First year in 12 I won't be teaching SketchUp

Understanding that Trimble/SketchUp may have their reasons, I respectfully agree with this statement.

I can see that historically SketchUp have kept the last three versions, and when 2020 happens that does imply that Make 2017 would go away. I have no knowledge of what the decision is to be, but if I’m asked I will propose to keep Make 2017 available.


I wonder, if Trimble does pull Make 2017 from the website for download, can and would they also pull the plug on installing it? The Pro installer reaches out over the internet to validate the license. Does even Make 2017 do that?


The writing is on the wall…

Many people like myself gave Sketchup a try because there was the free desktop version back in the days of SU7. I was a young employee dabbling in my own time back then. It later became the anchor for my architectural practice in both design and documentation, and in more recent times I have been teaching Sketchup commercially to other architects and designers.

Without access to the free version though it is unlikely I would have ever considered it. I’m sorry but the browser based version just doesn’t cut it without some basic plugins.

Truth be known, the number of inquiries from people wanting to learn Sketchup has already dropped off so I am letting the licenses on my training computers expire.

People are already going elsewhere.


Thanks for the heads up on 2017 Make. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet but am looking forward to giving it a try.

Hello, SketchUp community,

We appreciate hearing all sides in a discussion here on the SketchUp forum, so thank you all for participating, and please know we are listening. As the director of education & outreach here at SU HQ, I’d like to clear up some misconceptions in relation to our EDU products, and be sure everyone knows the variety of ways academic users can access SketchUp.

When I came on board in 2004, Aidan Chopra and I were charged with forming an EDU offering and programs to support users in both K-12 and higher ed. Student licenses of SketchUp (there was only one product back then) were originally priced at $49, which was far lower than the price of a standard textbook. Up until our recent release of SketchUp Studio that original $49 student price had not ever changed. Additionally, we’ve always had a very low-cost way for institutions to buy lab licenses, with the same $15/seat fee when institutions purchase today.

As you are all aware, over the years there were many types of SketchUp offerings from which to choose. All decisions we make regarding EDU products are very carefully considered. Today we have a variety of choices for EDU users - and there is always a free option in the mix. Check out the details on both products and programs below – and keep on Sketchin’!

  • K-12

    • SketchUp for Schools - The most awesome 3D web modeler available, and the #1 EDU App on the G Suite Marketplace
    • SketchUp Pro Statewide License Grant Program - Our classic 3D desktop modeler for K-12 public classrooms
    • SketchUp Free - SketchUp’s core 3D modeler runs right in your web browser
      • Cost: $0
      • 10 GB of Trimble Connect cloud storage
      • View 3D models on your mobile device with the SketchUp Viewer app
      • Import SKP, JPG, PNG file types, and export SKP, PNG, STL file types
      • 3DWH - access user-generated and manufacturer-produced models
      • Works on Chromebooks or any Internet-connected computer
  • Higher Education

    • SketchUp Free - SketchUp’s core 3D modeler runs in your web browser

      • Cost: $0
      • 10 GB of Trimble Connect cloud storage
      • View 3D models on your mobile device with the SketchUp Viewer app
      • Import SKP, JPG, PNG file types, and export SKP, PNG, STL file types
      • 3DWH - access user-generated and manufacturer-produced models
      • Works on Chromebooks or any Internet-connected computer
    • SketchUp Studio for Students & Educators - The SketchUp tools you know and love, plus all the analysis tools you need to build efficient buildings

      • Cost: $55 per year
      • 3D Modeling Platform: Professional desktop software + Premium online modeler
      • Usable Offline
      • Performance-based Design with Sefaira
      • Cloud Storage: Unlimited with Trimble Connect
      • Support: Community, Email
      • Viewer: AR/VR Mobile Viewer
      • XR Headset Viewing: Vive, Oculus, Hololens, WMR
      • Interoperability: Professional
      • Extensibility: Core Ruby API & Extension Warehouse
      • 2D Design: LayOut, Install for Mac or PC, Create scaled drawing sets
      • Custom Styles, Custom Materials, Outliner: Advanced
      • How to Buy: Apply Annually via your local reseller
      • License term: 1 year from date of purchase
      • Learn more @
    • SketchUp Pro for Educators - Our classic desktop modeler

      • Cost: $0
      • Single User License
      • Available upon request from your local reseller
    • SketchUp Pro for Institutions - Our classic 3D desktop modeler

