Writing and compiling 17 Free Garage Woodshop Plans: Ingenious Space Savers for Garage Workshops led me to Grizzly’s shop layout program. Their ingenious little Flash tool got me thinking – are there any other free woodshop layout tools available? After sending Google into overdrive I found that, yes there are other workshop layout software – 4 and 1/4 others to be exact.
2 1/2 Free Flash/Web-Based Workshop Layout Software
Sometimes you just don’t want to mess with adding more software to your computer. Believe me – I understand. These programs run via the web so once you’re done using them you don’t waste any memory.
1) Grizzly Woodshop Planner
Very intuitive and easy to use. You can save your layouts with login/signup. Minimum dimensions are 6×6 feet. Includes a model of a cat or a dog for those who work with furry companions. Makes satisfying noises.
2) Delta Porter-Cable Shop Designer
Slick and intuitive. Includes tips and best practices for shop layout. Even better it has a user layout gallery. This shop designer tool has a minimum size of 12×16 feet.
2 1/2) Better Homes and Gardens Arrange a Room (login required)
Not for workshops obviously, but I thought it might come in handy if any of these others aren’t working for you. This one only counts as 1/2 of a workshop layout application.
2 3/4 Free Downloadable Woodshop Layout Software + Accessories
If you don’t mind adding new software to your computer – and the web-based layout software doesn’t work for you then consider some of the following applications…
3 1/2) Google SketchUp
If you get into SketchUp just to layout a shop then you will learn to love it for a number of woodworking design applications. Be sure to search SketchUp for models of your tools… it’s pretty likely that the work is already done for you.
4 1/2) Easyshop Shop Designer
This gets lots of good marks from the forums… as I understand it you can change the size of the tools so that you don’t have to think in terms of Grizzly or Delta/P-C…
5) Room Aranger (Layout to 3D Visualization)
This shareware is designed for room layout, but not necessarily shop layout. I’m not sure why you’d choose this over, say, the Grizzly shop layout tool above execpt that maybe you prefer 3D. Hurry though – you only have 30 days to test it out. This one only counts as 1/2 too – it shareware PLUS it’s for general rooms. Gosh, maybe I should only have given it 1/4 of a point.
5 1/4) Microsoft Visio Woodshop Stencils and Templates
Microsoft Visio’s not free – these stencils and template are though. They even beat Grizzly’s program’s stencils for shading and detail. Since this isn’t an app it gets only 1/4 of a point. For Visio users though it’s just what you need for great woodshop layout.
Forum Thread Resources:
Software for workshop planning
Sketching up workshop layout; Software tools?
Small Woodworking Shop Layout
Any good sites for effective shop layout?
Need recommendations on new shop layout