3D Furniture Modeling Software Summary

softwarebuck April 25, 2021 0 Comments

FreeCAD: an open-source 3D modeler for all users

3D printing requires for a 3D model to be sent to a slicer, before being sentto the 3D printer. There are sites such as Thingiverse where a variety of suchmodels are available to download. But if you want to create a model yourself,you will need to use a modeling software. Developed by Jürgen Riegel, WernerMayer and Yorik van Havre, FreeCAD is one of these 3D modeling software, knownfor being open-source and free.The software is currently available in version 0.18.4 and is one of the mostpopular modeling software on the market. FreeCAD is used to design objects ofany size imaginable and, as the name suggests, is free of charge. Currently,FreeCAD enjoys more than 25,000 active community members in the forum alone,who regularly exchange information about the application’s new features andchallenges. The number of software downloads is not known, but should besignificantly higher. The software is especially popular in the product designand industrial sector, but can also be used for personal use. It is suitablefor beginners as well as advanced users. In the 3D printing sector, it is apopular choice. Nevertheless, the capabilities of this CAD software extendbeyond 3D modeling. For example, you could use it for simulation.FreeCAD is an open-source parametric 3D modeler made primarily to design real-life objects of any size.FreeCAD supports a wide range of file formats, including STEP, IGES, STL, SVG,DEX, OBJ, IFC, DAE, and is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac. What makesFreeCAD so versatile is the fact that it allows a great degree of freedom.Users are able to extend the software’s capabilities with various plug-ins.The choice of free plug-ins is enormous, so FreeCAD can be used optimally bydifferent users: designers, mechanics, architects, teachers and even studentscan use the software.

Top 16 of the best open-source CAD software in 2021

Posted By Lucie Gaget on Mar 21, 2018 |3D modeling software are useful for many different applications and could be agreat asset for your business. It is a real advantage to develop your project,and it can be used for architectural projects, in the medical field or even inthe fashion sector. Everything is possible. In this blog post we are going tosee how a 3D modeling program could help you in your daily work and what anopen-source software exactly is. Then, we will see what are the best availableopen-source CAD software in 2020 in order to help you find the right CAD toolfor your company.

Why should you use CAD software?

3D modeling software could be useful for your company for diverseapplications. It can be used by engineers or designers, and even by amateurs.It is becoming a convenient and essential tool to work on designs, prototypes,or to produce 3D printed parts. You can use it to 3D model your parts in orderto 3D print them, or just for the visualization of your projects.Do you need to improve your design process or want to elaborate industrialdesigns?These kinds of programs are particularly convenient if you are looking for anew prototyping process. Indeed, prototyping is becoming quite simple whileusing 3D modeling software and additive manufacturing. You can do manyiterations at a lower cost, and you just have to modify your CAD model if youneed to change something.3D modeling software could also be a good solution to get a bettervisualization of your project or to improve your product design. Fromtechnical drawings to advanced 3D models for mechanical engineering,everything is possible if you choose the right CAD tool. We know that there isnecessarily a software on the market that will fit your needs, and it may bean open-source software!

What is an open-source CAD software?

Open-Source software has a free public code that can be downloaded andmodified by developers. It can be great if you want to add features tospecific software in order to improve it, and adapt it to the use of yourbusiness. All the community can participate in the software development,anyone can write an extension to make the software better. It clearly has acollaborative aspect.There are various open source CAD software programs available, that you candownload for free. You can use them to create and modify your 3D models anddevelop your professional projects. Are you interested in starting 3D modelingwith an open-source CAD software? Let’s see what the best programs are foryour business.

The best open-source CAD programs

Here is a selection of the best open-source 3D CAD software for 3Dapplications. You will mainly find software for advanced users, as theseprograms are addressed to professionals or programmers.


This CAD tool software has been developed by Mike Muuss at the Army ResearchLaboratory and used by US military. They used it for academic, industrial oreven health applications. This solid modeling system has been around since1984, it simply became an open-source project in 2004.It is now possible to use this program for engineering or graphicapplications.

