What is the Best Woodworking CAD Software in 2024? — Furniture Design & More in 3D

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The right woodworking software is vital to the process of getting great designs and precise measurements. However, I have come across more than our fair share of options that are difficult to use. 

To assist you in avoiding these less user-friendly options, I have rigorously tested and evaluated the top woodworking software solutions currently available in the market.

*Disclaimer: The first one is not an actual software.

Reviews of the Best Woodworking Software

1. Sawinery Projects Designer

Most woodworking design softwares cost a fortune. I wanted to create an alternative for beginners and woodworkers who can’t afford paying $500 for a software. That’s why I created Sawinery’s Project Designer.

Sawinery Projects Designer is set of woodworking templates and guides and in-depth illustrations suitable for newbies and advanced woodworkers. Even if you don’t have excellent drawing skills, these innovative templates allow you to visualize and create your project plans with a simple pencil and eraser. 

Features

2. Shapr3D

If your woodworking project includes intricate details, Shapr3D’s built-in rendering tool will definitely suit your needs. Unlike other CAD software, you don’t need to use an external application to add specific iterations to your designs. 

During use, I didn’t encounter any significant difficulties in learning its visualization and designing features, as it boasts a very short learning curve. Additionally, the software offers a diverse material library with over 70 styles, allowing for unique customization of your projects.

It’s also great that this software seamlessly synchronizes across different devices, granting users the convenience of accessing their designs offline.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

3. Auto CAD

Any expert woodworker and accomplished furniture designer knows Auto CAD, and its popularity is based on its excellent features and the convenience it offers. 

Auto CAD isn’t only used for woodworking, but you’ll find that it’s a design software that works well with woodworking design plans. It’s simple to use and can bring your 3D models to life. 

You can start with 2D drawings and then move to 3D plans. It features tools to aid you in the process including a MEP toolset, a 3D map toolset, a raster design toolset and more.

This software is a fully-functional program that I could easily use on any of my devices. This means you can be working on your plans during your commute or any time you are away from your computer.

What I Like

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4. CraftyAmigo

CraftyAmigo_woodworking

CraftyAmigo is a free platform that simplifies the design process for us woodworkers. As someone who values ease of use, I’ve found it to be user-friendly and without the steep learning curve of traditional CAD software. You can simply choose your lumber and dive straight into designing.

It’s liberating to have a vast selection of joints and lumber in the platform, which allowed me to experiment with different designs effortlessly, whether I was building a simple piece of furniture or a more complex project.

CraftyAmigo also has a bunch of features, including the ability to share designs with friends and access a list of parts with real measurements in both inches and centimeters. Plus, there’s also an option to download parts lists as PDFs and purchase material directly through the platform — which I think is a thoughtful addition on their part.

It’s also completely web-based so you don’t have to install any software to your computer.

What I Like

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5. Autodesk Fusion 360

Autodesk Fusion 360

This Autodesk Fusion 360 is one of the first design software options to offer users product creation and CNC Gcode on the same product platform. It’s a great tool for woodworking design for CNC and is used by professional and independent woodworkers.

It’s designed to be a straightforward and user-friendly CAD [1] software and there isn’t much of a learning curve involved. It also expertly combines both 2D and 3D design features, making it one of the most versatile woodworking design software options to generate your design.

It also offers a free trial—the Fusion 360 for Personal Usewhich features the software’s most basic features. If you’d like to explore all of the software’s features, tools, and support, you have the option to get a monthly, annual, or triennial subscription.

What I Like

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6. SketchList 3D

Sketchlist 3D

Sketchlist 3D is a program designed just for woodworkers. Whether you want to build a 3D warehouse or small pieces of furniture, Sketchlist has all the amenities you will need to put out the work you envision.

Since it’s dedicated to woodwork design, you will find indispensable features for generating precise mockups, models, and layouts. The dragging and dropping make it easier to realize your ideas without leaving out important details.

It’s also impressive that this software provides the flexibility to select your preferred wood type, enhancing the accuracy of design features. Moreover, its ability to replicate drill holes ensures that your project will align precisely with your expectations, down to the finest detail.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

7. Sketchup

Sketchup

Sketchup is a very user-friendly tool that also gives free version of its software. Unlike some other tool options we have on this list, Sketchup was designed just for woodworkers and their woodworking projects. 

That said, I strongly recommend using Sketchup for beginners who aren’t sure about committing to a 3D modeling software. Sketchup offers woodworkers the flexibility to start from a simple 2D drawing that will eventually create a 3D designs. You can easily navigate through the software to draw your desired woodworking plans

Sketchup software also features a myriad of tools you can use to simplify the design process and make it easier for beginners to create designs. When you watch a few videos, you will learn this quickly. It is also considered as one of the best deck design software available today. 

What I Like

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8. Pro100

PRO 100

This woodworking design software caters to woodworkers and interior designers. This program helps you plan and visualize your woodworking ideas and has both 2D and 3D capabilities.

From extensive use, I can say that Pro100 has an impressive 3D plan simulation with a highly convenient rendering engine. If you’re inclined to create intricate and detailed designs, Pro100 offers an extensive array of tools and features to bring your vision to life. It’s worth noting that like with most software, a bit of tutorial watching might be needed for users to fully grasp its capabilities.

Pro100 does charge a fee for users; but before you take the plunge, the software features an estimation tool that will show you the approximate cost of each design build.

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9. Easy Woodworking Design

Easy Wood Working

As the name suggests, this is a simple woodworking design software that is an excellent option for those who like simplicity and have no prior knowledge on how to operate CAD tools. Easy Woodworking Design software will allow you to create your beginner level woodwork projects with minimal hassle and training.

The program features compatibility for both 2D and 3D designs. It also has basic design features that lets woodworkers estimate potential costs for a project and comes with a fairly intuitive editing tool.

It also supports cut lists, cut shelves, and angles to aid professionals and laymen with designing.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

Woodworking Software Buyer’s Guide

You can say that software is one of the woodworking tools you need for your project. Whether it’s furniture design or any other wood project, a good software will have the following features.

Training

Determine your skills and evaluate the amount of training you will require to work these programs. This will allow you to get the most out of your purchase. 

You don’t want to have a hard time using these programs, so one that has a simple interface that won’t require training is ideal for beginners. Some available woodworking classes online can even provide you with deeper understanding on how these software and programs work. 

2D or 3D Modelling

The program you choose depends on the projects you have at hand. Some programs offer either 2D or 3D modeling capabilities, while others are designed to accommodate both.

In my experience, the program’s versatility holds paramount importance. If you find yourself in need of both 2D planning and 3D modeling capabilities, I recommend seeking out a CAD program that offers both functionalities.

Price

Some of these woodworking design programs like Fusion 360 and Sketchup as well as EZ Wood Project Designer have an affordable price than others. There are also few options that are free of charge! 

Determine your budget as well, as you may need to shop for more professional options. There are those that cost nothing, some that just require a one-off payment, and others that come with a subscription service.

Autodesk is a popular example that comes with a free trial. However, the premium versions feature reasonable pricing offers.

My Top Pick: Sawinery Projects Designer

Using the best woodworking software can get overwhelming, particularly if you’re a technologically challenged individual. Because of this, I selected the Sawinery Project Designer as the best among the options. 

It’s a great go-to designer with comprehensive guides and templates. It will be a great resource material for anyone struggling to make rough project sketches. 

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.

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