Let’s face it, technology has left no stone unturned to revolutionize industries. It has reached the very roots of industries, changing them forever and for the better. The furniture industry, for instance, has grown tremendously over the past few years thanks to the influence of a technology called 3D modeling. It has changed the approach towards furniture design, deeply benefiting the furniture designers and their clients alike.
However, in any case, choosing the best 3D software for your needs is more important than you may think. For example, you don’t want to get stuck with a super-difficult 3D software in your initial days of learning furniture design. Not to worry, go through this article to find the best 3D software for furniture design.
SketchUp by Google has remained consistent throughout the years in providing reliable service to the design industry. Being easy to learn, thanks to its user-friendly interface, SketchUp allows you to get most of your furniture design tasks done in a breeze. Google SketchUp is effective in producing 2D and 3D designs alike, thanks to its wide array of tools and remarkable optimization of the software itself.
Moreover, once you’re done with your sketch, SketchUp provides you with a walkthrough function that lets you revise every aspect of your design if errors are found. Google SketchUp is the perfect 3D software for beginner furniture designers. Also, if you’re planning to learn furniture designing from scratch, Google SketchUp is the way to go thanks to the easy learning curve. It’s a free tool that lets you carry most of your furniture design tasks.
After all, you always have the choice to level up your game and choose a more capable 3D software once you get comfortable with Google SketchUp. However, we don’t recommend this software for veteran furniture designers as it can be a bottleneck for their skills.
Pros of Google SketchUp:
- Spec Requirements: Google SketchUp can practically run on any computer. Requiring only 20MB of free space and 128GB of RAM, SketchUp is one of the most accessible 3D software out there.
- Free to Use: Since SketchUp was developed while keeping beginners in mind, Google has made it completely free for all non-commercial applications. It’s one huge advantage of using SketchUp since beginner furniture designers don’t have enough funds to invest in a paid 3D modeling software.
- Intuitive Interface: SketchUp has a user-friendly interface that guides you through its various features upon request. Furthermore, it provides you with an instructor panel that can be utilized to get hints if you ever feel stuck in between your projects.
- Hassle-free Project Sharing: SketchUp has an inbuilt project sharing feature that lets you show your furniture designs to your fellow designers. As a beginner, you can ask other furniture designers to help you with your designs and provide valuable feedback.
- No macOS Compatibility: You can only use SketchUp on Windows OS. It’s not compatible with macOS or any other operating system
- Lacking in Features for Professional Use: Even though SketchUp has a wide array of toolsets, it’s not enough for professional work requiring complex designs and procedures. For example, achieving photorealism in your 3D models is impossible with SketchUp.
The name says it all, Autodesk dwarfs all the other CAD software when it comes to user-base. Being the world leader in CAD software, Autodesk has a wide portfolio of some of the best CAD software for all your design needs. As you might’ve guessed by now, Fusion 360 ranks amongst the best 3D software when it comes to furniture designing.
From a wide range of the most powerful modeling tools to a user-friendly interface, Fusion 360 has it all. Unlike Google SketchUp, Fusion 360 is suitable for beginners and veteran furniture designers alike. Packed with highly useful features like parametric designs, the possibilities of what designers can create in Fusion 360 are virtually endless. And, since it has a rather smooth learning curve, experts consider Fusion 360 to be ideal for learning furniture design.
Pros of Autodesk Fusion 360:
- Assembly Features: You can work on individual parts and then put them all together to generate the final 3D model. It allows furniture designers to work on individual aspects of the 3D model. This feature comes in handy, especially when it comes to furniture designing where detailing is the key.
- Parametric modeling: You may call this the USP of Autodesk Fusion 360, considering the software is free to use for non-commercial purposes. However, this feature mostly comes in handy for professional work where last-minute edits can make or break the deal with the client. Parametric modeling allows you to make changes in the design by simply changing some parameters, this approach is exponentially fast and easy when compared to conventional ones.
- Cloud Upload Functionality: Fusion 360 allows you to save all your files and progress online to enable you to work on different systems without losing data. No need to carry your files around if you frequently work in different systems, just log in your account into the application and you’re good to go. This works best if you have a stable and fast internet connection.
