Bitterly, bitterly disappointed by this anaemic version of the old Make


I don’t work for Trimble by the way, I am just a user so no idea when they swill stop access or payment methods.

I don’t have a credit card (not that common here) but I guess you could use one to purchase it and then you are paying every month (but with interest).

What exactly was the problem you had between Make and Pro, essentially they are exactly the same with an identical UI, shortcuts, and tools (with Make having a few less tools and inport/export options).


Um … about six hundred euros? :wink:

I need many of the features and capabilities of Make that are conspicuous by their absence in the online versions. Because I work with quite large complex models I also need the extra speed and solidity of being desktop. But I certainly do not need Layout, 3D exporters, boolean solids, 3D cameras and the other extras that distinguish Pro from Make.

As long as Trimble continue to make Pro available in desktop form then they are, by definition, able to keep Make available in desktop form as it is simply Pro with some features disabled.

What I (and I think Lyn) would like to see is Make retained and we are indicating clearly that we would be happy to pay for it at a price that is tailored to both it’s assets over the web version and its limitations compared to the full Pro.

I really think that is an entirely legitimate and reasonable request. :slightly_smiling_face:


<yes indeed, but in this case I was specifically replying to Lyn who had issues with the usability of both desktop apps.


Ah! I thought you were talking in more general terms because Lyn had been asking about payment methods in her previous reply. 'Scuse me for the confusion …


SketchUp Make 2015 is software installed on your computer. There is nothing that Trimble can do to cause that software to cease functioning. In particular, the (no-cost) license granted by Trimble for using SketchUp Make 2015 has no end-date - it lasts forever.

What will likely cause your copy of SketchUp Make 2015 to stop functioning some day is if you install an upgrade to the Windows operating system on that computer, which happens to have a compatibility issue. Because the code for SketchUp Make 2015 was frozen by Trimble in late 2014, that version of SketchUp code only knows how to deal with Windows releases that existed up to that point in time. Microsoft has and will continue to release new versions of Windows. Microsoft has a surprisingly good track-record for maintaining reasonably good compatibility from release to release. However, surely there will be a day when a change in a future Windows release is incompatible with SketchUp Make 2015 in some significant manner. If you install that hypothetical and today-unknown version of Windows on your computer, then your copy of SketchUp Make 2015 would no longer function correctly.

SketchUp Make 2015 is not particularly sensitive to whether or not the computer is connected to the Internet. In other words, you can use SketchUp Make 2015 perfectly fine on a computer that is ONLINE or OFFLINE.


I just wonder if OnShape is going to catch up with Sketchup if Trimble executes its strategy as laid out by Mark. What Trimble is missing, is what made Sketchup the #1 3D modelling software: the average Joe could try his hand at a first-rate 3D software that was simple to use! If he got good enough, he could go to Pro to get additional features.

What you are proposing, is actually splitting Sketchup into 2 different products that work two different ways, with two entirely separate performance types. That is what Mark is missing from what the original poster is trying to convey: This is not about just bumping up the performance of Free: it is that Free is entirely different, and deeply flawed. Sketchup Make never was like that. It was free, fast, easy, dependable, and Wow! could a guy make some cool stuff! That is what made it attractive.

I started with Sketchup. I have started using OnShape, which also has a free version. Their free is FULL-BLOWN parametric modeling. All the actual modelling tools (including the Boolean ones like Subtract which are reserved for Sketchup Pro) work in the free version of OnShape. Sketchup’s rudimentary dimensioning can’t even touch OnShape’s, where you can drag the dimension around, enter something in it, and if it is constrained, change the size of the model from the dimension! Actually, it is SolidWorks, full blown, plus some, and for free.

OnShape prevents professionals from misusing the free version, by making it that you cannot have a private document. You can have as many public ones as you like. I totally get the need for software vendors to make a living, and prevent misuse of a free version of their product.

Given the questionnaire I received a while ago, Trimble is looking for return on investment from Sketchup, and are going to push the price to hit the sweet spot of maximum revenue. Which I get. I would anticipate somewhere around $1000 dollars, as getting any more expensive than that is going to push people to SolidWorks or Inventor. However, like Guitar Center, if you let people come in when they are kids and strum a professional-quality guitar for free, guess who they are going to come to when they are grown up and ready to go pro? Yep.

And why does AutoDesk let university students use their full-blown software for free? Yep–guess what they buy when they are graduated?

But Sketchup is not worth $1000. They have major and fundamental issues, like the dimensions, that have to change if they are going to compete with the big boys. I mean, when you zoom out, and your dimensions become a cloud that obscures the model, this is in no way in competition with Inventor, Solidworks, etc.

But Sketchup hit a huge niche: the need for affordable modelling software for those who don’t need the functionality of SolidWorks/Inventor.

So, my 2 cents worth is that Trimble revamp Free to be like Make–fast, lean, local, and robust. Sure, give print-outs a watermark to force people who are not being honorable about using Make solely for non-commercial work (which is probably the root cause of all this, not Trimble) to get the professional version in order to submit their work for commercial purposes. Sure, disable or limit features that more advanced users would want. But keep enough functionality for amateurs to get a feel for it first-rate modelling, but not enough for commercial users to be able to use it for commercial work. Change the Free version to be like the Make version–that is local, not chained to the Internet, fast, and working sweet! Free is a better marketing name anyway…

Personally, I think this would do the trick:

The Free version:

  • Enable the Eneroth Solid Model tools
  • Limit to 3 scenes
  • Limit to 3 layers
  • Limit to 3 styles
  • Limit to 10 plug-ins
  • Limit file size to…20 meg? Whatever is about the point where a truly commercial project would begin.
  • Disable most rendering tools plug-ins, as they are needed for presentation to clients and would be appropriate for commercial work.
    *Watermark print-outs

The “Shop” version:

$175 permament license, $25 per year for upgrade rights.

  • Limit to 5 scenes
  • Limit to 5 layers
  • Limit to 5 styles
  • Limit to 15 plug-ins
  • Limit file size to…40 meg? Whatever is about the point where a truly commercial project would begin.
  • Disable only the most high-end rendering tools plug-ins.
    *No watermark on print-outs

The Pro version:

$812.84 permament license, $96.84 per year for upgrade rights.

*No limit on scenes

  • No Limit on layers
  • No limit on styles
  • No limit on plug-ins
  • No limit on file size
  • No limit on rendering plug-ins.

That way, you welcome people by providing what Sketchup what it is–awesome, free, fast, robust 3D modelling; the opportunity to get good at something without spending an arm and a leg…yet at the same time give the shareholders in Trimble their due return on investment, by making it pretty much impossible to use Sketchup for serious commercial work. Let the guy who starts something in his garage be able to have something affordable on a really tight budget, that can be used for “light” commercial work while he gets his business up and running. When he “goes pro”, Pro is there and ready.

And fix those silly dimensions, if you are really going to “go pro” with Sketchup.

My two cents worth.



How would you like to see Dimensions improved?


I can’t speak for others, but one thing that has always bugged me about dimensions is that they easily lose their “connection” the the underlying geometry, For example, if you select several dimensions, group them into a component so you can put them on a separate layer, then those dimensions are now “disconnected” from the geometry they originally measured. If you change the size of that geometry, the dimensions no longer update to show the new size. I often have several sets of dimensions in my models, and I assign them to layers so that I can turn them on or off in different scenes. But that means I have to manually update them if I change the underlying model. And that can be become a BIG issue if there are several hundred dimensions on a few dozen layers that all need checking! Fixing that one single issue so that every dimension always remains “connected” to the original geometry (even when it is on a layer that is grouped under another layer that is on yet another layer!), would be a major improvement.


Don’t group your dimensions, just put them on a layer and they will remain connected.
Here you can see I have added two dimensions to one layer and two to another and so can turn them on and off separately, they are connected to the geometry so they will auto update.
Also I have set the three dimensions to the right as Height and the .26 as Points and you can see how they behave differently when you zoom in and out.
No need for them to cover the model.


Probably caused by the enhanced OpenGL requirements of SU since version 2017 in connection with an incapable grahics card driver of your integrated low-end intel HD graphics system.

With the core functionality (= modeling & extensions) already available in Make enabling cherry picking for customers by killing their Pro sales appears not to be a very sensible business concept…


Well yes and no … The discontinuation of a free Make is obviously so as not to pull the rug from under the feet of the new web products. It’s free and superior - and is therefore an obstacle to promoting the new products. That much is clear and from a Trimble perspective makes perfect sense.

But why discontinue it? There is an alternative. Why not keep it and price it at a Pro-Lite level since effectively that’s what it is. This way Trimble doesn’t disappoint existing users who have used it for years and who want desktop solidity and speed but don’t need all the bells and whistles of the expensive full monty Pro.

Customers get to keep at a reasonable price what they are otherwise going to lose entirely and Trimble starts to make money from what they previously gave away for free. That does look to me like a sensible business concept.

Now I am not a business expert. But isn’t that a win, win for Trimble and their customers?!


yes and no … you missed the point, there are no real bells and whistles of the Pro version besides the commercial usage (what is regularly ignored) and the vector-based data exchange formats (what can be circumvented).

The Make version contains already the main assets of SketchUp (= modeling and extensions) and therefore would require to be priced in the Pro region (= U$ 575,- plus maintenance)… deducting several hundred bucks for removing seldom used funtionality as LO, SB, DCs, reports and geo location is “cherry picking” and surely not an appropriate approach.


Oh Box! Thank you!

I have used Sketchup for donkey’s years and have often wished I could get dimensions to scale relative to model instead of staying absolute relative to screen. I looked everywhere for an option for this and, in the end, just accepted that there wasn’t one. Now I know that, tucked away in plain sight, there is! I am ashamed to say I had never even noticed the presence of the little Height checkbox in the Fonts dialogue … or, if I ever did, failed completely to realise it’s implications.

You’ve made my day! :grinning:


Hmmmm … never looked at it that way round. In effect you are suggesting that (with the exception of boolean solids) Make and Pro have all the same modelling tools. The difference being that Pro has extras for layout and presentation, producing calculations and forms for materials and other construction related calculations. Plus interfacing with other professional engineering and architectural vector file formats, full camera placements, and 3D export to other modellers with more sophisticated rendering engines.

Well again yes and no … perhaps you are right and I should not be calling them ‘bells and whistles’, perhaps they are simply ‘extras’.

As a private individual I am a simple modeller who mostly exports 2D to Photoshop, or occasionally produces a technical drawing if he wants a new piece of furniture made for his home. So for me, in this private context, the extras are far less important and valuable than the modeller.

But, for many years, I used Sketchup Pro in a professional context and the biggest single difficulty was interchange with other professionals using other softwares and formats. In the commercial field the extra features are vital since without them it is virtually impossible to use Sketchup in anything but a vacuum. Those extras, of which you tend to be a little dismissive, are the key to full professional use communicating with other professionals. Without them Sketchup is only a basic modeller, However good it may be - and I think its marvellous - it is still of very limited use in a professional context without those extras. In my professional context the extras were not extras … they were necessities. That makes them just as valuable, if not more so, than the modeller.

Maybe, as you suggest, I am missing the point and my “bells and whistles” are as you put it “seldom used functionality”. But I think your argument can looked at exactly the opposite way round … to many users they are absolute essentials.

Perhaps appropriately for a 3D drawing software … it’s a matter of perspective.


Hi Liam, thank you for your kind response. This is exactly what I would like to propose, since i do not need anything fancy and would not attempt the Pro Version again, although it may have been an issue with Microsoft as the Crash events I experienced actually came from Microsoft with a Warning at the time. After reverting back to windows 8.1 and installing Make 2015 I have never had anymore issues and would seriously like to continue with Make 2015. As mentioned I am prepared to pay for it too.
Thank you to all who responded, truly appreciated. Best Lynda


Very funny clip!


Hi Tom, I would like to thank you for your kind response and pleased to hear that I
can continue to use Sketchup Make 2015. Since I am not a tech fundi and all set up. I would seriously like to continue using Make 2015 and I hope and pray that Trimble will at some stage allow us to Purchase Make.
To be honest I battled with the Pro Version. However a big thank you fr your advice and kind response. Best Lyn


Just get a free account at OnShape, make a simple rectangle and dimension it, then move the dimension text around. It will be obvious. With Sketchup, all you can do it have the dimension in the middle, outside at the start, or outside at the end. You cannot move the text around. Also, you cannot control the size of the feature via the dimension. Also, when you zoom out, in Sketchup, the dimensions become a cloud the obscures the model. Also, the base font in OnShape is WAY more legible than in Sketchup. Also, when I’m re-sizing a component or group, and the dimension is outside the group, often it is very difficult to see the dimension. Also, sometimes dimensions in Sketchup have weird ways they disappear as the model is rotated.


Exactly. If Sketchup really wants to “go pro”, then they need to step up the game for professionals. Really, Sketchup is a fun project that just grew up. If Trimble really wants to make it a professionally-oriented product, they need to pay attention to these various areas. Bring in solids from Inventor, ProE, Catia, SolidWorks, etc. Get the dimensions professional. Have an option to make solids a solid not a hollow box! Etc.


And yet in your post above you have displayed your lack of knowledge on how the program works.
If you scroll up a few posts you will see that your Dimension issue is a non issue.