Estimated Time of Survival for SketchUp Make 2017

Hi folks,

I’ve recently decided to up my 3D modelling game, and have been using SU Make 2017. However, these days there’s a message saying “SketchUp 2017 Make isn’t getting any younger”, which has me thinking…how long do they plan on this lasting?

SketchUp Free is a bit too simplified for what I do (not to mention I don’t always have wifi when I use it), but the near $1000 (CDN) price tag on Pro is pretty heavy for me too. (I see some other options, but I don’t think the subscriptions really make sense). The future of SketchUp understandably seems to lay with those paying professional prices, and my use case appears to be falling through the cracks. It’s tough for me, but I also get it.

In any case, does anyone have a guess about what the life expectancy is for Make 2017? And am I wrong? Is there any thing else on the horizon?

I think SketchUp Make 2017 will probably still be useful for decades as long as you have a copy, but I’m guessing their website will stop offering it at some point in the next 5 years unfortunately. This is just speculation.

I think the market is going through a shaky time, in most sectors, because people are losing interest in almost everything for some reason. Here’s some data from Google Trends. It seems that most topics have plummeted in popularity over the years.





Even stuff like skateboarding

People are still using SketchUp 8 and that was released in 2010. I have SketchUp 3 installed on my Windows 10 computer and it still works fine.

At some point you will likely lose the ability to download models and components directly into SketchUp from the 3D Warehouse but you’ll still be able to use the Collada file type. As long as you are using it for your hobby and it suits your needs, don’t worry about it.

@Forestr, Corgis are up. :smiley:


It will work as long as the 2 major operating systems can run it. One day (years from now) Windows and Mac OS will update and it will no longer work. Sure there might be crutches like Windows compatibility mode but honestly that is a gamble.
If Apple decides to switch their macbooks over to arm based units that would probably kill it on those. Yes, I know that is just a rumor but so was Apple switching from PowerPC to x86. We saw how THAT played out :wink:
I’d download the installer and save it somewhere. :wink:

I guess it will last as long as your operating system and hardware can run it .

I have not tried to execute any really old programs much but would guess that compatibility is less an issue today than it was 20 years ago. I would guess you could easily keep using it for the next 20 years.

When SketchUp says time is running out they do not mean the program will stop running. They mean they will not support it anymore. For example: Auto Geolocation is no longer supported in 2016 version that I use. Developers will eventually stop creating extensions for it. But if you do not need any new capabilities then that does not matter.

Eventually 3d warehouse will stop supporting it. I think that maybe currently 2014 is the earliest and they have said they will support the previous 3 so maybe next year I will not be able to download .skp files directly for my 2016 version.

But if you do not need 3d warehouse support that does not matter.

This is because Google changed their terms of service for the Maps and Earth APIs making it impossible for SketchUp to continue using their services.

FWIW, SketchUp 2016 isn’t supported by the Warehouse now. Numerous threads on that topic already.

If it is not supported then how did I just upload a 2016 model yesterday that is now available in version 2016 format?


They may say that but obviously it is still supported.
They may not be backward converting new version models to 2016 anymore though and 2014 version is the earliest I can find.

Item from a random search. Even older components are no longer available for SU2016.

As I said, there are numerous threads on this already with plenty of 2016 users reporting that they can’t download directly from the 3D Warehouse. There are a few models still available in as 2016 files but as they do routine maintenance on the Warehouse, those will be dropping out.

Obviously you can never download a version that is newer than the version you are using so Yes there would be many people using 2016 who would report not being able to download some models from 3d warehouse.

This is from a model I created yesterday in SketchUp 2019 and uploaded to the 3D Warehouse a few minutes ago. Created in a newer version but converted to 2018 and 2017 versions by the Warehouse.

They have always created files converted for older versions but as of a few weeks ago, the SU2016 and earlier versions have been dropping out. There’s millions of files in the Warehouse so it will take some time for them to all disappear but they will. This was actually announced for SU2016 over a year ago.

As long as you can get files that suit your needs, great. Just don’t expect it to continue.

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Yes that is basically what I said in my original post.

