Sketchup v. Easel PRO

Hello all, My apologies in advance. I’m new to CNC and have a long learning curve ahead of me. I bought an XCarve-PRO with the intention of starting a woodworking business. I have a question (likely a stupid one), for which I have been unable to find an answer.
I have ideas for furniture in my head and want to design prototypes. Once satisfied with the design, form, and function, I wish to mass produce using the XCarve-PRO. I want to use design software to save the trial-and-error process.
I am considering taking a Sketchup class, but before doing so wanted to ask: What design capabilities does the Easel PRO have? Do I need to design my pieces using something like Sketchup and then import those designs into Easel PRO, or can I do basic design in Easel PRO??
Also, if I need to use different design software, is Sketchup in fact the best way to go, or should I be looking at something else?

That of course should say “Sketchup v. Easel PRO” But I don’t know how to edit my post.

Do you have experience with any design software?
How do you usually design your furniture?

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I wouldn’t really consider Easel pro a design software. It has some really easy to use features and tools to design cuts on the XCP, but you’re certainly not designing a 3D rendering, sketch, or layout and then getting a cut list for it. I know many people use sketchup for design, but if you’re starting from scratch I would consider Fusion 360 instead of sketchup. Fusion has CAM capabilities and can actually generate gcode that can be directly imported into Easel to run the XCP.

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I do not. I am leaving a life in the corporate world to jump feet first into a woodworking business (foolish perhaps, but being now unemployed, it was either back to the grind, or follow my dreams). Thought I’d hop in here for some advice before learning the hard way.

I have been a hobbyist woodworker for 40 years. Been told all that time “Holly cow, you do beautiful work, you should do that professionally!!!” but like most, I spent WAY too much time on my pieces to be profitable at it… then along came CNC…

To date, I just either followed plans, sketched them the OLD FASHONED way (paper and pencil), or made models first. And on occasion, being cocky enough just started cutting (strangely, more often than not, that worked). But if I’m going to attempt to start a business, I need to start thinking like a professional.

Any help or advice will be welcome.


Thanks Mark!!! I’ll do some research on Fusion 360.

I assumed that Easel PRO wasn’t what I would need, but we both know what “assume” means :wink: thought it better to ask now rather than regret later.


What type of furniture will the CNC help you more efficiently create?
I think the software you choose largely depends on where you will use the CNC in your process.

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mass production of parts. I intend to design and build the prototypes, once satisfied with the design, load into Easel PRO and have the mundane cutout done by the CNC (where possible), additionally, I’d like to add 3-D carving.
Lastly, I also make artistic pieces, and much of the more time-consuming stuff I could imagine XCarve assisting with, but that is TBD.

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