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Thread: Rockler's Sketchlist 3D Design Software

  1. #1
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    Rockler's Sketchlist 3D Design Software

    Has anyone ever used Rockler's Sketchlist 3D Design software? I was using Sketchup but, since Trimble took over and started charging annual fees, it's no longer quite as desirable for someone like me who just wants something to help design furniture as a hobby. The Rockler software is $200, but it's a one-time fee although it's unclear how upgrades are handled.

    Just wondering if it's easier to use than Trimble's Sketchup and whether it is a design program that doesn't take a long time to learn.

    Also, wondering if the program allows easy changes to the drawing once drawn similar to Sketchup?

    Don't want to invest in a program with a long learning curve at this point in my life, but I do like having a 3D drawing program to help with design and do like being able to make easy changes to drawing components.

    I plan to download the 14-day trial version, but sometimes it's difficult to tell what a program is like during a short period.

  2. #2
    I haven't, but are you sure you can't find a Sketchup version you like? Sketchup Make is still available, and free....

  3. #3
    Sketchup Make is only "free" so long as one adheres to the license terms which forbids one using it to make things which one sells.

  4. #4
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    Fusion 360

  5. #5
    I recently learned fusion 360 (via online tutorials) since I just got a 3d printer. That exercise showed just how glitchy and flawed sketchup is. Seemed like I spent a lot of my time in sketchup trying to figure out what I did wrong since it wasn’t behaving. The basic interaction is similar: draw in 2d and project into 3d using some operation. With fusion it’s logical and works. With sketchup it’s a crap shoot. (Did those points snap? Are those planes coplanar? Why did this face disappear?) I’m done with sketchup. Good riddance. My furniture drawings are now in fusion

    its free for 30 days or non commercial use
    Last edited by Jim Barstow; 02-27-2019 at 11:14 AM.

  6. #6
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    Just one thing about Fusion 360. Many people who look into Fusion 360 think that it costs money to use. You can install the free trial and use it for a month and then AutoDesk wants you to register. When registering, AutoDesk tries to push you in the direction of an annual subscription that is over $400/yr. You have to look for the (very) small print to find out how to register as an individual user, or a startup making less that $100K/yr, which is free. I use it for modelling some of my 3d printed pieces, and from reading the Facebook groups, there are MANY people who use it.

    And while I am here, if you happen to be a US or Canadian military veteran, you can get the Solidworks educational version for about $25USD/yr.

    Wayne

  7. #7
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    I thought I posted earlier, but it doesn't seem to be here. Don't think I said anything that would have caused it to be removed. I use DraftSight. They have a free version which I find is more than adequate.

  8. #8
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    May not apply for you, but OnShape is free for educational use. These may be some of the same founders as Pro E and SolidWorks starting a new web based platform. I bet it gains significant traction in the market.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Barstow View Post
    I recently learned fusion 360 (via online tutorials) since I just got a 3d printer. That exercise showed just how glitchy and flawed sketchup is. Seemed like I spent a lot of my time in sketchup trying to figure out what I did wrong since it wasn’t behaving. The basic interaction is similar: draw in 2d and project into 3d using some operation. With fusion it’s logical and works. With sketchup it’s a crap shoot. (Did those points snap? Are those planes coplanar? Why did this face disappear?) I’m done with sketchup. Good riddance. My furniture drawings are now in fusion

    its free for 30 days or non commercial use
    Yes, yes, and yes. I have the same complaints with Sketchup. The learning curve with Fusion is much greater than Sketchup but once you figure it out it's awesome. I just built a router table cabinet and made plans for it and did it start to finish in Fusion which was a big hurdle for me. If you're wanting to make plans it's still lacking some features that Sketchup has (notably; dimensioning in perspective view) but I made it work. My two biggest complaints with Sketchup were 1) aligning and 2) model organization. Both are a breeze in Fusion.

    Someone else said it but I'll repeat it, you can use Fusion for free as a student or a startup with less than $100k in revenue per year. Absolutely perfect licensing. Kudos to Autodesk whose licensing is usually pretty brutal.

  10. #10
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    I already have Sketchup 2017 downloaded on my computers and will probably continue to use that version until it stops working on either my PC or Mac. As far as I know, that is really the only version of Sketchup that is free right now and that won't be updated in the future. It is possible the online version introduced last year remains free, but that had some problems when I tested it. Also, the free versions of Sketchup always have had printing issues and I'm not necessarily interested in paying for something on an annual subscription basis which continues to have those problems.

    So far, I didn't see any responses that indicated testing or use of Sketchlist 3D from Rockler. No one that posts has used it? That's not encouraging. The feedback on the Rockler site was positive except for 2 users, one of which had download problems with the trial version.

    I would still appreciate feedback on Sketchlist 3D. I have researched quite a few 3D programs online and there are probably several which would work. Fusion 360 seems like a great program. However, the learning curve seems longer than I'd like since I've already invested quite a bit of time in Sketchup. I will look at others software suggested. I currently use DeltaCad for 2D drawing and that is a fast, easy drawing program for 2D drawings when you just want to see one side.

  11. #11
    One thing I've learned about Rockler, is that there always seems to be add ons and accessories and nothing is cheap. Expect to pay for upgrades.

  12. #12
    Wayne, i tried to look for that very small print and could not find it anywhere. Any tips? I downloaded a trial a while back, it's expired, and all I can see is pay them to renew.
    thanks,

  13. #13
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    The description I read of Sketchlist 3-D on the Rockler website does not sound very appealing. You draw the lumber you have and then define how it is to be machined. Finally, you graphically "assemble" it into the item you are going to make. That seems totally backward to me. One reason I want to use computer aided design is to come up with a list of material to buy. Another reason is I want to visualize what the piece and refine the design before buying anything. Sketchlist doesn't appear to do either of these things very well.

  14. #14
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    You might find lots more info on Sketchlist on the software companies website. Rockler is selling the basic version. There is a pro version also. I used to know someone that used the Pro version several years ago and he was happy with it. They were a custom cabinet shop and were mostly thrilled with the realistic views that allowed customers to see what they would get.

    Another person that was a very high end semi-production furniture manufacturer looked at it but bought Solidworks as it was more appropriate for that.

    With no personal use, it seems to me to be targeting cabinet building. Sketchup is much more general and can be used for a wide range of functions.

  15. #15
    Art, I've read this sort of thing elsewhere before. It does seem to be a backward way of working. The benefit of using a computer based modeling application for woodworking projects should be to allow the user to design the project and work out the details. Then let the program do the hard work of figuring out how much limber you need.

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