For years I’ve wanted to draw my furniture plans in full-size three-dimensional (3D) models. I dreamed of “building” the furniture on the computer as if I were in the shop, shaping each spindle, board, and panel and assembling them into a finished product. Existing two-dimensional (2D) computer-aided design (CAD) systems were okay, but they didn’t let me view the project from any angle or check its integrity as it developed. I wanted a design program that gave me exploded views of assemblies, perspective color images, and the ability to ensure that complex joints fit together properly.
Finally, I found what I wanted—Google SketchUp. I’ve been using this program since 2005 and will never go back to 2D CAD, nor will I enter the shop without first creating a piece in SketchUp.