A truly complete home model for north texas (plumbing, electrical, BIM)

I want to create a complete house in sketchup make 2017 that everyone can use. This includes electrical, plumbing, ac/heating, etc. This would include every applicable regulation for where I live in north texas. I want to seperate each phase of the build by category with BIM data for project management. I want to make a website that has pricing data using different materials. I might just be happy with a spreadsheet, but ideally everyone could use the model and download different versions of the house with different prices.

It seems no one does this since everyone who makes homes does it for a living. It goes against their business model.


As far as I know, if you are willing to donate the resultant model that you create with SketchUp Make free-of-charge to other users, with no commercial entanglements, then go for it! Sounds like a lot of work to make such an extensive model, but the result could be very nice.


My background is in psychology. I’ve seen evidence supporting the view that making things for free wont lead to high engagement.

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What @TDahl is referring to is the license agreement for using make17 does not include any commercial use. If you plan to charge money on any project with SketchUp included in the process at any stage, you need to be using a version of SketchUp that is authorized for commercial work, which make is not.

On the technical side I see no reason why what you are talking about could not be done in SketchUp Pro. The ability is there, limited only by your learning and understanding of the program.

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I understand. What about making free videos on youtube that are monetized?

Do you think it would could run such a detailed model on a low to mid range gpu? I have a rx 470, which is very close to a geforce 1060. Most professionals use autocad, but clearly this software is much less resource intensive but its also, I believe, limited in its geometric complexity?

I have a 4690k, 16gb of ram, windows 10, and a 4 gb rx 470 gpu.

@colin Can you or other SketchUp team members provide guidance or comment on using SketchUp Make 2017 (or SketchUp Free on the web) to create videos that are hosted on YouTube where the YouTube channel receives revenue from the adds etc. which are displayed with such videos?

What about patreon donations through sketchup tutorials on youtube? What about youtube making money through their advertisements, but I did not turn on the advertisements?

Anything you do to make money with what you do with SketchUp even seeking donations, would commonly be considered commercial use and you’d need an appropriate license.

Since you don’t seem to be clear on it, you should probably seek legal counsel to get it sorted.

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And just to save you the time and energy of waiting for an answer on this from any trimble team member, it won’t happen. An answer from anyone on the team would become an official statement that every ‘lawyer’ in the world would point at and say ‘but they said’ even if it was a personal opinion and nothing to do with legal or company policy.

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They really need to sort out the problems with their licensing on ebay. Its clear to me that every day scammers are likely creating virus ridden software with their name on it.

Trimble doesn’t sell SketchUp on eBay. The legitimate source for SketchUp in the US is from sketchup.com

So if I use microsoft word while making a youtube video, those donations belong to microsoft and youtube? I think in general you have the right attitude. IF they can, they will.

I don’t know what Microsoft’s terms of use are for Microsoft Office but as far as I know, you have to buy it to use it.

You have been talking about using a free version of SketchUp to make money. That is clearly a violation of the agreement you make with Trimble in using SketchUp.

Oh I agree. Fortunately we do not have to pay the electric companies software engineers who supply our power during the time our pc is on and being used to create videos. Nor do we pay google while filming in our vehicle while using google maps.

And the list goes on.

I guess my point is that the software is not free. And if an opportunity arises to make money it will be defended. Is this such a case? Does trimble sue google when their adds are placed on videos or do they just sue the person who made the video but made no money? Does trimble sue youtube users who ask for donations for helping out with their software? I hope so. Software is hard to make. I am terrible at math. Thank goodness for developers.

Yes you do. Or somebody pays the electric bill even if you don’t.

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Totally agree Wayne, what you are proposing is a great project, there are multiple levels of satisfaction here. For yourself in doing and completing the project. The act of sharing, giving, donating is as much self caring as it is caring for others.
For others who gets to benefit, you may make it possible for them to learn from what you have shared and it gives them the opportunity to perhaps use it.

Thanks in advance - great project


Ps: didn’t read the whole thread before sending


I can’t even get donations to make it free, but I bet in the right context policy is very flexible.

got a bit carried away here,…

Not true. I called trimble a few months ago and their are valid resellers on ebay according to a trimble rep. If you really press the issue, maybe I can record a conversation of them saying so?

The problem is verifying its a genuine copy. She rep stated all copies on ebay were genuine, which is hard to verify. I have not done that, nor would I unless I was paid.

It will either register or not