[Feature Request] Collaborative Modeling



My.SketchUp opens up many exciting doors. It would be amazing for the collaborative process to be able to have simultaneous modeling happening by 2+ users. Essentially, 2 users in the exact same model space, collaborating and building together. Granted, this opens up its fair share of complications, but I truly see a lot of potential with this.

I haven’t fully messaged the idea, but I basically see it working with a similar “share” feature as other modeling software. An initial user “shares” a model with another user with “edit” capability via Trimble Connect. The model could potentially have a “color-by-user” feature to clearly distinguish between the users. When another user is within a group or component it could “lock” the other user out for better management. I see amazing potential for real-time collaborative design within this type of environment.

Have I missed the target? Could this potentially make it on the radar? Does anyone else see this as a viable tool?



That would be cool! Sketchup working as Google Drive, with a chat messaging in the side. I find this would be particularly useful for conceptual meetings with laptops, ipads, phones… whatever! (In this scenario I’d let some clients take hold of the model)


It would be great if i could invite a client or college via e-mail as a guest to participate in a drawing session.
Ideally this “guest” should not have to register during this session into my-sketchup to take part in this session.
Of course the owner of the model "host"could give the guests different permissions to alter the model or not.


The question is not if, but when will it be available? :sunglasses:


I like your thinking JQL!

I also like the idea that “guest” modelers do not necessarily have to register to a “shared” modeling session. This definitely speaks to SketchUp’s theme of “3D for Everyone.” I also think this feature might expose many to 3D modeling who otherwise would not.


I know that this topic is over about 204 days old, but this is a great feature to add in my.Sketchup! I’m currently in a STEM club and sometimes, we involve ourselves with 3D modelling. Communication and accessibility is key when deciding how large a part is or how the object’s shape should be, so the chat box and the collaborative modelling is great for this!


We would like to hear more of your feedback on this topic. How would you define, “Collaboration?” If you are in an architectural design team, what do you need to work together?


This would be very fun when modelling with friends. It would basically be a multiplayer mode :smiley: . I also think it would be useful to be able to edit the same file simultaneously and reduce the risk of collisions or accidentally overwrite each others work. Currently you can work on individual copies and later copy entities back into the original or you could divide the master model into components that are edited as separate files and reloaded into the master. With this change you could just model directly in the same file without having to think about all that.


Forget formal projects! (OK, not really) Collaboration would be useful in this forum!

I don’t even want to try to count the number of threads where a Sage has set up a private session with someone looking for help. I’m sure that simultaneous model editing would make these sessions far more productive.


In my opinion simultaneous mode edition only makes sense on different components. I cannot imagine a guest erasing an edge of a face I’m trying to texture or pushpull.

It’s, however, quite natural to me, that I could define a set of permissions to models and components, or subcomponents that would work as permissions on folders for a shared network drive:

  • the model is accessible to the whole team and to consultants or clients, etc;
  • the whole building can be seen by all or some components are never visible to some people;
  • the building can be edited by all, or some components are locked to some people;
  • locking components from edition would still allow them to be moved around, rotated, scaled and painted (painting the component and affecting only the default colored faces, not painting inner faces). It could also be deleted, hidden, or changed layer.
  • A component that is being edited is greyed out and locked as point above. All instances of that component are also locked. You can still move it, rotate it, scale it and paint it. The person who is editing the component will see the component unchanged, but the surrounding context will rotate, scale and move arpund the component, to reflect the changes that have been made on the global model.
  • A component can be edited in model or in an external model but, when it’s being edited in either case, it will be locked and greyed out.
  • However, you can still double click it and get inside it, but only to access one of it’s child components. As someone else is editing that context you cannot edit its geometry, only edit it’s nested components
  • So Editing a component will not lock the edition of its parent component nor its own child components.

