I drew each plywood piece in Sketchup and assembled it to see if everything would fit.
I also could take each piece and lay it out on a 8’x4’ box in sketchup to determine the best way to cut it out. There is even a plugin that can generate a cutlist if you want.
Like Sketchup, Fusion 360 is free as long as users don’t use it in a business that makes more than $100K/year. Unlike Sketchup, Fusion is partially cloud based that requires an internet connection at least once every two weeks. It automatically backs up your files and does some complex operations like rendering on their servers instead of your home computer. I have never used those kind of operations and don’t feel most of us will but it is there if needed. Fusion was primarily built to support full scale mechanical design like a motorcycle or treadmill showing every last part in its model. I have found that it works fine for woodworking but not optimized for it. It is much more structured and enforces discipline in its use. It is parametric based which allows your model to automatically adapt to a change in one of the defined parameters. In my cutoff cut cart example I would define parameters upfront like length, width, height and plywood thickness and define all of my pieces with them. Instead of defining the sides to be a hard dimension I would define as the width times 0.75 or width minus 6”. That way when I change the width everything in the model will automatically adjust. Very powerful. I found that you have much more control in each of the steps required to make, modify and join 3d objects or components. Rather than try to explain all the great aspects of Fusion I think it is better that if you have interest to watch a few videos. There are hundreds of videos on YouTube regarding Fusion 360 but few are focused on woodworking. I have picked out the most relevant ones here. The first three provide an easy to understand overview with a woodworking example.
This one shows not only the CAD capabilities of Fusion but also the integrated CAM capabilities for CNC routers.
If you still have interest these are the best for more structured learning of Fusion for beginners.
And finally this is a great series that shows the modelling of a dovetailed drawer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotatio ... xR5iw3KWlQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotatio ... W6Sg2bCTGc
I have found Fusion 360 to be no harder to learn than Sketchup but it will look more intimidating because it has so many more features. Many of those you will never have to use but make it look more complex than it is. Some things carry over from Sketchup but most don’t. So no sugar coating, there will be a learning curve but I have found that it is more than worth it. I can create models much quicker, with more control and confidence than I ever had in Sketchup. It will be a personal decision if you want to invest the time to learn Fusion 360 but if you don’t already know Sketchup and want to start using a CAD program Fusion is a no brainer in my opinion. I know I will never go back to Sketchup.