Contact/License problem

Dear Forumers!

I’d like to use 3D textures from 3D Warehouse for research purpose. As I’ve seen in the ToS, I need to ask the developers directly, if I want to use the textures for my research, but I didn’t find any contact option on the developers profile, so I’d like to ask, that how can I contact with the developers via the website.

Thank you: Robert

I am no lawyer, but I understand that anything downloadable from the 3D warehouse is essentially in the public domain, but notifying the author for commercial use would be good form.


Not at all:

"Can I include models from 3D Warehouse in the research project I am publishing?

Answer: No, this is impermissible aggregation. You need approval of each developer."

1 Like

We’re working on ways to make this easier (contacting the owner of the model). How many models are we talking here?


I’m (and my teammates) working on virtual rooms , so I need like 20-30 type of textures (like furnitures ) right now. That number could be more, than thousand in a few months below.

Thanks for your reply: Robert

OK, I’ll let you know when we’re ready to show something.

Hi Barry, so can I confirm that currently there is no way of directly contacting the developer of a graphic to gain approval for publishing use?

I am part of a team working on an education app for young people which is commercial in nature. We would like to use some of the graphics from Sketchup Warehouse as 2D images in our application - for education purposes.

We have found the T & C’s and FAQ’s a bit contradictory and confusing. Would be great if you can help gain some clarity :slight_smile:

And is this urgent, or can you hold a bit? This is a feature that we had, that makes sense, so while we cannot comment about futures, I can ask you when you need this feature.

The FAQ you’re referring to attempts to distinguish between the use of models in a Combined Work (See section 7.B.2), which is permissible, and the aggregation and redistribution of models (See section 7.C.5 and 7.C.6) which is not permissible.

Researchers often ask whether they have the ability, per the Terms of Use, to aggregate and redistribute the set of models that were used in their research. Blanket redistribution of this kind (distinguishable as research or otherwise) is not permissible w/o the approval of the developer of the models. I’m happy to elaborate if there are further questions about why that is.

With respect to the issue about 3D Warehouse not providing a means of contacting content developers directly, that’s something we’re working on.

@henry_fowkes if you, or anyone else, has specific questions about the ToU, I’d ask that you submit them to the email address provided in the Terms of Use ( We’re more than happy to help get answers to any questions you might have. Based on the information you’ve provided, I’d suspect there’s reason to be optimistic about your use case.

Hi Mike,

Thanks for your response Mike!

I have previously sent an email to the address indicated on the ToU. I haven’t yet received a response and have followed this up today.

When you use the term ‘redistribution’ does this include the use of any graphics from the 3D warehouse? I.e. if we are using the Sketch Up models as 2D graphics within our product. With users unable to edit or directly download specific elements of these graphics.

So to confirm: we are required to gain approval from the developers to use graphics from the 3D warehouse, but currently there is no means to contact them? Can this be done by individual request? e.g. SketchUp can contacts the developer, and the developer has the option of contacting us?

I understand, as per your last message, that I may need to direct these questions to the ToU email address.

Thanks for your time!


Hi Henry,

I sent an email to check on the status of your inquiry and hope to have a response back from our legal department soon.

Caveat: I’m not a lawyer, so the following is my personal, unofficial response to your question.

If we’re talking about downloading a model from 3D Warehouse, and then redistributing it in its original, unmodified form, that form of redistribution is not allowed by the terms.

The Terms allow users to download 3D models from 3D Warehouse, use them in Creations (in your case, turning the models into 2D graphics would likely constitute a derivative work that fits this definition), and/or include those models in the context of a larger product (defined in the terms as a “Combined Work”).

Only if you were interested in requesting permission for use cases that the Terms do not already allow.

That is correct. 3D Warehouse does not currently provide a feature that would enable users to contact other users directly. In some cases, you may be able to track down a means to contact an author, by looking for information that may be included in their model/collection descriptions, or URL fields. We realize this situation is less than ideal and are working to improve things.

This is not a process that we’re prepared to facilitate at this time.

Mike, can I ask you what that means?

I can’t find the sections 7.C.5 and 7.C.6 that you mentioned, are those legal texts, or is that somewhere from the Terms of Use of SketchUp Warehouse?

I would like to use a model from the Warehouse for a patent drawing that is filed with, and later will be published by, the Patent Office. This SketchUp Warehouse model will be modified by me, and will be one of like a dozen drawings in the patent application – is such use allowed?

Thanks very much already for your feedback!

Looks like the sections may have been shuffled around aa bit since my last response. Looking at the General Model License now (which is a second tab alongside the Terms of Use tab at the top of the page), and the sections referenced above are now numbered as 1.B.ii, 2.v and

Hope that helps. let me know if you have other questions.

Thank you Mark for the quick answer and for the information. The respective part of the Terms of Use already clarifies my above question in that I may freely use the model in this case.

For me the only question left is how to interpret 2.i. under "License Restrictions". There it reads:

You may not remove, obscure or alter any product identification, proprietary, copyright, trademark or other notices contained in the Model or accessed in conjunction with or through the Model;

In my case it is about this model of a mountain bike. The original looks like this:

…and I’d like to use it as a line drawing. For this I set the view in SketchUp to “View” -> “Face Style” -> “Hidden Line”, which makes it look like this:

In this line drawing, you can’t see any of the stickers and decals with the brand names etc. anymore. However, I haven’t changed the model for this in any way, I only chose the above view mode.

This does not violate the above cited license restriction 2.i., right?

Thank you for having a look into this!

Warning! Non Lawyer answer! Do not take as legal advice!

Seems to me that your hiding or obscuring the brand identities if you distribute the hidden line style image without the underlying SketchUp model. Without the underlying model, the branding elements aren’t recoverable.

Well, I think that the corresponding passage under “License Restrictions” that reads:

You may not remove, obscure or alter any product identification, proprietary, copyright, trademark or other notices contained in the Model or accessed in conjunction with or through the Model

…means that no product identification, copyright or trademark may be removed if it is a manufacturer’s mark belonging to the creator of the model.

For example, when a furniture manufacturer uploads models of their furniture to the warehouse that are visibly marked with their logo. Then the company has a legitimate interest in ensuring that the logo is not removed or obscured when their furniture models are used in architectural work, for example.

However, the above mountain bike model was not created and uploaded by the manufacturer, but drawn from scratch by a private user. Insofar it is questionable whether the user was even allowed to use the manufacturer logos in the model. On the other hand, since the model has not been created by the manufacturer, the manufacturer also cannot demand that logos remain visible in the model.

Therefore, it seems justifiable and legally conclusive to me that the logos in the model may be hidden if the model is processed and used in other ways.

My take on it.

Hi Mike, I have a similar query surrounding use permission. Some research students I am working with have created two vehicle models based on heavily adapted sketchup files. We have commented to request access from the two creators, but have unfortunately not received responses and are not sure what else we can try.

Simple geometry from the car models has been taken and heavily adapted to fit our research. We want to publish the results in an academic paper (part of a PhD). Are you able to guide us on how we should proceed?

Many thanks,


Hello Claire,
We’re unfortunately unable to offer guidance or interpretations of the Terms of Use outside of referencing the Terms themselves and the associated FAQs (questions 9 & 10 may be relevant to your situation).

cc @petersaal @TheGuz

I am running into the same issue as Claire. I want to contact the developers to ask for permission to use 2 models in a figure I’m making for a paper, but there is not even a button to contact people. I commented but have not received an answer so far. Any solution?

I don’t know what you are looking for, but you can always model it yourself. That way you don’t need permission from anybody.