- 3D Printing Tools: You can load your design in Fusion 360 and create a 3D-printed replica using a 3D printer. It’s useful for furniture designers showcasing the furniture designs to the clients become easier than ever.
- No STL Editor: This feature is rarely used in most 3D modeling software. However, considering Fusion 360 is utilized for 3D printing extensively, not having an STL editor is quite disappointing.
- Laggy on Slow Internet: Since Fusion 360 is cloud-based software, having a good internet connection is a must. However, in any case, if your internet struggles to maintain its speed, the sluggishness of Fusion 360 would be enough to ruin your day.
SolidWorks has been in the market for decades now, providing reliable services to its users. Thanks to a vast array of powerful features and a customer-centric approach, SolidWorks has managed to attract one of the biggest user bases of over 6 million. It’s a versatile 3D modeling software that supports a wide variety of materials. You can utilize these materials to create 3D models of stainless steel furniture, wooden furniture, and even custom-design furniture. Overall, SolidWorks packs enough power to get all your furniture design tasks done.
Almost every furniture designer is familiar with SolidWorks, thanks to its popularity. There’s a good chance the next tutorial you watch on furniture designing will be about SolidWorks. Furthermore, such familiarity of the software between designers makes compatibility issues out of the question. For example, you can send your 3D model (created in SolidWorks) to another firm or designer for prototyping, most likely there won’t be any compatibility issues.
Pros of SolidWorks:
- Versatility at its Best: Its extremely versatile tools and features make SolidWorks one of the best 3D software for furniture designing, thanks to multiple useful templates and materials.
- Parametric modeling: SolidWorks allows parametric modeling, which allows the designer to edit the model simply by changing some values. This feature becomes especially useful when it comes to last-minute edits.
- FEM Analysis: The FEM (Finite Element Method) analysis uses mathematical equations to assess the limitations of the 3D model. SolidWorks utilizes this method to make the task of fixing errors easier than ever.
- Lack of Optimization: SolidWorks lacks proper optimization, and occasionally crashes without a warning. It’s concerning for professional furniture designing work where it takes hours to finish a project.
- Resource Hungry: SolidWorks doesn’t run on normal systems with average specifications. Even with capable hardware, SolidWorks stresses out the component and heats the system.
Foyr Neo is known to be one of the best 3D software for architectural design. However, it has started gaining traction in the interior design and furniture design industry as well. Being such a versatile 3D modeling software, Foyr Neo holds an extremely wide array of templates and materials for most of your furniture design needs. Moreover, the simple and user-friendly interface of Foyr Neo makes it suitable even for beginner furniture designers.
Offering many unique features and modeling tools with a user-friendly interface, Foyr Neo is suitable for casual and professional use alike. The best part is that Foyr Neo is a cloud-based software that makes it easy for you to work on different systems without losing your progress. Meanwhile, a cloud-based service lets you fully utilize the software without clogging up space in your system. However, Foyr Neo is paid software which is a disadvantage for furniture designers who are in the initial phase of their career.
Pros of Foyr Neo:
- Fast and Responsive: The interface of Foyr Neo is noticeably fast and responsive. That’s why creating 3D models on Foyr Neo is always a delight especially for furniture designers.
- Great Optimization: Foyr Neo has little to no lag or jitters, providing the users with a seamless modeling experience.
- Preloaded Assets: Foyr Neo has a wide array of preloaded materials and templates for all your design needs.
- No Free Version: Foyr Neo doesn’t have a free version, although a 14-day free trial exists. You’ll be required to pay a monthly fee of around $50 afterward. However, beginner furniture designers would rather switch to a free 3D modeling software packing similar features instead of spending money.
Sweet Home 3D is the ideal software if you’re learning furniture designing from the scratch and have no experience whatsoever. Sweet Home 3D is simpler to use than most of its competitors, although this software won’t allow you to make complicated designs. It has an online gallery that allows you to choose sample plans that you can incorporate into your projects. Moreover, the online library of Sweet Home 3D offers more than 100 objects. In any case, it’s best if you use these libraries and online galleries for personal use only.
