Recommendations for Software for use in Furniture Design

It’s been a while since I’ve used a 3D program and I work primarily on a Mac but I’m not afraid of switching to the PC to do modeliing and rendering, etc.

From what I have seen just by glancing at the posts is people recommend Cobalt for the Mac and Solidworks on the PC…

What recc’s would you have for a reasonably priced program for the PC or the Mac that would allow me to design furniture.

I already plan on the usual sketching by hand and model methods, but I want to be able to use the right technology for the furniture design industry.



read more threads. not sure about furniture. otherwise most probably recommend Rhino for PC. for Mac too in VirPC. it would be my choice.

for mech CAD people usually recommend SW or Pro/E. theres a lot of bad information spread around. these boards included. only have to read some threads to see that. best you research by contacting resellers.

I worked as a designer in the furniture industry for 2 years and used Rhino. From what I know about some other furniture manufacturers, their design department uses Rhino also. The engineering departments at various companies would either use Solidworks or Inventor/Mech. Desktop, but I find those very un-intuitive in the initial concept generation stages.

For the rendering side, I used 3D Studio MAX. I’m sure there are more integrated packages for both modelling and rendering, but I have no real experience with them (Lightwave and Alias)

Check out concepts unlimited. They have taken over development of Cobalt. Works on Mac and PC and it has a good balance of engineering tools and surfacing tools.


form Z is good for furniture visualisation and rendering. with it’s radiozity feature, you can do realistic lighting and environments. tricky interface though compared to the ease of rhino.

thanks for the info.

I have been reading threads and as you mentioned, it can be hard to seaparate the wheat from the chaff…

anyway, I will look into both Rhino and 3D studio Max…