Woodworkers, including everyone from cabinetmakers to closet makers to carvers, greatly depend on the reliability and simplicity of their CAD programs. In turn, software design companies are continually enhancing their products and making them easier to use. These products can significantly boost productivity and the good news is they no longer require purchasers to have an engineering background. Perhaps the only dilemma is deciding which product to go with.
Here's a look at some of the latest offerings:
Everyone knows that time equals money. Mary Shaw, marketing manager for Delcam, says the most significant benefit of design software is saving time. While work done by hand can take weeks or months, a software program can shorten that span to hours and days. And having basic designs on hand eliminates the need to start from scratch for subsequent projects.
"You can create new designs by saving older designs," says Shaw. "You save time because you can manipulate things you've already done. If something is done by hand, it's difficult to get the exact replica of that design and then repeat it over and over again.
"With a 3-D program, you have the design forever, and the next time you go do something for a customer, you may just want to tweak the end a bit. You can create a grapevine or add a Celtic wave or change the molding. With a mouse-click, you have a new design within seconds."