Getting Frustrated - Tell me it's me


An architect friend of mine suggested I try SketchUp Free to model a house for a non-profit. I have been using Auto Cad since V.9 and thought this would be a snap. I’m getting ready to move on. I started by viewing the first two video’s and when I went back to view more, they stopped working. I have surfaces in the model that have fractured like a sheet of glass for apparently no reason. When you have surfaces touching each other, and you freeze one, the touching parts disappear from their layer. And worse of all, out of the blue, the model freaks out and moves objects to random different layers. I have spent hours and hours moving objects back to their correct layer. In a blink of an eye I could spend the money to buy this software, but if the free version has so many glitches, why would I reward this company by spending money on the full version? I have full access to AutoCad through work, and I am starting to think that building this stick by stick would take less time.


I can take a look for you if you want to post the model, or some images of the specific issues? I am having a lazy Sunday procrastinating not doing my own freelance!!!

Just so you know there is also a desktop free version that is a bit more stable as the the browser based version is still a Beta product: . The Pro paid for version is closer to this free desktop version that the browser one. There is also a free trial of the Pro version available that I would recommend instead.


If I load the desk top version, do I still have access to my browsers model?


Yep, if you install it I can walk you through getting those models onto your computer.

Edit: fyi install the trial version of SketchUp Pro 2018 rather than the free desktop version SketchUp Make 2017. It will be much easier to access the models you have already created in the browser version that way.


I think I remember reading the trial is only active for 8 hours of modeling. That’s not going to be enough for me. Are you suggesting downloading the trial just to move the model over more easily, then when the trial is up, continue to work in the free desktop version? I don’t want to get caught up where my model has been converted to a higher version, “forcing” me to purchase SketchUp. SketchUp has a lot of ground to earn back from me before I spend any money on this product.


It says 30 days on the website. Regardless, you can use the Pro version to convert the files you have to the free desktop version Make 2017. Then you can keep using that for an indefinite amount of time.

Well up to you, happy to help if you can share something soon.


The Pro trial is for 30 days. After this time you won’t be able to open it again. If you intend to use the Make version after this you’d be better saving all your files as 2017 version before the trial runs out. If you don’t do this, there are workarounds like uploading it to the 3D Warehouse and downloading it as 2017 version.


If you download SKP files from SketchUp Free to you local drive, they will come as SU2017 files so you don’t need to download and install SU2018 if you’re only going to use SU2017 anyway.


Oh Dave is right, sorry my fault!


Broadly speaking, the important over all strategy for working in SketchUp is that Groups and Components are everything and layer’s are of relatively minor importance. So much so that, In the brief few weeks of introductory SketchUp that I teach to students, I don’t even get them into using layers at all. Elsewhere in this forum there is an ongoing discussion that beginners shouldn’t even be allowed to draw on anything other than Layer0. This mindset can be a giant shift in thinking when coming from other programs like ACAD.

The automatic “stickiness” of SU lines and surfaces means you have to be absolutely vigilant about organizing everything into Groups or Components. Your organization of groups and components can be viewed as a “tree” type organization in the Outliner window which exists in the desktop versions, but it missing from the online version. To me that’s a major shortcoming. Trying to debug my students work in the online version without the outliner was frustrating.

The one thing the SU Pro trial will offer you is the ability to import .dwg files from ACAD. Be forewarned though, you may be dragging in ACAD layers with that linework and start having the same sort of problems with “loose geometry” (in SU jargon) on multiple layers. You either choose to just trace over the imported linework, or move it to Layer0 if you want to work with it directly. If you import a rectangle, it will come in as 4 lines. If you want the surface, you need to trace over one of the edges, and SU will fill in the surface.


So, I downloaded the SketchUp Make 2017 version and it is telling me it’s a 30 day trial and it ends March 26th and I will have to buy a licence?


You still get a 30 day trial of Pro even when you download Make. After the 30 days it will revert to the Make version and you’ll still be able to use it. The Pro features will only work in the trial period which is Layout and Style Builder (two separate applications) and some tools inside SketchUp like Boolean tools, CAD file import/export.


I was looking forward to learning more, but you tutorials on your webpage stopped working.


You should watch the first four tutorial videos on the official You tube Page they are pretty handy and cover all of the basics including components, groups, layers and the other things @RTCool mentioned:


That was the plan. I watched part 1 went into the model and practiced, watched part 2, back into model, etc… now the vid’s stopped working. Part 1 is still working, 2 thru 4 won’t load. I thought maybe it was my PC so I even tried viewing them with my phone, um… no. Then my model started freaking out on me, thus frustrated…


Parts 2,3+4 seem to be working fine on my laptop. I would restart your PC or browser perhaps. Well if you want me to look at the model post it or some images soon as then I am off to the pub!


I’ll keep trying to view them, but so far two different devices are not working. I’m in Make, how do I get my model down off the web? I would upload a file for you, but don’t know how, yet.


Open the file in SketchUp Free, click on the folder icon and download the SKP file.


In SketchUp free you download the file by hitting the folder icon and then selecting download.

To upload a file here you use this 41 icon

If the file is too large to upload here then use or Dropbox/Google Drive.


Very cool. That worked. It’s on my desktop and open in Make. I’ll do a restart and see if I can get back into the vids and continue to try to figure this thing out. Thanks for the help so far.