8 Best CAD Softwares For Woodworking and Furniture Designs

Last Updated on June, 2022

A few years ago, woodworkers like you and I were relying on a pencil and a sketch pad along with some technical drawing tools to get probably the most important parts of our job done—the Design Process. 

Also, we all can relate to how time-consuming it is to draw our woodworking ideas into a piece of paper with a pencil. 

However, times are changed now, and tech has taken over in the form of softwares. Woodworking design softwares are everywhere now. 

And the majority of the woodworkers are taking advantage. By the looks of it, it seems like you’ve also decided to get along with the change.

Quite rightly so! Who still wants to carry a pencil and a sketch pad around? 

Anyways, since there’s so much woodworking design software, picking one can be a struggle. Especially if you’re new to all this, plus there are a lot of things to consider too. 

To help you get through, here’s a list of 8 of the best cad software for woodworking on the market! These are easier to use than most and have many advanced features that can help you get your work done much quicker. 

Keep reading and find out what woodworking design software suits you the best.

Best Overall
AutoCAD
AutoCAD
#2nd Best Choice
SketchUp
SketchUp
#3rd Best Choice
Autodesk Fusion 360
Autodesk Fusion 360

8 of the Best Woodworking Design Software Reviews

If you’re a beginner and don’t know much about these woodworking design software, you might find it difficult to get along. However, even if you have some experience, most are complex and have some kind of a learning curve. 

With all that in mind, we’ve picked one of the easiest and most feature-packed woodworking software. 

1. AutoCAD (Computer-Aided Design): The Best Software for Woodworking Projects

This is the finest woodworking design software out on the market right now. It is one of the well-known software, and the majority of architects, engineers, and construction professionals use it. 

Yes, the tool’s not only for woodworkers; however, it works well with a woodworker’s design idea and plans. 

If you want an all-in-one professional-grade design tool. This is it.

All in one, I mean, you can design, draft and document your projects. Not only that, there’s an endless set of tools for you to work with, all of which can help you in the process. 

There’s a 3D map toolset, MEP toolset, raster design tools along with many more.

Say hi to your clients with real-life 3D renders with the help of the tools. You can start your project with 2D drawings, and once done, you can convert them to 3D plans. 

Also, AutoCAD has a very intuitive user interface that makes your work easier and much quicker without letting you get lost. 

AutoCAD is subscription-based and works on any device; Windows, MAC, Android, and iOS. And with the cloud save, you can continue your work from anywhere you left.

These are some of the critical features of this software. If I have to list all of its extended features, it’ll literally take thousands of words. Either way, as you can see, there’s a lot in here that you can benefit from. 

Pros
  • Extensive tool collection
  • It has a variety of useful commands like copy, move, mirror, array, offset and rotate.
  • Great user interface
  • It has a file recovery feature
  • Cloud-enabled and can be used on an extensive range of devices
Cons
  • Subscription is expensive
  • High spec computer is essential if you’re to run the software smoothly

2. SketchUp

The former Google-owned Sketchup is up next. This is another popular 3D modeling tool that gained all of its popularity while it was under the hands of Google. 

However, not it’s owned by another company. But that does not mean it’s terrible.

SketchUp is one of the easiest and straightforward tools on this list, mainly targeted at beginners. Suppose you’re someone who’s trying woodworking design software for the first time. This is something to consider because there’s a free version too. 

This software supports both 2D and 3D drawings and was mainly designed to help woodworkers. However, now it’s evolved into something more.

Your 2D woodworking designs can also be converted to 3D models, resulting in more accurate viewing angles. 

Not only that, with this woodworking software, you can even edit your existing woodworking designs.

There are diverse drawing tools along with plug-in options specifically for woodworkers. Even though not on the level as AutoCAD, it’s more than what you’ll ever need as a woodworker. The tools are also much easier to take advantage of; just a few videos will help you get started. 

An animated instructor panel is also available to walk you through everything on the software if you find anything complicated. 

Pros
  • Free software, the pro version available separately
  • Perfect for beginners
  • One of the polished woodworking design software
  • Advanced features but easy to use 
  • The user interface is straightforward
Cons
  • Lacking in the stress analysis and design parameters department
  • Commercial use costs money, reasonable though 

3. Autodesk Fusion 360

If you don’t know Autodesk, they are the same software company that founded AutoCAD. So if you want something that’s easy to use but on the same level as AutoCAD, this is something to keep an eye on. 

Autodesk Fusion 360 is a cloud-based 3D CAM, CAD, and CAE tool that combines design, modeling, and simulation capabilities. It is great for creating complex woodworking designs since it contains some of the most advanced tools on any software. 

Don’t get deceived by the word “advanced”; it’s still easy to use. Not pick up and play, but still easier than you think. 

The woodworking design software earned its name in the market by offering woodworkers’ product creation and CNC G Code on the same platform.

