my opinion one of the most complete software tools to produce ANY design in woodworking :

Autodesk Inventor / Woodworking For Inventor

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2/2/22       #14: Which CAD software is best for furn ...
Chuck Fox Member

Has anyone tried CATIA for 3D design? It seems that even for an intermediate-level Solidworks user, CATIA is very difficult to learn. At this time Solidworks is what I need (especially with a scan-to-CAD solution). But I'm not ruling out in the future that I'll try to give CATIA a chance.

Geomagic for SOLIDWORKS

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