What Is 3D Furniture Modeling and How Does It Work?

3D modeling software has become the standard in numerous industries since itbecame widely available. Prior to the development of 3D CAD software, 2D CADdesign was extensively utilized. There are even some businesses today thatstill prefer using 2D systems because of preference and familiarity.Initially, it was 2D CAD that replaced traditional drafting services by hand.Many ideas for new products today still start from a rough sketch, but thenit’s straight to development into a 3D model.Creating a 3D model is similar to making a new 2D drawing in a CAD program.The main difference is that some additional steps are required, and a few moreparameters must be defined.For example, when creating a flat CAD drawing, you make the profile from aseries of lines, arcs, and points that you define as you go. In the case of 2DCAD, once that flat profile is finished, the drawing is complete unless you’regoing to display additional views in the same file.With 3D modeling systems, you still begin by defining a flat 2D profile.However, once it has been created, you define the third dimension. This cantypically be achieved with a few more clicks using the appropriate tools,resulting in a complete 3D model.Regardless of the industry, the process remains generally the same. While it’sbeneficial to have at least some specific dimensions with the rough sketch,it’s not actually necessary since things can be defined and changed during thecreation of the 3D model.

Benefits of 3D Modeling for Furniture

In general, 3D modeling systems allow products to be developed faster and witha higher level of accuracy than older methods. They also produce a moreversatile result. Instead of only ending with a drawing on paper, a finished3D model can be used to generate traditional blueprints while also being easyto share between parties, and it can also be used for CNC programming.This is particularly advantageous during the prototyping process. In somescenarios, prototyping may take place in-house, but often it will beoutsourced to another company or individual. This is where the ability toshare the full 3D model becomes particularly valuable.It’s quite common for questions from shop floor workers to pop up during thefirst run or production of the first prototype. When those questions are aboutfeatures, dimensions, or sometimes even spatial relationships, access to the3D model will typically provide the answers. This reduces the time spent goingback and forth via phone or email and downtime. Both of these are verysignificant factors during prototyping and production.3D models are valued for their ability to be edited easily as well. We allknow how likely it is for a new design to be flawless the first time around.Changes can be made so quickly on 3D models that design iterations can beobserved and evaluated in days or hours instead of weeks or months.A professional designer or engineering design service can make simple changesto a 3D model often in a matter of minutes when necessary. Some flaws requirecomplex solutions that take a significant amount of time to figure out, butthe amount of time necessary to implement those changes in the model remainslow.In the case of furniture, this may be something like making some dimensionalchanges to the mechanisms of a new recliner to make it function more smoothly.Perhaps the mechanism works smoothly, but there is interference with some ofthe surrounding materials. Changes to resolve problems like these are simpleto implement. The capability to make and evaluate design changes quickly helpsto save time and costs.The advantages that 3D modeling offers have made it a very widely utilizedtool in industries today. It saves companies money during design anddevelopment, improves product quality, and speeds up the development andproduction process.

How 3D Modeling Is Used in the Furniture Industry

3D modeling actually has more uses in the furniture industry than in manyother industries that take advantage of this powerful technology. Let’sstart with the basics.Obviously, 3D modeling software is widely utilized during the design stage.It’s just too efficient to overlook for this purpose. It’s quick, it’s easywhen someone with the right skills is using it, and it yields excellent value.It is commonly used for prototyping as well. Typically, many people think thismeans using the model as a base for making CNC programs and things like that.The truth is that using the 3D model as the prototype is very valuable byitself. Things like mechanical defects and interference can be caught andcorrected before any work goes into physical prototypes. This potential alonecan often save thousands of dollars and countless hours of work.Some believe that the role of 3D modeling in the furniture industry ends whenproduction is in full swing. This is not true. Some of the most valuable waysto apply 3D furniture modeling are for marketing.For example, 3D modeling and 3D rendering have practically replacedphotography in the furniture industry. These processes are more affordable inmany cases and produce such impressive results that they have become the toolsof choice for presenting products and creating marketing collateral.

