Is using SketchUp professionally an option?

Sorry if this has been answered before, but my search-fu is weak tonight. I have created several models that have actually been built from the plans I created, from a beer home-brewing stand to additions to my family’s farm. Most recently, my boss was having a hard time visualizing a proposed layout for a new building, and I was able to whip up a model in under a half hour that did the trick–and we spent the next 8 hours working on it. I’m now known as the “3-D modelling guy” at work because of it, but it was nothing special, really. I just have maybe a skosh more than passing knowledge of the software. routerlogin

Is there a demand for models built using Sketchup? I understand that I’d need the pro version if I wanted to market myself in this way… but what real skills would I need to learn before I could persue this line of work? Those 8 hours passed by in the blink of an eye, and my boss was really thankful after we had finished… My response kind of amazed him-- “I do this sort of thing for fun on my own time.”


Using SketchUp professionally is certainly an option. Many people do that. Of course you do need the Pro license for that. You might sell your models or maybe you can sell the plans for your home brewing stand and other projects.

Your boss really should spring for the pro version if he’s going to have you doing 3d modeling for the business.

SketchUp has been my primary means of income since 2004, I’ve built everything from house extensions to nuclear power stations, with a good sprinkling of churches, hospitals and factories in between.

So in answer to your question, yes you can earn a living from building models in SU.

99.9% of the time the model isn’t the finished product, it will be presented via layout as a pdf or rendered as an image(s) or animated as a video(s) etc so you also need to build some or all of those skills, Don’t worry about them now, you’ll add them to your skill set as you need them.


I am one of many building designers on this forum who use Sketchup exclusively or mainly as their CAD tool of choice. I have been using it that way since 2015, having been inspired by the likes of Nick Sonder who developed a workflow specifically for architecture.

Here in the UK there is a profession of architectural draftsmen who do nothing but draw up plans and models and I am sure something similar exists in other parts of the world. Sometimes known as CAD jockeys. Mind you, mastering the drawing techniques is one thing. You also have to know how buildings go together.