Pros of Sweet Home 3D:
- Drag and Drop Feature: Since Sweet Home 3D was designed to keep beginners in mind, it has a drag and drops feature to ease your experience further. You can simply drag and drop objects into your design in 2D.
- Simplicity at its Best: modeling 3D objects in Sweet Home 3D is way simpler than most of its competitors. The interface is user-friendly and offers simple execution.
- Split 2D/3D Screens: You can view the 2D design of your 3D model side by side. This feature comes in handy in furniture designing where you can’t afford to leave any errors unchecked.
- Not Suitable for Professional Work: Sweet Home 3D is a rather beginner-centric 3D software. It provides you with a way easier workflow, but at the cost of complex features that you’ll require professional work. Overall, there’s a limit to what you can create in Sweet Home 3D.
- Unable to Execute Edits in 3D Objects Directly: The software restricts edits to be done in 2D format only. This is one pretty big downside of Sweet Home 3D.
CAD Pro is drafting software specifically developed for furniture design purposes only. Offering numerous features at a reasonable price, CAD Pro is undoubtedly one of the best 3D software for furniture design. In addition, it offers a direct sharing feature that allows you to send your designs to other designers as images via email. Just click on the send as mail option to do this. CAD Pro offers numerous other features that allow you to better connect with your fellow furniture designers and exchange thoughts.
One of the highlighted features of CAD Pro is that it can scan your drawings and load them into the software. For example, you can sketch your furniture design ideas on physical paper and scan them to continue your work in CAD Pro. These scanned designs will work as a template that you can utilize to execute your furniture design further.
Pros of CAD Pro Furniture Design:
- Feature Packed: CAD Pro packs a wide array of features and toolsets to get the most out of your furniture design ideas.
- Versatile: CAD Pro may be a furniture design-centric 3D software, but it doesn’t hold back in other fields as well. You can do a variety of tasks in CAD Pro including 2D drawing, 3D imaging, drafting, BIM modeling, etc. Overall, it has everything you need to unleash your creativity.
- Hassle-free Project Sharing: CAD Pro allows you to share your projects as images with your fellow furniture designers. You can utilize this feature to get feedback on your designs from clients.
- Windows Only: CAD Pro sadly works only in Windows operating system as of now. It doesn’t support any other operating system, including macOS and Linux.
- No Free Trial: CAD Pro requires a one-time payment of $99.95 to run on your systems. There is no free version or a free trial period for the software.
SketchList 3D focuses primarily on wooden furniture designing and it literally dwarfs every other 3D modeling software in this department. It simplifies the woodworking tasks to a remarkable extent, allowing you to get things done without any hiccups in between. Furthermore, SketchList 3D is stuffed with features that let you inspect every aspect of your design to allow no room for errors. It even has virtual boards that let you see every element of your design, reducing the chances of minor errors even further. After you’re done with your design, SketchList 3D lets you use Adobe 3D pdf to share your initial sketch with your clients to seek validation. Moreover, unlike most furniture design-centric 3D modeling software, SketchList 3D can produce photorealistic renderings. It’s a one-of-a-kind software to satisfy all your furniture design needs.
Pros of SketchList 3D:
- Reasonably Priced: Considering the features that SketchList packs exclusively for furniture designing, a one-time payment of $200 sounds fairly reasonable. It also offers a free trial period so that you can judge whether to pay for the software or not.
- Easy Learning Curve: Since SketchList 3D primarily focuses to serve furniture designers, its features are less complex and easy to understand. The software provides you with the required documentation to fully understand the software.
- Missing Standard Features: Standard desktop features like move, copy, and paste items are missing, which is a slight limitation of SketchList 3D.
- Professional Version is Pricey: If you want the full version of SketchList 3D (SketchList 3D Pro) packing more features for professional use, you’ll have to pay a beefy amount of $850.
While choosing the best 3D software for furniture design is often a matter of specific requirements, there are a few software that excels in every aspect. The 7 3D software that we’ve just mentioned covers all types of users, from absolute beginners to experienced veterans. Moreover, these 7 3D modeling software is reasonably priced when compared with the features they provide.
So, this was our take on the best 3D software for furniture design. By now, you must’ve chosen the best 3D software for you according to your needs and requirements.