If you know of FREE programs that help to visualize design projects, please let me know. I would love to build up my virtual tool box.
I realize this is not really design software, but my son and I have found that we save time if we doodle our designs in Miscroscoft Paint before we start tinkering with real stuff. It is a FREE program so there is nothing to lose trying it. I think time spent learning to use Paint has been time well spent.
The following reviews are for a FREE CADD program at http://www.sketchup.com:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f29/google-getting-rid-sketchup-38410 – 04-28-2012 – “Google is under contract to transfer ownership of Sketchup to Trimble, a technology company. There are a lot of rumors flying around, but it looks like a lot of the personnel on the Sketchup team has accepted offers from Trimble to leave Google and go work for them. Trimble specializes in GPS technology, and they claim it’s going to be just another day in the world of Sketchup. You will still be able to get it for free, upload to the 3D warehouse, and submit to Google Earth. In fact they will be partnering with Google for the foreseeable future to collaborate on these efforts. Check out this unofficial hub of information regarding the acquisition of Sketchup TrimSketchup.blogspot.com”
05-02-2012 – “Mark, I concur with Marena (and many many others here). I downloaded SU several years ago and never did anything other than play with it a little bit and never took the time to learn much about really using it. Recently, I decided I ought to spend time and learn it and I got a hold of “Fine Woodworking – Google Sketchup Guide to Woodworking”. I’m about 40 pages into the guide and I can’t believe how much I’m learning and how powerful the program is. Unless you have a background with CAD software (I don’t), I think you need to either spend time watching some of the many videos or getting a hold of one of the many different tutorials to really learn and get the full benefit of SU. Also if you look back to earlier threads in this section you will find video tutorials made by experienced woodworkers that have very good reviews. Personally, I prefer the text tutorial to the videos for learning the program, but both types have their benefits.”