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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Can anyone recommend reasonably priced woodworking software? Or should I pick up a copy of something like AutoCAD or a light version of such?

I used to work in a machine shop and used to use AutoCAD on occasion but it was a bit much for what we did and I used much more often a simpler CAD program, that I cannot recall the name of now unfortunately, that I think ran probably $100 then and allowed me to do basic 2D design. It served the purpose, gave me a material list and such.

So is there anything like that for wood working? Something that would allow me to layout a shelf and give me a list of needed materials, etc? I would like to get into cabinets at some point and I had a friend ask me just a few days ago to help making a staircase but I know nothing about designing and building stairs.

Anyway, looking forward to everyones input.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 09:36 AM
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Can anyone recommend reasonably priced woodworking software? Or should I pick up a copy of something like AutoCAD or a light version of such?

I used to work in a machine shop and used to use AutoCAD on occasion but it was a bit much for what we did and I used much more often a simpler CAD program, that I cannot recall the name of now unfortunately, that I think ran probably $100 then and allowed me to do basic 2D design. It served the purpose, gave me a material list and such.

So is there anything like that for wood working? Something that would allow me to layout a shelf and give me a list of needed materials, etc? I would like to get into cabinets at some point and I had a friend ask me just a few days ago to help making a staircase but I know nothing about designing and building stairs.

Anyway, looking forward to everyones input.
Hi Scotty, I use DeltaCAD. Basic 2D software for about $40. A bit clutzy in some areas, like you need to reset grid size and font size every time you open the file.... penny-ante stuff.
Many like the google sketchup.... free download and 3D. I never did get the hang of it myself but, I didn't put a lot of time in it either.

John Schaben

The problem with experience is I usually get it immediately after I need it.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for that info, I'll check out DeltaCAD. I thought Google Sketchup was a pay for program.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 10:19 AM
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Thanks for that info, I'll check out DeltaCAD. I thought Google Sketchup was a pay for program.
The basic Google Sketchup is free & does a lot. They also have a professional version that might be a little expensive. Most will find the free version able to do more than they need .

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 04:49 PM
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+1 on the free Google Sketchup. It can and will do all you need for woodworking. It even has a free cut-list add-on. Just do some searching on this site (and others) for the many discussions about the software.
Click HERE to go to the sketchup web site. You might want to look on Youtube... there are a bazillion videos on Sketchup and how to use it. Just log on to Youtube and search for Sketchup. You can also find a lot of information on the use of Sketchup for woodworking on finewoodworking.com under the "Design, Click, Build" blog.
In any event, for the price, it can't be beat IMHO.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 05:56 PM
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I was a little skeptical at first with the free Google Sketchup program because I bought a couple of Cad programs, but when I read what a full fledged architect said on the Woodworking Talk forum about Sketchep I decided to download it. I have to say I got to give it a big thumbs up.

I also have other software that is free for my other hobbies and Iím always amazed how most people including myself arenít willing to trust something that is free. I have to admit that Iíve been proven wrong a few times.

Itís all in the learning. If someone has hard time learning it then it is automatically no good. I had one program that I kept trying to learn for 3 years as everyone kept telling me how good it was. When I finally got the hang of it I dumped everything else out because this free program was far superior to anything else I had paid for.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 06:22 PM
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Hi Scotty:

You might look ProgeCAD Smart (freeware.) I don't use myself, but use 4M IntelliCAD 6.6 Pro, which is based on the same CAD engine, but with different features added. I paid US$270 for the 4M software.

progeSOFT: progeCAD Smart 2009

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input so far. Ive downloaded Sketchup and ProgeCAD Smart and will give them both a try. In the mean time if there are any other suggestions, keep them coming.

However, I agree with the above sentiments, just because its free does not mean it sucks.
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