If you want a professional-grade design tool to get CNC woodworking designs done, you can consider Fusion 360. The versatility of the software is also a key point. 

This is one of the few easy woodworking design softwares that excellently integrate both 2D and 3D design features, resulting in enhanced design. 

Also, editing CAD files has never been this easier. The Fusion 360 lets you edit CAD files on the go seamlessly. 

Just like SketchUp, this too is a free woodworking design software for personal projects. However, it’s very basic, unlike what SketchUp offers for free. If you want a piece of everything, you’ll have to settle for a subscription fee. 

Pros
  • Lots of information and tutorials to walk you through everything
  • Cloud-based
  • Modeling tools of Fusion 360 are one of the best you’ll find
  • Intuitive user interface makes everything more easier and accessible
  • Has a history timeline that lets you correct almost any errors by just going a few steps back in your design
Cons
  • There’s a steep learning curve if you want to use all its extended features
  • Very expensive
  • Keyboard shortcuts are a bit limited

4. SketchList 3D

SketchList 3D is up next, and it’s one of the very few software that is designed specifically for woodworkers. There’s everything that you, as a woodworker, will need to get your woodworking ideas into life.

It’s way easier to use, making it perfect for beginners. It’s almost pick and play. Dragging and dropping a few elements will provide you with a perfectly functional design. 

The star features of SketchList 3D are its one-click joints, one-click curtains, drill hole emulation, custom design materials for woodworking, and different wood types. The addition of these makes this woodworking software much simpler and makes sure that your project looks much more accurate to its real-life counterpart. 

SketchList 3D

SketchList 3D also lets you transfer designs from other platforms and edit them here. 

Also, the built-in “Insert Photo Realistic Background” feature allows you to upload pictures of realistic environments. This is perfect for seeing how your project gets along with the environment it’s going to be kept in. 

Unlike the other two we looked at earlier, there’s no free version of this software. However, it’s not subscription-based either. Instead, it’s just a one-off payment, and you’ll get to own the software forever. 

Also worth a mention, if you want a complete experience and need almost every woodworking tool you’ve imagined in a software, you can opt for the SketchList 3D PRO.

Pros
  • Solely for woodworkers
  • Extensive features make it way easier to create designs
  • One-time fee
  • Easy learning curve
Cons
  • A bit clunky user experience
  • SketchList 3D PRO is expensive

5. Solidworks

If you want one of the most versatile woodworking design software, Solidworks isn’t something that you can miss. I’ll tell you about its versatility down the line. 

Aided with CAD technology, Solidworks is first and foremost more than capable of supporting any advanced design features you throw at it. Next up is that this CAD program supports both 2D and 3D modeling along with simulation of any type of furniture.

Furthermore, the customization is limitless. The sculpting option and the animation tools are extremely helpful in even bringing your very advanced woodworking designs into life. 

And not to mention the amount of templates provided. There’s a lot, and all of them will help you build a variety of projects very quickly based on the skill you have. 

Another great versatile feature of Solidworks is its file-sharing. Your woodworking designs and projects can now be imported and exported to various formats. That’ll lead to support for a wide range of devices.

One of Solidworks’ most useful in-built features is its forum and message boards. Here you’ll be able to get in touch with fellow professional woodworkers. That’ll be very handy to clear any doubts, get new ideas, techniques and strategies. 

Pros
  • Set of tools and features make even the most complex of projects easier
  • Testing and analytical tools allow you to test the designs before implementing
  • Hole drilling and tapping options are comprehensive and easy-to-use
  • Intuitive menus and toolbars
  • Import variety of file types
Cons
  • Has a steep learning curve
  • A paid software. No free versions of any sorts
  • Needs a beefy specced PC
  • Crashes sometimes

6. CADPRO Furniture Design Software

CADPRO is next up on this list, and as the name suggests, its a software mainly made to design furniture. The complete CAD tool allows you to take advantage of many professional features and tools to easily create complex designs.

The designing software is also great for visualizing design ideas in 3D, plus the documentation features here are a nice bonus. These can help you get your ideas in a more detailed manner.

Not only that, CADPRO’s ability to create more detailed blueprints of your designs is another handy benefit. Creating projects is also a joy with CADPRO’s much-polished CAD system, as it contains various design tools.

CADPRO’s extensive interactive and visualization features should not be overlooked too. For example, the software can allow your woodwork project models to get advanced designing and editing treatments. With that, you can even attach audio files, text notes, and even comment on data.

This woodworking design software also supports sketch tracing. Not many software programs have this. Sketch training means sketching your designs on paper and importing it to the CADPRO interface for extra edits.

All these are just a few of the available features of the CADPRO. There’s a lot more such as; smart dimensioning tools, auto-shaping tools, advanced drafting tools, along with another considerable amount. 

