[Feature Request] Locked (Read-Only) Models / Components



There has been some talk about having the ability to Lock or make NON-Editable some models. This would be for client review where you would not want them to edit the model. I agree that having the ability to open a sketchUP model in a browser is better than forcing someone to download and install an app and agree that having the ability to “lock” a model would be awesome. for a non-programmer it seems easy just add a check box that says Locked { } and if you check it boom only the user that created it can edit the file…I’m guessing that in the programming side it’s a bit more complex.


Hi Phil,

You may want to have a closer look at the Trimble Connect features in this area. Among other things, Connect was designed to facilitate secure sharing of design data between project stakeholders.

With Connect, you can share a model with your client in a non-editable format that still permits them to review, comment, coordinate and clash. You can also make formal ‘releases’ of data if that is appropriate for your projects.

Your my.SketchUp login also grants you access at connect.trimble.com



I see the forums are separate.

Can there not be a local “my.connect” category here in the Discourse forums ?



in my.sketchup I have two folders, with one being empty…

if i log in to connect.trimble.com I only see the empty folder and not the one with my my.sketchup models…

I have done a sync folders etc…



As usual I rushed to judgement. Thanks for schooling me John.


Hi John,

Is it possible that you’re logging into Connect with a different ID than the one you’re using to login to my.SketchUp?



I’m using my Trimble Connect login for both in Safari [same cloud stored keychain details]…

it’s also what normally I use in SU desktop, but attempting to open TC from there leads to an apache 500 error page unless I sign in with my google account…

Safari v SU show different folders and both are empty, my.sketchup shows 2 folders and ‘testing from SU’ has 2 models…



Hm. Let me take a closer look…


Back on topic…

@Tommy in Say “Hi” to my.SketchUp, said:

Part I: To create a folder with read-only permissions while using my.SketchUp, check out this video.

Part II: To invite a user to the read-only folder, one option is to create a group for your clients, and always assign that Client group to read-only mode for specific folders. I made a second video demonstrating this process.

Are the client users allowed to save the file to their own TC “filestore” ?

I guess I am asking why is a folder permission, the same as what we have been asking for, for years now, …

Which is a true locked model file format which protects IP and prevents inadvertent (or overzealous) editing ? (… and if inserted, prevents exploding.)

If someone (the model author) accidentally makes a mistake (or some server-side error occurs) and the TC folder permissions get reset back to no restrictions, … are the model file (in the folder) still read-only ?


There is bunch of BIM software for those purposes.
All you need is to export your models in standard file format like COLLADA (DAE) and publish it through BIM software to your customers.


(1) Except that many of us do not use “a bunch of BIM software.” !

(2) Many of us do NOT use ANY BIM software at all, as we are not in the building construction business.

(3) COLLADA™ is a plain text XML format, and in no way will protect intellectual property !

This topic thread is about a long standing feature request that goes back years (at least 5 years, and perhaps more.)

It is a request for somehow that SketchUp model files (not any other application’s files,) can be protected to prevent editing or export of proprietary internal resources (ie, embedded components or material textures, etc.,) nor imported into any other editing application,… but viewed in the SketchUp, editors, and Desktop and Mobile Viewers.

Directing us towards some other application, even Trimble Connect (which I have no use for whatsoever,) does not solve the desire for this feature.

It looks as though this request will never be honored by the SketchUp Team. It apparently does not fit Trimble’s business model, or else it is just seen as a money pit with no return value. I can understand this, it is basically designing a new encrypted model database format.

So I guess for offline use, I’ll just push 3rd party solutions like LightUp and the LightUp viewer.

And then hopefully this online my.SketchUp can morph into a “secure” online viewer, where (as one of the other members said,) a client or customer can just be sent a URL via email, and the model opens in a browser my.SkpViewer viewer, which would be stripped down my.SketchUp. The end viewer should not be made to have to create any “account” nor learn any new interface (like TC.)


Many thanks for peeling this conversation off the announcement thread, @DanRathbun :slight_smile:

I did some further experimentation with this workflow today, and there are some additional things to consider with the current Beta version:

  • When you open a read-only file with my.SketchUp, you can still edit the file in my.SketchUp because the app and file are both loaded locally into system memory.
  • You can click the red Save button to save the changes (again, this is a local save).
  • You can download the model as a SketchUp file.
  • When you go to sync the file in Trimble Connect, the sync will fail (because it’s Read-Only) but there’s no error message.

None of these “considerations” are a good experience, and we’re going to investigate ways to make the read-only experience better – for the model owner and the read-only user.


BIM software have very strong protection of your intellectual property.
Any files have been given to customer will be decrypted but if you would publish your work through your site powered by BIM software then customer see only WebGL content on his client side. If you add dozen of animations which make your BIM presentation very dynamic then he can not construct an original file definitely.


@AndreyLavrov ,

I suppose you believe Sketchup could be used for many things non related to construction… the question is where would BIM fit users outside construction industry?


Please start another topic if you wish to discuss something other than the locked model format feature request.

EDIT, Nevermind, discuss what you will, … as it’s is now clear to me (after 2 Trimble employees have redirected this long standing request towards Trimble Connect, and another member is pushing a non-locked open standard format along with BIM software, that many of us do not use,…) … that it is clear to me, that this FR (a locked model file format) from Trimble, will never happen.

So, the topic caption (and it’s purpose,) no longer applies to this thread.


I thought we were indirectly discussing that. TC could be considered BIM but also have a role in sharing locked models…


non editable models would be a useful feature to show you work; there are alternatives (html on line models for example)
non editable COMPONENTS would be a game changing feature, a strong incentive to build components libraries

Because with sketchup as it is now, when you release a set of components (furnitures, cars, engine parts …) you don’t have any control on them, anybody can use them

In the same way ruby code can be crypted, and this has created a market for plugins, it would be logical to have the possibility to encrypt models used as components

and more than that, the encryption could be a password passed on a command line, so it could be programmed using ruby

it is not such a complicated or bizarre feature to ask, since it is available in foxit softwares; you can even choose a pattern of rights (impression, bookmarks, selection …)

When Sketchup was own by Google, it was understandable such a feature would not exist; but now that it is own by Trimble, the goal is clearly to make money, so i don’t see why non editable models and components features would not be added


I haven’t seen 3D PDF mentioned in this thread yet. There are two affordable converter plugins available, from SimLab and RPS (Renderplus). It has the advantage of being supported by the ubiquitous Adobe reader even though Adobe has itself stopped development long ago. The file can even be password protected.

There are no known 3D formats that cannot be hacked. Viewing them requires the transfer of the 3D data to your graphics system, so even for 3D PDF converters to other editable formats exist.



yes password is available with 3D pdf, but password cannot be passed on a command line
if the user knows the password, anybody can have it
the real protection is when the user doesn’t know the password, and the file is opened through code lines

foxit reader manages to remove features like “record as…” or '“print” from a protected file; why wouldn’t it be possible for sketchup?


Just as an aside - why are you so keen on making life difficult to your customers? Don’t you trust them? If you don’t, why do you expect them to trust you? Do you think they are dumb?

Working for institutional clients, overprotecting my “intellectual property” has long ceased to be an issue. Contract terms require us to supply full BIM models, no watered-down versions. Collaboration with others also requires that the recipient can edit the model. It just doesn’t work with the architect sitting in his office using his time devising ways to withhold as much information as possible.