I’ve been learning how to use Google’s Sketchup as a modeler for woodworking. While Sketchup (the free version) is a great tool, it was a little bit of learning curve (as do all 3D tools).
Then I came across Wood magazine’s article on Sketchup. The article did a great job of showing that, yes, Sketchup can be a great tool for woodworking. Now they even have wood materials for making your models look more realistic.
Finally, I came across the Sketchup for Woodworkers site. This site has some awesome, information packed videos on how to use the features in Sketchup for woodworking. One video I watched covered all the major types of joints you’d want to have in a woodworking plan.
These videos should get me off to a great start.
Sigh….now if someone would just build a nice plugin in for Sketchup that would import models and/or rendered textures into Second Life.