What is the Best Furniture Design Software? — Illustrate Your Ideas In 3D (2024)

If you buy something through our posts, we may get a small commission. Read more here.

Designing furniture is a journey I often find long and intricate. It’s crucial, in my expertise, to select the right software to ensure the job is done correctly. Making a choice for unsuitable software, in my experience, only leads to prolonged work durations, and sadly, in worse scenarios, a waste of materials and resources.

In guiding you through this process, I’ll help you choose the best furniture design software, leveraging my knowledge to find one that can preemptively detect design issues even before the woodcutting begins.

Best Overall
SketchUp
Best for Collaboration
AutoCAD
Best for Budget
Autodesk Fusion360
SketchUp
AutoCAD
Autodesk Fusion360
This design software has a low learning curve and intuitive animation tools. Apart from that, it allows you to collaborate with multiple users and use design-enhancing plugins.
The AutoCAD software works on the cloud. This enables users to have an easy share of work with customers and team members for creative inputs.
You can get a Fusion360 free trial version offering several features to pro and amateurs alike. With this software for furniture design, you do not have to pay a premium but settle with the free application.
Best Overall
SketchUp
SketchUp
This design software has a low learning curve and intuitive animation tools. Apart from that, it allows you to collaborate with multiple users and use design-enhancing plugins.
Best for Collaboration
AutoCAD
AutoCAD
The AutoCAD software works on the cloud. This enables users to have an easy share of work with customers and team members for creative inputs.
Best for Budget
Autodesk Fusion360
Autodesk Fusion360
You can get a Fusion360 free trial version offering several features to pro and amateurs alike. With this software for furniture design, you do not have to pay a premium but settle with the free application.

Reviews of the Best Furniture Design Software

1. SketchUP

Sketchup

SketchUp offers multiple features allowing you to build 3D furniture on your Windows and macOS. 

SketchUp features all the lighting effects, animation capabilities, textures, 3D and 2D representations, and layer managers for Windows and macOS that every furniture designer needs. If you want more than the trial and free version, you can get its paid version, SketchUp Pro. 

Fusion 360 or Sketchup has a collaborative function ideal for people producing furniture designs. This makes it easy for you to get creative feedback from your team members or customers after using this software for 3D furniture design.

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

2. AutoCAD

Auto CAD

AutoCAD is another excellent furniture design software that is very simple to access on any device. Unlike other software on this list, it is not a free design software as it offers professional-grade features for your work. Nevertheless, you can still opt to use its free trial.

In my professional experience, AutoCAD stands out when crafting both 3D and 2D models for furniture, including intricate details like cabinet design. Its user-friendly interface facilitates effortless annotations and the necessary import/export of files, making the design process smoother and more efficient.

More importantly, this tool has a collaborative feature that gives you the freedom to work with different people and to share ideas too. You can also share and save your work on your preferred device without much hassle.

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

3. Autodesk Fusion360

Autodesk Fusion 360

Autodesk Fusion360 is a renowned product design software that is also preferred by many woodworkers. It has different efficient design functions that support both 2D and 3D. These allow you to tweak and change your furniture color and material to get the perfect design.

Despite its long list of functionalities, it offers itself as a free furniture design software. This is great if you’re merely exploring furniture design as a hobby without worrying about the pricing.

Like other impressive software, it can quickly help you with furniture design on your laptop, and it can be used to create 3D models.

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

4. SolidWorks

SolidWorks

SolidWorks design software is popular for 3D modeling and design that is priced well for its features. SolidWorks’ features allow you to create a master design for every part of your sweet home, including dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, and your cabinet. 

This Computer Assisted Design (CAD) software can easily create custom furniture designs smoothly. You can use it to try out different materials, textures, colors, for your cabinet design. 

Besides the bill of materials, SolidWorks furniture designing software has a list of partner software. In this case, it is technically free to use other third-party software using SolidWorks, which gives users more design options.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

5. SketchList

Sketchlist 3D

This design tool simplifies wooden furniture design for any designer and hobbyist. Its 3D sketches allow you to mark the smallest details for modification. It features intuitive virtual boards that enable you to see how well your designs’ elements function together.

Using SketchList, my experience has been enriched by the variety of colors and grains it offers as defaults. It allows for personalized creativity, enabling the switching and creation of unique colors and grains tailored to one’s furniture design needs. Furthermore, SketchList enhances the professionalism of furniture designs, simplifying the addition of contours and joints. This, in my view, is instrumental for crafting professional-grade furniture.

For me, this is one good option if you want to get something that significantly eases the design process. In addition, this is available on Windows and macOS. For more info, read my expert review about Sketchlist 3D

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

Furniture Design Software Buyer’s Guide

Skill Level

Outside the price, one of the most important things I believe you should consider before buying software for furniture design is the level of your designing skill. As a computer literate [1] designing prof, you can use pro-grade designing software at a moderate price. 

However, speaking from experience, if you’re diving into design merely as a hobby or for some light-hearted fun, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this. The learning curve can be steep for some of these tools. Before you invest in software, I’d advise considering its intricacies and seeing if it aligns well with your skill set and needs.

If you are looking for software catering different skill levels, you can consider the best deck design software I reviewed here

2D or 3D Modeling

Drawing from my professional background, I might hesitate to recommend this route if you’re engaging in design primarily as a hobby or for casual enjoyment. These tools often come with a learning curve that can be somewhat steep. In deciding to invest in software, my advice would be to consider the software’s complexities and evaluate whether it harmoniously matches your existing skills and requirements.

Platform Availability

Certain tools can be downloaded for use on both Windows and macOS, with availability dependent on pricing. Additionally, there are tools accessible through the cloud for convenient usage.

Sketchlist 3D

Find out where yours is available before you pay the price. The last thing you want is to purchase a Windows designed tool for your MacOS PC, and paid skyrocketing price. 

Pricing

In my years as a designer, I’ve come to realize that pricing is paramount when procuring any product or software. Based on my expertise, I’d recommend ensuring the cost aligns with your budget. Personally, I’ve often found value in exploring products that offer a one-time payment pricing system.

They will help you save more money in the long run. However, if you still find these at a higher price range, you can explore other options that are free or with a lower price tag like software with free 3D design that is both compatible with Windows and MacOS.

FAQ

What software do furniture designers use?

The software that furniture designers use is CAD software that supports 3D and 2D capabilities. Usually, this software allows you to intuitively create representations that people easily interpret in real life. It can create furniture as well as other design with this capability.

My Top Pick for a Furniture Design Software: SketchUp

Sketchup

After rigorous tests, I deem SketchUp as the best furniture design software. This intuitive tool has excellent qualities that can support a collaborative interface. Additionally, you can use it both in furniture design or interior design.

Aside from being easy to use, its animated feature will give your furniture designs more detail. Overall, SketchUp would be a wonderful design companion for woodworkers or hobbyists.

robert headshot

Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles
Join our community on facebook and get 3 woodworking plans for free!