Google Sketchup is a free program that allows you to create and modify 3D models. Learning how to use the program is relatively quick and easy, especially if you opt to follow along some of the video tutorials.
Modeling programs such as Sketchup are excellent for planning and visualizing projects, such as the tentative worktable design shown above. You will also want to check out google’s online 3D warehouse, from which you can download stock components or others’ designs for inspiration.
Sketchup is available for Windows XP & Vista, as well as Mac OSX. When you go to download the program, make sure that you opt for the free version and not the “pro” trial.
Following is an x-ray view of the workbench model. Since we’re a bit rusty and like to multi-task, it took us about forty minutes to create the model.