Sketchup and fusion 360 for woodworking / furniture design

Hi guys,
sketchup user here, not a pro (in ability) but somehow manage to get away with most of my project needs. I mostly design furniture, nothing too complex but above the basic butt joined boxes.

I’ve just come across fusion 360 recently and the people using it makes it look super quick and easy, which is not… of course. My quesiton is, are there any users who use both apps for their creation (espeically up to furniture related difficulty) who can maybe help me out evaluate the pros/cons of each? I know that proficient users in any of the software will have no trouble creating furniture, but I still wish to hear other people’s opinions. I for one am currently watching some youtube videos to have a better idea if switching to fusion might make more sense, but so far, what i’ve seen I can do it on sketchup (im still at the first couple of videos tho)

what attracts me most is the ease of editing the model once done. in sketchup its a bit of hassle to resize one item without skewing the rest, mostly at keeping angles. Also the fact sometimes i end up with hollow models in sketchup is still an issue for me. I’m pretty sure there are shorter work arounds and plugins that will clean the models for you but I’ve never looked into it that much.

I mostly use SketchUp for furniture projects including plans. I tried F360 and found it amazingly tedious and annoying to use. I much prefer the process in SketchUp.

As for modifying components, it’s not very difficult with the correct workflow.


Your comment about editing one skewing the rest sounds to me like you aren’t using components and groups properly. Loose (I.e. not in a component or group) geometry always sticks to other loose geometry in SketchUp.


Like Dave, I’ve tried F360 and found it very non-intuitive and tedious as well. I use SketchUp and Layout for design and build of furniture, cabinets, and more. It’s easy to start drawing in SU but to be proficient with it takes time. As with any software you need to learn the way it works. It would be worth the time to go through the SketchUp courses

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Adding a few examples where I modified a piece of furniture to make another one.

King sized bed from queen:

Wider desk from narrower desk:

Morris Settle from Morris Chair:

All these chairs started from the one on the left:

Stool from chair:


@DaveR might remember an occasion when I proudly posted an image of a Sheraton style desk I modeled, only to realize I had mis-measured the depth. Even with full internal details, it took maybe 5 minutes to adjust everything. That’s an example of something I like about SketchUp.

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yes they are grouped. by skewing i wasn’t referring to the sticky behaviour, but more like if i had let’s say a whole kitchen, made up of multiple cabinet components, if I had to resize the cabinet to a wider one, they will end up getting/bumping into each other. seems like in fusion theres an option for this (not yet familiar with it but ive seen it done in one of the youtube videos)

i’m still in favour of SU for now as i find it more comfortable and faster, and for now i’ll keep watching a few more videos and run them in parallel to see if its worth the shift.

@DaveR nice furniture you’ve got there, very clean indeed!
and it looks like they have actual joinery aswell right? (at least the wooden benches look like so)

Thank you. Yes. All of those pieces are fully detailed with joinery. The queen sized bed, the smaller desk, and the Morris chair were all created for plans so fully and accurately detailed.

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Ah, yeah SketchUp has no concept of collision or overlap detection. Objects can overlap each other without consequence. But it’s easy to multi-select the ones that need to be adjusted and moving them all at once.

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I leverage this all the time when I’m modeling, too.

@DaveR impressive!. where they done with the stock SU or have you used plugins?

@slbaumgartner yes thats true, not much of a deal breaker so far…we’ll see in the future videos

I use native tools where possible and extensions when necessary. There’s a ton that can be done with just the native tools but for some details like the non-circular curves, an extension makes it easier to draw them.

Every part in every model is a solid component which, among other things, means I can do things like make tenons cut mortises and that sort of thing.

Here’s another example where one piece was modified to a different piece. Very quick and easy to do. The coffee table is Gregory Paolini’s Limbert-style Coffee Table. I created plans for it for Fine Woodworking Magazine. My brother was looking for a side table to match so I quickly modified the coffee table to make one.

Here’s the side table he built getting a lab test.


Can I send you stuff to lab tested?

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I tried Fusion 360 and was frustrated. so I stopped. SketchUp does everything I could want for the furniture and products I design.

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It’s my brother who has the labs. :wink:

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Use Edit>Make Unique to differentiate one component from others that would otherwise be identical. Then you can resize just the component you want to widen.

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There are various extensions that allow you to modify complex geometry quickly.
Fredo stretch


You wont get a fair comparison here in a SkecthUP’s forum. You need someone equally proficient in both programs, using them the same amount of time. Imagine to ask DaveR “who has been using Fusion360 for over 15 years to try SketchUP” :grinning: :grinning:

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FredoStretch dont work well with complex geometry - furniture with lots of partitions, hardware and drawers. It makes the components unique breaking the project structure.