With all things considered, CADPRO is one of the best professional CAD applications money can get.

Pros
  • No prior knowledge needed to get started with this software
  • TONS of valuable features for woodworkers
  • Designs can also be saved as PDF files
  • The user interface makes the software more accessible
Cons
  • Only for Windows
  • The software is limited when it comes to the design testing department

7. PRO100

Interior designers, cabinet makers, and commercial woodworking outfits can all benefit from PRO100. 

It’s such a comprehensive woodworking software that enables woodworkers to take advantage of 2D drawing and 3D modeling with a high-end 3D rendering engine.

You can use this software to do a presentation, woodwork design, or visualizing design ideas. PRO100 contains tons of templates and graphics, plus the amount of samples for woodworking design is insane.

The woodworking design software not only has these on its sleeves. You can modify 3D objects and textures, import and export; all these can be achieved even from external sources. 

PRO100 is stacked with advanced options. This software has the power to provide you with a cut list for your project. Not only that, but it can also help you with choosing the design materials, and apart from all that, PRO100 can even determine the building costs, which is excellent. 

This design software for woodworking is easy to use, too; just a few videos, and you’ll be ready to get started. And just so you know, I’ve probably covered 5% of what this software has in-store. To learn more, you can click the link down below.

That said, there’s one problem here. If you’re a part-time woodworker or a hobbyist you’re better off staying away from PRO100 because it costs a lot of money. 

However, if you’re a professional woodworker who’s been in the field for years, getting this is a good option.

Pros
  • Easy to use woodworking design software
  • The 3D rendering is very powerful and pulls out very detailed drafts
  • The software supports creation of GCode for CNC machines 
Cons
  • Extremely expensive
  • If you want one of the rarer complete CAD tools software, this is not it

8. Easy Woodworking Design Software

Finally, on this list of the best woodworking software is the Easy Woodworking Design Software. If you want decently well-rounded, easy-to-use software, consider this. 

To use the Easy Woodworking Design Program, you’ll not need any knowledge in CAD or any other woodwork designing software. And the toolset is decent but easy to get used to. 

It has simple and easy-to-use tools such as one-click design features and reporting features. There’s even a tool that allows you to upload other designs into its interface and edit or enhance them. 

Like the PRO100, the program too can estimate the costs of a project before you start it.

With that, some other handy feature of this program is its design calculations; this allows you to calculate spacings of shelves and dividers along with many more.

Even though it has a good amount of features, if you’re a pro, I’d recommend you look at other products on this list. This software is something that’s more targeted at beginners considering its price and other factors. 

However, if you’re a pro and want something that’s affordable, there’s nothing wrong with this option.

Pros
  • Affordable price
  • Easy to use 
  • Good amount of features
  • Best for beginners
Cons
  • Does not provide that many features to test the adaptability of your designs
  • Does not support MAC operating system

Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying a Woodworking Software

A good software needs to have these specific features if you’re to get the most out of it. Unfortunately, not all woodworking design programs have all the features. Not just features, there are a lot of things that you should know before buying the best woodworking software. 

Below, I’ve gone through the major ones; make sure you take a look at them. 

Learning Curve Ease Of Use

This is one thing that needs attention, especially if you’re a beginner. At first, most of these software can seem very advanced, but you can get the hang of it with some training. Then there are other softwares that can be difficult even with a lot of training.

It’s vital that you get software that’s easier to use. But how can you know what is easy and what is difficult?

That’s why this review is for! All the software we’ve mentioned here is much easier to use. Some may require you to watch a few videos but other than that; there’s nothing too advanced.

Compatibility 

It’s important that the software supports your infrastructure (Machinery, ERP, CRM, etc.) Not only that but also see if it’ll continue support for upcoming years.

2D Or 3D Modeling

A software will allow for the support of either 2D or 3D modeling. Some may even support both. So, if you feel like you’ll need both, it’s essential to get a software that supports both. Because, later, if you feel the need for either one of those, you’ll have to spend extra.

Price

Price is one of the important factors to consider. Most of these softwares tend to have a hefty price tag with relatively fewer features. Consider your budget and do more research on the software you’re considering. 

Most of the software we’ve featured in this list is in-expensive. But, with that, they offer tons of features; some are even free. So make you consider those before looking at others.

Conclusion: The Best Woodworking Software

Above are some of the least expensive and feature-packed woodworking softwares you’ll find on the market. Everything mentioned here will help you with woodworking designs that could’ve been otherwise impossible with a pencil and paper. 

Make sure you go through all the software and choose what’ll be the perfect for you in the long run.

AutoCAD
AutoCAD
Our #1 Recommendation
  • Extensive tool collection
  • It has a variety of useful commands like copy, move, mirror, array, offset and rotate.
  • Great user interface
  • It has a file recovery feature
  • Cloud-enabled and can be used on an extensive range of devices
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of June
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