Best woodworking plan software? Building blocks do it.

Woodworking plan software works faster using building blocks and wizards.

Using software to plan woodworking projects can be a lot of fun or it can be slow and tedious.   It depends on the software and your approach.   One speedup is using a building block approach.    I have been emphasizing that for a while now.  The use of building blocks in SketchList 3D may very well make it the best woodworking design software out there.  My last post and YouTube video discussed how the board is the basic building block in SketchList 3D.

a screen shot of Cabinet Wizard our software to plan woodworking projects

That is that rather than working as CAD systems do, for example. Sketch Up, on a line by line, or shape by shape level and putting your design together at that extreme level of detail SketchList 3d uses building blocks.

In the sketch was a board is the lowest level and you create your design by inserting these boards. By setting the board’s sizes and entering their locations in relationship to one another, you create the design.

Now, this video is going to go a step further.


I use our Cabinet wizard in this video, which is the next step up in the building block idea. It’s more comprehensive than a board as a building block. because it gives control to many parameters.  For example the sizes of materials, the clearances of parts, joinery, and such.   Now Cabinet Wizard is the next step up in building blocks.  And it gives you a comprehensive approach.  This moves it further as the best woodworking design software.

You receive four basic models in SketchList 3D Cabinet Wizard [woodworking plan software], from which you can create just about anything that you require for your workshop.  Select a model and the input window opens.  In it, you can edit the parameters of that model so it meets your design’s requirements.  Then pass the design into SketchList 3D with the click of one button.

At this point, you can select another model for modification, or go into SketchList 3D to complete the design.    Certainly, the design can be used as originally specified.  Or you can add, delete, and adjust aspects of the design in SketchList 3D.  In the video, use the Cabinet Wizard to specify and create a frame for the bookcase.  In addition, I add a vertical divider and adjust the shelf to fit the space created.  And you’ll see how easy it is using SketchList’s calculator form to adjust the top and bottom of the copied board to fit between the top and bottom shelves.

Board detail level changes such as holes, shapes, or contours are applied in SketchList.  The Cabinet Wizard does not handle this.

In summary, the building block approach lets you accomplish more in less time with your software to plan woodworking projects.  Our approach to it does not sacrifice the ability to apply the detail you need.   It removes the tedium of working with lines, boxes, and shapes.  To put this into perspective glance at this article.


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