Using furniture design software to design a bookcase

Furniture Design Software – the Steps

On Tuesday nights there is a SketchList user meeting [Zoom] where we gather to learn about SketchList 3D, answer questions people may have, and actually design a piece of furniture or cabinetry with our furniture design software.

image of short shelf unit with 2 drawers

This is what we designed during our February meeting.

The learning was around how to use the 3 built-in tools that create every SketchList furniture design software design – spreadsheet, calculator, and dots.  The full design was finished in under 30 minutes, including dimensioned shop drawings, cut lists, and optimized material layouts.

This post addresses the approach and or steps shown in the accompanying video.

  1. Create the project – which is mostly entering the sizes to the furniture design software.
  2. Build the frame, which consists of the four legs, and the left, right, back, and front rails that connect the legs.  A dado is cut on the back of the front legs, then those legs are copied, rotated 180 degrees, and moved to the back.  Now all four dados face inwards ready for the rails.image of new board formInserting a new board takes just a few entries with our furniture design software.  These are the name, material to use, sizes.  Then indicate which is the thickness of the boards and grain direction.  That’s all.  Locating is optional at this time.
  3. Add details in a similar fashion.  Click the board, select the edge or surface, and click the joinery, contours, or hole button.  A form opens for entering the details.
  4. The process is a repetition of three steps:  create the board, size it, and locate it.
  5. The utility tools most used in this application were a basic clone [copy]. clone and mirror, and clone and space.

See the whole process of using our furniture design software in this video.


For more information on assembling the virtual drawers required – see this post.

Check these cabinet images for inspiration.

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