Woodworking design – nothing is easier than building blocks

Woodworking design should be this easy.

Pick up a block and set it on a table.  Pick up another – rinse and repeat – that is do it over until you’re finished.

The number of options is very large – the size of blocks, the number of them, and where they are placed.  But the process is easy and you’ve done it before.  Many times – long ago.  You have a sort of innate ability to be your own bookcase design software with blocks.


The basic building block of SketchList 3D is the board.  Of course!  This is the foundation of our woodworking design software.

You create boards by entering their names, select their material, and type in sizes.

When the board is created you locate it in the assembly in relation to other boards.  The calculator form allows you to locate the board anywhere in three dimensions by entering three numbers – one each for the front, bottom, and left edges.

There are two other tools for sizing and locating – a spreadsheet and a small text input on each edge and corner of the board.

SketchList 3D has a number of utilities to speed your design.  For example, the clone and mirror function creates an exact copy and flips it 180 degrees, moving it to the other end of the assembly.   Or the clone and space function which makes copies and locates them as you need.

You’ll see that the basic bookcase took about five minutes to design – all while explaining what I was doing at the time.  Added bonus – once you finish your woodwork design, simply click the cut list button and get a full cut list for every part in the design.

A super added benefit for the users of our Pro version – another button click and you get the sheet good layouts for all the parts – optimized to reduce scraps.

This is the video with a quick explanation.

I started developing SketchList 3D with this building block idea in mind.  Here is one of my other posts on the topic.  POST READ

To give you an idea of other approaches to woodworking design you may find the piece I wrote about the SketchUp approach interesting.  POST READ

I you are looking for woodworking design software as easy to use as building blocks – look at SketchList 3D.




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