But there is also a plugin from Eneroth that will convert newer files to 2015 and you can also use Collada format so I can actually import 2019 files into 2016 (although some data that is specific to newer versions may be lost.)

I suspect that there is a huge number of people who do not use Sketchup professionally or do not use it enough to justify the 300 dollars per year and who also do not really want to use the web app. And so there may be a continuing sub-market geared towards 2017 users.

for those with 64-bit Windows operating systems.

Does anyone know the official reason SketchUp Make got discontinued? Currently, I can only speculate about why… Are they just trying to improve the program by creating SketchUp Free? I think I recall them talking about the many benefits of switching to web, such as automatic updates.

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SketchUp 6 still runs perfectly fine on my Windows machine. It’s a bit over a decade old.

You may have noticed that SketchUp is not anymore “3D for Everyone” since 21st May 2013 (since then just “the easiest way to draw in 3D” or “where great ideas get to work”).

For me it didn’t seem like a “switch” from one product to the other but two separate developments and a decision. Before that, SketchUp for Web (or my.sketchup) was an additional product for education and mobile and like a demo app “try it before downloading”. Independent from that, they had already tried various ways to fight piracy and unlicensed usage of SketchUp Make (first non-Pro SketchUp was “portable” and worked without preferences, then it got a forced trial of Pro and would degrade to free, then it got a license file for agreement to non-commercial use and would degrade to an expired disfunctional Pro when run as portable app without preferences and license file). The switch only occured with a clear discontinuation of one product, SketchUp Make.

I see it similar to Firefox: It used to be the browser whose identity was defined by addons. When browsers simplified and reduced their UIs, people felt less need for addons (and that people nowadays let themselves be consumed by platform economy, drawn to the platform who advertizes louder).
What is SketchUp Make/Free’s identity when it is not extensions anymore? Is the web version easy to use for real stuff, without extensions? SketchUp will remain a purely professional app and interest by the general public will diminish.

When using software for spare time projects, it is for me ok playing an old game and knowing it was a nice pastime when it is over. But when investing spare time and effort for building something long-lasting, I would take into consideration whether the software has stalled development years ago (same criteria as a commercial company would have). Even if the discontinued software still works fine now. Afterall I want to be able to open the files and further develop the project in 5, 10 years whenever I enjoy to!

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It’d still be SketchUp, but minus one of its coolest features… extensions. Also, I wonder if there’ll be less new extensions after they’re only for the paid version. I assume some extensions are made by people using the free version, but pricing them out would prevent them from making extensions for the community since extensions made in the 2017 version might not be compatible with the latest version. I honestly almost never use SketchUp Free because I like to use lots of textures and extensions, but I use SketchUp Make a few times a week… sometimes daily. It’s sad to see my favorite program get discontinued.

The controls are easy to use, but I have problems with crashes. It’s good for planning personal projects, but isn’t as good for realism because SketchUp Free doesn’t have customizable textures.


The piracy thing is surely a concern for them. I think you’re missing a couple of other reasons for switch to web based versions, though. One is their commitment to supplying SketchUp for education. Many schools, at least here in the US, can’t afford to have full blown computers for their students but they can manage with cheap Chrome Books. Operating system isn’t really an issue for SketchUp for Web. It’s much easier to manage development and for the schools’ IT folks, it’s a lot easier to manage because they don’t have to push updates to the computers using it when there are updates to be had.

It also gives the Linux users, the majority of whom aren’t willing to pay anything, an option.

I haven’t used it a great deal but I believe it is capable of a lot more than many folks give it credit for. I modeled a couple of bedside tables from start to finish in SketchUp Free. Admittedly a fairly simple model. This was a year and a half back and there have been improvements since then. In the desktop versions of SketchUp, I would have used an extension to cut the mortises and dovetail joints but before there were extensions to do that, I did them with native tools so no big deal.

I also drew this knob for the drawers in SketchUp Free. I would have used an extension in the desktop version to draw the profile before Follow Me but it was really no big deal to use the native tools.

get some nuts and beer and proceed here: