Thanks Julian, I was trying to find other options for precast concrete detailing, rather using other softwares thats killing me on updates. I know su is a very powerful tool, still new to it but i find it very easy and i found so plenty extensions when i was trying to play one of my projects.
With a little ingenuity you could probably get something done with Profile Builder 2 as well.
probably, thanks mate…if i could only get my head into developing extensions, just watched how to develop one a while ago on youtube, after watching it for like two minutes i cancelled it.
I will say it is a lot of work to develop a good plugin, I’ve been at it for almost two years now so I fill like I’ve pretty much wrapped my head around the whole process. The trick is to reuse code as much as possible once a plugin gets complicated. Coding the user interface is the most tedious part in my opinion.
My biggest pet peeve is not having the boolean operations at my disposal since that requires the “Pro” version of SketchUp.
If you consider that your plugins are aimed at commercial usage, which in turn requires a Pro license, then having the extensions as “Pro only” makes sense from a licensing point of view, the draw-back is you will lose your “Make” users for these specific plugins, which in all fairness should be using Pro (probably a few exceptions there).
You have a valid point with the licensing I suppose. I just think that the boolean operations should be made available in the free version and the only difference between Make and Pro is the addition of the layout tools (construction drawings), but that is just my opinion.
There are a lot of casual users of SketchUp, I really don’t want to alienate them.
My plugins are aimed at both the commercial and the DIYer. With this latest RC plugin the audience will probably be mostly commercial since you don’t see much of this type of work in a residential setting.
I second what Julian said.
And disagree with this. In fact I believe that there are other tools and features that should be removed from the Make editions (because of too many violations using Make for commercial work,) or even perhaps charging for Make (say between 99 … 149 US.)
And then my.SketchUp for casual users, maybe? I kind of like that.
I guess it really depends on what you mean by commercial usage or work.
In the past I’ve only used SketchUp as a quick tool for mocking up a structural scenario to better illustrate a point to another engineer or customer. I’ve never actually used it to create construction drawings or generate a deliverable.
Does my usage of it constitute commercial work? Technically it probably does but in reality if I’m not using it to create an actual deliverable it is hard for me to justify spending money on it.
I recently spent $800.00 for a license for Woodworks Software (a structural engineering software for wood design). I would have gladly spent that $800.00 on a SketchUp Plugin that would perform the same function. If such a plugin existed and I then purchased it for commercial work does that mean I also need to pay for the SketchUp Pro since I am using the plugin in a commercial setting? I tend to disagree.
In my opinion the Plugin is really what is providing the commercial grade service, SketchUp is merely the vessel or container supporting this plugin. Now if SketchUp is being utilized to develop construction documents using its core elements then I agree it is being used for commercial work and should be upgraded to PRO.
In my mind the core elements of SketchUp should remain with Make for free. Additional features that aid in creating actual deliverables should be part of PRO. Only at that level is it competing with software like Revit and AutoCAD.
A package for creating truss and roof framing geometry should be included in PRO, similar to my Truss Plugin. Then it becomes worth it to purchase PRO. Obviously, SketchUp or Trimble has chosen a different business model which is fine, but don’t expect people to pay for core functionality they kind of expect that for free these days. What people will pay for is extended functionality.
The licensing is really not complicated. An extension / plugin for SketchUp requires it to run, it won’t do so on its own. So you need to install SketchUp and agree to the terms of service / license before it will work. After this, extensions can be loaded. If you utilize the software in any manner to supplement / support / clarify commercial work, then you’ve used it in a commercial manner.
I hate quibbling over legalese, and getting into these debates online is pointless, and I know many many people who use various tools without proper licenses… but I think you contradict yourself in your own statement.
Regardless - I’ve not been paid a few times in my life, and it isn’t pleasant.
Can’t justify the cost? Then don’t justify having the tool installed for your use. Even if its just ‘for mocking up a structural scenario to better illustrate a point to another engineer or customer’
When I talk about justification I mean I am using the software on a daily basis to complete actual deliverables (ie. drawings, calculations, studies etc…)
In the past I’ve typically used SketchUp 3 or 4 times a year to create an informal mock up of a framing or structural situation. Again, this does not constitute commercial usage in my mind, this is “casual” usage. I could just as easily made a quick sketch on a napkin. Legally I probably don’t have a leg to stand on but I’m not talking legalese here I am talking “common sense”. If a drawing or sketch is part of planset, its surrounded by my title block with my logo or its has my engineer’s stamp and signature on it or is included in a document that is stamped by me then its a deliverable. I agree that everything used to create that deliverable should be considered commercial work and licensed as such.
With the introduction of Layout and the ability to do “real” work with SketchUp perhaps the tide is changing for SketchUp. Up until I began to create these SketchUp plugins I really never took SketchUp very seriously. In my mind it was more of a “layman’s” 3D modeler for those who could not use more serious tools like SolidWorks or Catia.
However, I am glad to say that my opinion has changed dramatically. I’m now convinced that SketchUp is the best 3D modeler out there, it just needs better plugins to make it comparable with these other 3D packages.
I think the real problem here is that there is no good way to determine if a user is using SketchUp or a plugin for casual/personal use or commercial work. The whole system is based on an honor system, its going to suffer some abuse, lets be realistic. Most companies don’t have any problem ponying up $695.00 for a non-expiring license, however the typical SketchUp user in my experience is not some fat cat company its your mom and pop designer who barely makes enough to pay his mortgage or its the DIYer who is trying to figure out his addition design before handing it off to a “real” designer.
If you offer a free version of anything people are going to use that version whenever and however they can, basic economics.
SketchUp would never have gotten to where it is today without its “free” version that has been embraced by the public. Commercial usage of SketchUp is actually a new thing in my experience. SketchUp will need to tread carefully to navigate the “commercial” waters and thereby increase its market share. Alienating the “free” crowd by decreasing functionality or charging more for the same product and functionality is not the answer.
Increasing the functionality of both the free and paid versions of the software is always the best answer.
I think I’ll jump off my soap box now and go back to what I do best…
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