Tips and Advice for 3D Furniture Modeling

If you’re here to investigate software tools because you plan to outsourcefurniture design work to a firm or freelancer, then the information about eachpackage in the list will likely be sufficient for you. In your situation,it’s more important to know what you want, communicate effectively with thefreelance engineer or designer, and think about the steps after the designprocess.However, if you’re here because you’re thinking of purchasing 3D modelingsoftware that’s specialized for furniture, the list below will serve as moreof a starting point.As mentioned, 3D furniture models can be used for a wide variety of purposesin many stages of the product life cycle. Let’s say you have an idea for aproduct right now. You don’t have any professional drawings or files, maybejust a rough sketch illustrating the core concept. If this sounds like yoursituation, then you’ll want to find a designer or engineer that has workedwith 3D furniture models before. They’ll be able to provide valuable first-hand insight and will likely be able to sidestep many problems that you wouldhave otherwise run into.However, if you already have a 3D model for your product and it is already inproduction or selling, you can still benefit from further use of 3D models.You would likely benefit most from some high-quality 3D renderings so thatyour product can be presented in the best light possible with a variety ofmedia.

Top 3D Modeling Furniture Software Used by Professionals Today

The list that follows covers many of the top 3D furniture design toolsavailable today. As with other tools, they all have their strengths andweaknesses. Don’t get caught up in going for something with the mostfeatures just because it looks impressive.Be realistic about what you need for your project and the way that you want todo things. This will help you to get the right tool for your needs if you’replanning to purchase software like this for long-term use.On the other hand, if you plan to have the 3D modeling work outsourced, thenyour knowledge of these tools becomes less critical. It’s still beneficial tobe familiar with them, but it’s not necessary to be an expert. That beingsaid, let’s get to the software.1. SketchUpSketchUp is one of the most popular options for 3D furniture modeling. Inaddition to being used for furniture, it is also commonly used forengineering, architecture, and interior design services.Like many other software tools, SketchUp is available in several versions.Free and paid versions are available, and the free version is sometimes enoughfor simple design needs.One of the unique things about SketchUp is its library of 3D models that userscan borrow from. This allows for a mind-blowing number of choices whencreating something like a 3D rendering. This library is a significantpotential time-saver.SketchUp is also known for being easy to use. User-friendly software issomething everyone can appreciate, so this is not something to overlook. Sincethis application is web-based, it is also quite easy to share things andinstall the application for viewing the models in multiple locations or onvarious devices.2. SolidWorksSolidWorks is one of the most well-known and widely used 3D modeling toolsavailable today. Regardless of the field you’re in, you can be sure that aSolidWorks freelancer can help. This software has been available since theearly 90s, and the current version has many more features than the originalwith plenty of power to spare. SolidWorks is known to have millions over usersall around the world.One of the main benefits that SolidWorks offers is that so many engineers anddesigners are familiar with it. To illustrate this, let’s say that you havea freelance designer create a 3D model of a new piece of furniture for you.They make the model in SolidWorks. Once you have the model, you can send it toanother company for prototyping and there’s a very high chance that therewon’t be any compatibility issues.The same cannot be said for all 3D modeling programs. Additionally, if thereis a problem with the model or it needs to be edited and the original designeris not available, it’s quite easy to find someone who knows SolidWorkscompared to some other CAD packages.SolidWorks is used in many industries, but it’s quite a popular choice inthe furniture industry. The sheer power and versatility this software offersmake it a top choice in numerous fields.3. CAD Pro Furniture DesignCAD Pro is another top choice among designers and engineers doing 3D furnituremodeling work. This software has a lower price point than some comparableoptions, but still offers numerous features and is regularly used in a numberof fields.CAD Pro has multiple features that many in the furniture industry findparticularly valuable. For example, you can send an image of the design viaemail with just a few clicks. It has a Send As Mail option for this. There arealso ways to share your design through other common file types.In addition to the Send As Mail option, it has a handy feature for gettingdesigns started. This software can scan a paper drawing so that there is atemplate to start from in the CAD drawing. In some cases, this