Take a peek at Google's SketchUp.. it is free, as far as I know.
The guys here are pretty happy with TurboCAD.
I hear good things about DesignCAD as well.
The learning curve is always steep when starting off with a new
program. Any CAD I have ever been exposed to, has always demanded a
lot of attention to work-space, paper-space, units, scale, attributes
etc. If you are unfamiliar with even the basic things like line-
weights, there's a lot to learn.
But learning CAD is very rewarding in the long run...and it all
doesn't have to be as ominous and bulky as AutoCAD.
The most intuitive I've found thus far is AutoSketch9, and I've used
TurboCAD and DesignCAD.
I've been using it for about 5 years now (QuickCAD first, which somehow
morphed into AutoSketch about a year ago, had been recommended in a magazine
comparison of 2D CAD programs suitable for woodworking).
It does what I need for design/measured shop drawings, and until a few weeks
ago I had never looked at the documentation.
About $100, IIRC.
A plus for me is that it'll allow me to import and edit my architects
I use Turbocad Pro and Intellicad. Both are probably more program than you
need or want to learn. I have other uses for them. Best for the money would
prbably be Deltacad. Quick to learn but quite capable. About $40.00.
I've tried several times to get SketchUp to work for me and I just
can't. I think the problem is that it defaults to treating everything as
a skin-deep surface instead of an object with volume.
As bloated as it is, I use CorelDraw 12 for drafting. It lets you enter
dimensions for shapes, you can edit the scale so you're talking about
everything in the document in real-world size, you can place unprinted
guidelines which you can snap to (or not), it understands when a node is
moved to sit on a line or another node so you can line shapes up
exactly, it makes it very easy/automatic to draw in dimension
lines/arrows. I only wish it had more options for dotted lines.
SketchUp works great for furniture! The 3D visualization is so quick
and simple it is more practical than the full blown AutoCAD
Architectural Desktop I use as an architect.
IMO, if you can't model it in SketchUp, no CAD program will help you.
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