There are plenty of CAD tools available in the market today, and all of them have their pros and cons. But how do these applications measure up when stacked against each other?
Here, we compare the three most popular CAD softwares used by professionals and DIY woodworking enthusiasts.
DraftSight (free version)
If you’re a student or someone who is looking for reliable 2D design software to take on a DIY woodworking project, then DraftSight is probably one of the best options available because it’s free to use.
DraftSight doesn’t offer many features, but the ones that it does offer are useful and make it easy to create 2D models.
While it doesn’t run LISP routines and does not feature any express tools either, it does allow you to open and save DWG and DXF files and carry out batch printing. It also has a large design library, which always helps.
If you are looking to create quick concepts, then SketchUp Make is going to be your best choice. It’s a great tool for creating concepts and schematic designs in phases.
SketchUp is the ideal 2D application for those who do not have much technical skills but are creative in their designs. This is one of the reasons why SketchUp Make is used by those working on DIY woodworking projects.
The software features easy import and export features that also include CAD files. Unlike the tools provided by DraftSight, here you get a list of intuitive tools.
SketchUp also requires fewer operations in order to generate a solid design as compared to other similar tools. This makes it the perfect option for DIY woodworking enthusiasts.
Alibre Atom3D (Hobby Version)
Alibre Atom3D hobby version has been created specifically for hobbyists and those who like to take on DIY woodworking projects.
One of the main drawbacks of Alibre is its limited amount of integration. This means you can only work with the software on Windows.
Another downside of Alibre Atom3D is its steep learning curve, which means that it takes users a lot of time to figure out how to use the tools if they have not used 2D software before, which is a stark difference from SketchUp Make’s user interface that is easy to grasp and understand.
Our Choice: SketchUp Make
The SketchUp Make is the obvious choice for those who use 3D modeling software, and especially those who like to take on DIY woodworking projects.
SketchUp files that are 2D and 3D designs can be edited within it and saved as a 3D .stl with a kernal downloaded and appended to SketchUp.
There are also some beautiful creations that someone has taken weeks to create that can be used by those taking on DIY woodworking projects.
You can buy the .stl skin saved as a SketchUp file format. Import the file into SketchUp then delete everything except the design without resaving.
This alone makes it a useful tool for DIY woodworking hobbyists to have. Check out our Sketchup Make Review here!