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By LFS19
I’ve never really got into it, but everyone seems to be using sketch up these days.
I’d be interested to know what other methods people use for design?

What alternatives to sketch up are there (paper methods or software) and is SU the best bet these days?

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A sketch on the back of an envelope works for me.

On occasion I've done a scale drawing, usually when there's funny angles involved. An old roll of wallpaper is quite handy for drawing on; I got a roll for 25p from B&Q (or Homebase?) when they were getting rid of stock.
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By AndyT
And another vote for pencil and paper.

For a simple project, a rough sketch and a few dimensions are enough.
For something more complicated or ambitious I have spent time on a full size plan, elevation and sections. I found that a useful exercise as it forced me to think about all the structural details.
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By MikeG.
In the old days I'd sketch something on an an off-cut in the workshop, in 3D, then just get on with it, working things out at the bench. Then later it became a quick drawing board thing. Once my profession took me to Autocad I started using that, and now I've moved over to DraftSight.
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By Lons
Sketches on A4 paper these days or if to scale I have a couple of drawing boards. I don't bother with software programs these days even though I used Autocad extensively years ago, ( that's because I've forgotten it all now :oops: ).
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By Brandlin
Different tools for different jobs.
Pencil and paper for most straightforwards stuff, then sketchup or solidworks for anything needing heavy lifting
By Yojevol
It rather depends on what you mean by design and where you are in the design proces.
If it's conceptual design - roughing out ideas, then paper and pencil is best for speed and free thinking.
Once you move on to detail design then CAD, especially if you have developed 3D skills, has huge advantages:-
You think about how you are going to make it from the outset.
You can easily save alternative versions.
You can run up part lists.
The drawing process can be remarkably analogous to shaping activities in the workshop.
You can easily print off scale or full size drawings for particular needs in the W/S.
If problems arise in the W/S they can be analysed in the CAD model if need be.

I've developed my skills over many years using TurboCad (poor man's Autocad), starting with 2D. However I would certainly recommend plunging into 3D as soon as possible. Older versions of Turbocad are quite good enough for woodworking and can be obtained for a few quid on ebay.
I get huge satisfaction from seeing something develop from my screen into a real object.
I hope that gives some food for thought.
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By Woodmonkey
Sketchup is great once you have mastered the basics of how to use it. There are lots of very helpful tutorials on you tube, and it's free.
I used to draw everything out, once you've got used to sketchup you will never go back.
By LFS19
Thanks for the great replies! Seems I have a lot to look into. I’ve wanted to try just pencil and paper as many of you seem to do, but it seems quite daunting as I’ve never reallt designed anything unassisted. It’s something I want to learn how to do. The few pieces of furnature I have designed have been through sketch up, where I’ve muddled through.
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By thetyreman
I will continue to use the pencil and paper until the day I die :lol:
Last edited by thetyreman on 17 Sep 2018, 16:34, edited 1 time in total.