      • Networked Lab License - Floating network licenses for installation on desktop computers in higher education computer labs
      • Cost: US $15/seat, minimum 10 seats
      • License term: 1 year from date of purchase
      • Installation: the license file used by Networked Lab Licenses is managed in the cloud. Labs will need to have an internet connection to authorize and use SketchUp.
      • Learn more @
      • Institutional Laptop License - Classic SketchUp Pro device licenses for installation on individual student and teacher laptops, for use on and off school network
      • Cost: Starting at US $39 per license, minimum 10 licenses
      • Volume discounts available up to 50% of the base purchase price
      • 1000+ licenses capped at US $19,500
      • License term: 1 year from date of purchase
      • A school must purchase the number of seats equal to the number of users.
      • A single license code is provided. Each time a license is installed on a student or teacher’s laptop, that laptop is node-locked and one license is removed from the total pool of available licenses.
      • Laptops need to be internet connected when authorizing and installing SketchUp. Laptops can be offline during use of SketchUp.
      • Learn more @
    • SketchUp/Trimble EDU Outreach Programs

      • We sponsor/attend/exhibit/grant SU licenses via the following: ISTE, Project Lead the Way, EAST, CSU Girls in Construction Camp, SxSWEdu, and many more…
      • Trimble Visiting Professionals Program - Connecting Trimble’s professional user community with your department’s area of study. If your application is accepted, we’ll send an industry superstar to your campus to demonstrate how Trimble solutions are deployed in professional practice. Your cost: $0. Learn more @
      • Trimble Technology Labs - Partnering with Trimble gives your institution access to many of the latest tools available in Trimble’s constructible enriched portfolio. Your cost: $0. New web page coming soon.
      • Trimble Technology Days - Visits to university departments with a team of product experts for all-day tech talks. Your cost: $0. New web page coming soon.
      • Trimble Demo Days - Have a Trimble partner in your region provide product demos at your university/trade school. Your cost: $0. New web page coming soon.
      • Learn SketchUp - From Sketchup and Layout fundamentals to rendering to landscape design and more. New content always in work. Cost: $0. Check it out @

To complete the scenario described in this thread, no more free copies to educators. Sketchup is now a pay-only application for everyone. There is Sketchup Free, of course, but it is worthless for works with any complexity.


No, not free. But the full Pro edition, unadulterated and fully featured, is available for less than $5 a month to educators. It’s so cheap it’s almost free!

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I have to agree with you on this one. But I must add two comments: one is that $55 is not as cheap in Brasil as it is in the US (being our economy and currency what it is) and, second, that when we try to buy the educators license here it is no longer $55 but $100ish (the allegation being import taxes, staff salaries, etc).


I agree mostly with your and edsons comments re ‘almost free’ and the various buying power of the economy involved. That said - ‘Almost free’ is not ‘completely free’ as is the case with the Autodesk suite of programs (with 3 year student licenses). All of those ‘$5’ a month add up, especially to students that generally are not making a whole lot of money. Create a customer in the beginning by making it a no brainer choice and then when they are part of the paying community - they will purchase what they know how to use.


the instructor license (1y) of SUP (desktop) is still free… for qualified instructors, contact your local reseller.

afaik there should be already a free license for at least qualified again developers… which might not work for development rookies w/o an appropriate qualification.

Providing the SUP (desktop) eductional license (1y) to qualified sigh students e.g. with an offic. email address of the university only would probably help to compete w/ the free stuff of the competition… even if a leatherman (aka SU) cannot simply be replaced by an anvil (aka AutoCAD).

Yup. To barely the cost of a text book.

the original @LastSoftware academic license that empowered the academic to distribute copies of their key to students was incredibly helpful in introducing SU into curriculums…

re-developers: I think the Developers Program is a far better mechanism for this than ‘Sales/Marketing’…


I wouldn’t have guessed you rented all your textbooks by the month

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Haha. It’s not subscription, is it?

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You are correct. I forgot to mention that our SketchUp Pro Classic Desktop License is still available for free to educators upon request from their local reseller.

AGAIN… If a student goes into a bookstore and there are two textbooks available, both widely used by professionals in their industry. One is $55 and the other is free. Which one do you think the student is going to walk out with?

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Depends on what is assigned by the professor.


Still missing the point I’m afraid. Which straw (textbook, software subscription etc) breaks the camels back. To you and I, $60 is akin to nothing. What percentage more of a cost is it over Autodesks Edu versions of $0.00


This currently plays into it. Props to software companies making it free to students. The BEST investment they can make in their company imho.