In folders terms, depending on permissions:

  • you can view the whole folder structure or only some parts of it;
  • you can access all the folders you can view;
  • you can view all the files or only the files of certain folders;
  • you can edit all or only some files or folders or only some of the folder you can access;
  • this way some people can only have access to the topmost folders and files, while others can only have access to the bottommost folders and files, but all work on the same folder structure simultaneously.

In architectural office terms, on a simple building, part of a simple masterplan, with a structure model example:

  • The master architect accesses all components and is able to edit them all;
  • The architect dealing with the masterplan or with the landscape, sees only terrain, roads, exteriors and builidings facades/volumes;
  • The building’s architect might see the masterplan but might leave it out of sight, he can view the facades of other buildings, but not their interiors;
  • The consultant working on the structure of the building sees the structure and building but not the masterplan nor all details of furniture layout or bathrooms and cabinets for example;
  • the guy working on window component might not see all the building;
  • however if the guy is editing a window component that is copied around all the buildings, everyone will have that window locked.

Its complex but I hope it makes sense


even if from the mechanical area I would have a long look at the collaborative functionality of SpcCl**m and browser-based 0nshp .


I think a permission system and would be very hard to implement and work with. For this I think it’s easiest to stick to having components in separate files and control permissions on a file basis in an existing system that people know how to use, e.g. dropbox.

For simultaneous work directly in SketchUp I’m thinking it’s up to the users to discuss with each other so they no one suddenly deleted the edge that binds a face someone else is pushpulling. I’m thinking instant updates just as in Google Docs or in Minecraft.


If you’re serious about working in teams collaborativelly and online with one model then you can view it as a set of separate folders whrre each component is a folder. Simply looking at outliner relates with this idea of folders.

If you want to effectively use this model to coordinate people from different backgrounds and areas of expertise, in order to build a project that costs a lot of money if one mkes a mistake, then you must have some way to control what everyone is able to deal with.

You could, of course, work with separate files, but that is not what we are discussing, imho.

If you want sketchup to be simply fun to look at and play, you can do whatever you want, I’m not personally very interested in that.

Google drive analogy, can be used for both situations.

Trimble connect may be a better place to discuss my idea though… I understand my.sketchup might not be the place for that.


Access control could be a nice feature but I think there are other prioroties. The little experience I have with revit is that the access control is slumpsy, often doesn’t work as you would have expected and is quite distracting because you keep getting asked whether others are allowed to do what they are doing. I think it would in most cases be easiest just to discuss with each other who is doing what instead of automatically locking down parts of the model for different people. If not designed right such a feature is mostly a pain.


I think that is true when you are working only with your own team.


Just to clarify: I’m not against an access control system, I just think that if it is added it should be opt-in and before its implemented the basic drawing stuff should be implemented. It’s the SketchUp philosophy to start with something really simple and intuitive and once you get it you add more features. Many other programs are completely overwhelming and impossible to learn without help because you just don’t know where to start.


An access control system can be as inobtrusive to sketchup workflow as the advanced scene settings. The can reside on a details pannwl in outliner. The outliner filter can be revamped to have the system. And noone would notice it there.

However, unlike the current save as and reload features for external components, it should work flawlessly, whatever the collaborative environment, one has to insert himself into.

Only people who know it would use it and, if you’d want, you’d simply allow everone full access and you would have your system.

The problems arise when you don’t want everyone to have full access. That’s where the component/folder annalogy is valid.

The thing is that as architwcts we want to grant access to upper hierarchy components and lower level components, to different people at same time, and right now, this isbpretty much unmanageable.

If it would be all in the same model… It would be even worse.


I’m not against such system, I’m just saying it by default and un-configured should let everyone with access to the model edit everything. You shouldn’t have to configure it to get started. Just as with scenes, you can use them but you don’t have to use them and you can still use SketchUp without having to know how they work.


Then we agree.

I also think it should start the simple way but it shouldn’t be put off by over simplification.

Some things are so simple that they are not enough.


This is something so cool and what I am searching for!

Maybe it could become a platform like a Minecraft server. You know, many people also “modeling” together in Minecraft.