Component/group/file copyright feature

I changed my workflow some time ago using only SU/LO for design and construction documents… and the issue that I face time to time is clients/ consultant asking for models because nowadays everything is in 3D…they need the 3d version not only 2D files.

  • if your model has commercial libraries you can not share them
  • coordination problems if people start to modify what you sent.
  • of course copyright issues,etc

would possible to lock a group or component with a password so they can’t modify or even better save as/export a new format like “skp” so you could import it into a new file or open in SU but is not editable.



@flino, I don´t have that specifc answer for your question, but a good solution is to create a video using the scenes transitions that the client can pause at any time he/she want to (and, of course, send the PDF made into LayOut, with the measuraments, quotes, etc). :grinning:

Consultants are asking for 3d models, clients after seeing their project in 3D they also want to keep walking around…sounds good but means you lose control where your model is and the assets that you have in there… It is a request and I think having an option to lock changes to the model would be good anyways.

This (and similar intellectual property protection requests) are very long standing requests.

See other discussions (where some support and others oppose) :

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I would like to add my weight (if significant) to this request too

The only thing to me is modifying the geometry… it’s very common now that people ask for SU model than any other software because SU is accessible to everybody.
This option may help manufacturers to upload more accurate models to the 3d warehouse without worries of extracting or manipulating the geometry for different uses.

We do not need more overmodelled bloat in the 3D Warehouse, we prefer quick, lean objects that look right and have the right overall dimensions. And models must be able to be inserted into user’s projects, not only viewed.

I vote against. The developers have more important things to do (How about Fat Faces?). There are already alternatives like 3D PDF for people who really need them. If something is read-only there is no benefit of it being a SketchUp model.


…I prefer to have a model that can be used in any situation from 3d views in SketchUp, construction documents and renderings… I’m not in the close enough club for sure… having that precision allows minimizing errors and visits to the site to be sure everything is in place.

Independently of the reasons…I assume that implementing a password protection for blocks is not difficult and if you need it is there… to me, make sense.

when you send models …you send assets, know-how, systems, workflows, structure,etc and besides that working in groups inside or out of your office is like setting permissions in Revit with worksets… it can be used in many ways.

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But how would it work? If a user places a one of these projected components in their project, would that prevent them from making any measurements anywhere in the model? How would they know it’s related to what component? Or should the inference engine refuse to snap to the projected component only? Only for certain tools but not others? What would happen to sub-components of the protected components, would those also be protected? Would they show up in the component browser? What would happen if the same sub component is used elsewhere within the model already? How would these components be handled in the API? If not accessible renderes can’t use them.

I just can’t see any way to implement this on a component layer that makes sense to the user and doesn’t break extensions.

If anything should be protected it should be the full model, not individual components. Export to protected 3D PDF directly from SketchUp could be a really neat feature.

Also, as Anssi said we do not want more super detailed components in the warehouse. If this feature would attract manufacturers who upload overly detailed models I’m completely against it. These users should be deterred, not attracted, as they lower the usefulness of the warehouse. Manufacturers should learn how to lower the level of details on their models.

The only thing that one won’t be able to do is opening the component to modify the geometry…For manufacturers like any in 3D, they have to provide a useful model and acceptable levels of detail…SU is almost a standard in any design firm, getting the detail need it for using them in details is important IMO. Manufacturers can have those models for download on their own website like some companies have next to Autocad/Revit libraries.
To me, the main part of this feature is sharing models to other people for view them or background for what they need to be used them. Most of the people also use 3d warehouse but some other people also could share projects with commercial libraries inside a protected model.
If a team is working on a project that may help to lock some part of the project preventing to be modified… I don’t know but it could have multiple ways to go.

There is no way within SketchUp to prevent a component from being edited but still allow it to be read. Anyone could just make a plugin that reads all the component content and copies it into a fresh unlocked component. If the component can’t even be read renderers and other extensions wont be able to access it which totally defeats the purpose of having it in SketchUp. If you just want to look at it but in no way use it, use a locked PDF.

As a developer, you know better how works SU today…If it’s a request and makes sense for SU team they would resolve the issues that you mentioned… Today, when you lock a component you can’t edit it but it can be used in renderings, even you can export it…it could be like that only that you need a password to unlock it… It’s not much different what we have right now with some improvements. PDF is not a good option because some people still need the model for backgrounds.

This is in fact true even of the 3D PDF file format. Applications are available that can convert even those into other 3D formats. For a 3D model to display correctly, an application has to be able to read it. If the inner workings of a product are to be kept secret, the easiest way is to model only what can and must be shown and leave the actual manufacturing details out. It would also, again, reduce file size.

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It is extremely different. The current component/group locking doesn’t in any way hinder you from accessing the data, it merely tells the tools in SU not to touch it. It’s like sticking a post-it to your front door saying you don’t want to be disturbed, not as actually locking the door. Anyone could just ignore the post-it.

Locking the content of a component with a password would require that password for the component to be visible in renderings. For protecting data there is no difference between edit privilege and read privilege; if you can read it you can make a copy and then edit the copy. You can’t demand having a password protection for data and at the same time have access to it without a password. It’s a self-contradiction.

how do you get pass the lock without unlocking ?

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