can save a lotof headaches with getting the ball rolling.4. SketchList 3DWhile some of the tools on the list are general 3D modeling software,SketchList 3D is specialized for furniture and woodworking. In addition tofurniture, SketchList 3D was made with cabinetry and interior design in mind.Overall, SketchList 3D covers many furniture needs. It also has the capabilityto produce photorealistic renderings. These are excellent for showing clientsand decision-makers.One of the interesting things about this software is the importing feature. Itallows the user to import a photo and use it to apply unique colors and grainsto the design when necessary.5. Woodwork for InventorWoodwork for Inventor is made by Autodesk, another of the world’s mostprominent CAD services and software companies. Inventor has been a commonchoice among designers and engineers since its introduction in the late 90s,but Woodwork for Inventor is actually a specialized extension of the software.One of the most notable features of Woodwork for Inventor is its ability togenerate lists for the production process, such as a bill of materials fromthe design. The files created with Woodwork for Inventor are also easy to usefor CNC programming later on in the production process. This software wascreated with the full process of making furniture in mind, from design all theway through production.6. PRO100Some professionals turn to PRO100 software when they’re creating 3D furnituremodels. This tool is often used for furniture, but it was made with aparticular focus on woodworking, cabinetry, and interior design as well.PRO100 was intended for professional use, and it offers many features that aredesirable at various stages of the process. For example, this software is alsocapable of generating cut lists, part lists, and high-quality images. It alsofeatures a lower price point than a variety of other professional CAD softwarepackages.7. eCabinet SystemseCabinet Systems is another piece of specialized software. It is capable ofdrafting and modeling for furniture, cabinets, and interior design. However,it can also be used to manage a project. This tool includes features forgenerating cut lists, buy lists, cost sheets, and even a bit of code for CNCwork.Unlike some other CAD systems, eCabinet Systems encourages engagement with itscommunity of users. They even use this to help direct the ongoing developmentof new versions of the software.8. RhinocerosRhinoceros may not be as well-known as Inventor and SolidWorks, but it ispowerful 3D modeling software. One of the reasons for this is that it is aparametric program.The difference between a parametric system and a standard CAD program is thata parametric system offers more impressive features and a higher level ofaccuracy when working with complex shapes. The short version is that moreprecise math drives parametric programs compared to what’s working behind thescenes in a standard CAD program.Where Rhino shines with 3D furniture design is in its ability to allow theuser to create complex 3D shapes very easily. Software like this is moreappropriate for projects involving unique or uncommon geometry.9. Vectorworks DesignerVectorworks offers several tools under their brand, but for 3D modeling andfurniture design, Vectorworks designer is the most appropriate choice. Thistool also provides many useful features in one place, instead of needing touse multiple programs to get everything you want. Vectorworks can be used fordesigning, modeling, and rendering. It can also be used to generate a varietyof reports.Perhaps one of the most intriguing things about this package is that it wasreally built with compatibility in mind. Vectorworks claims to have the mostimport and export options for files along with direct links for several othermajor software tools.10. Sweet Home 3DSweet Home 3D is one tool on this list that can be picked up for free. One ofthe interesting things about this software is the different perspectives thatit offers for previews.Sweet Home 3D can be used as a complete interior design solution. Since somany users choose it for interior design projects, it has several previewsavailable. One of these is from the perspective of a physical visitor as ifyou have just walked into the area yourself.

3D Furniture Modeling Software Summary

Each tool included in this list has its strengths and weaknesses. If you’regoing to be outsourcing 3D furniture modeling work, then there’s no need tobe too picky about the program the work is being done in as long as the filesare delivered in a format that is widely compatible.Tools like SolidWorks and Rhinoceros are known for being very powerful andproducing stunning 3D models. Vectorworks, Woodwork for Inventor, and SketchUpare also quite valuable for creating 3D models of furniture, although eachtool that made the list can be used effectively.Given their widespread use, it’s safe to assume that you can find afreelance designer or engineer who is familiar with one or more of theprograms listed here. It’s not uncommon for professionals to have a fewdifferent programs and to prefer each one for a specific kind of work.

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