Monetizing the 3d warehouse - your thoughts?

There have been a few recent discussions here about the 3d warehouse and general thought that the quality and consistency is …shall we say “up and down.” Users have asked for a “tidy up” ,and better organization and modelling standards…and due credits to Creators… But all that takes effort to administer.

It must be said that the Products category is quite good (manufacturer-made). But those don’t help with things like trees, people, vehicles or outdoor scenery. Downloading from other sources (eg Turbosquid or Axyz) is often expensive and brings components that are super high detail and created for advanced rendering apps…and they’re not native SKP models.

So I wonder how monetising could work…if there was a premium layer within the 3d Warehouse where you could purchase items using your Trimble Account…would such a thing have your support and patronage?

Some options for monetizing?.. do any of these look particularly appealing:

  • “Tipping” or donating (Thingiverse has this, so does SketchUCation Extension Store)… the creator gets random tips from happy users.
  • Influencer status for creators (e.g. get 1000 likes on a component and you earn $5 from Trimble)
  • Pay-to-create incentives; (like Fivver) where users request pay a Creator a small amount to make something, as an incentive. The creator uploads it and can profit off any future purchases. win-win.
  • Free Demo (download for the example model and you get a link to a purchase the full set)
  • Freemium (low quality/proxy is free, high quality unlocks after you pay.
  • Google Ads - not sure this is a good idea…but adverts on your download page generate revenue for the Creator.
  • Bundles (buy 50 components for $50)
  • Ongoing premium subscription (eg Netflix/Spotify) where you get unlimited downloads for $X/year.

I think a lot of these options could work to bring the 3dW into the 2020s and the outcomes could be fantastic for everyone. More incentives for creators = more and better content, and everyone’s happy, right?
Doesn’t replace the free stuff, just adds a layer of quality.

Some of these things may only work for the Pro or paid subscribers, because there needs to be some type of penalty for downloading and re-sharing…Pro users are bound by commerical use terms and could get fined for breaches of copyright…that’s much harder to do on a free account.

The Extension Warehouse and SketchUCation store are already monetized, so I don’t think it’s a stretch to imagine it applied to the 3d Warehouse.


I don’t always find this true. I find many of the ‘product’ items are clearly imported from other cad platforms and are often giant poly count, overweight tessellated messes. There is a lot of garbage in the 3D warehouse from kids school projects to model crushing 50mb kitchen sinks from manufactures. It’s a Wild West where one needs step carefully and watch out for yourself. But all in all I think I prefer it that way to a more regulated controlled system. There is a bit of everything there and I would rather not have someone else trying to decide what’s useful to me. I certainly am much more comfortable taking responsibility for navigating it the way it is than I am with trying to put the warehouse behind a paywall, any part of it. Sure, it could always be better organized, but I prefer to ride the open range. Viva the Wild West.


There may be a way of implementing the system a lot of extension developers use whereby they charge a fairly nominal sum for downloading. Presumably it works on the basis that if you charge peanuts, many more people will sign on and you get your returns from quantity.

I can see that it is harder to maintain copyright for a model than for software. I suppose there is no way to digitally “stamp” a model to make it readily obvious if it has been pirated?

Kind of waited bit before replying to this :grimacing: . Surprising it hasn’t blown up ….
Definitely think monetizing the warehouse would be a good thing. Not sure how hard it would be to set up? I’m thinking something along the lines of FormFonts. Use to subscribe to them when using SU was part of my job.
Would be great to get rid of the “junk” models, properly “vet” and categorize incoming models. Would be great if the creators actually could profit from their work be it upfront fee or a royalty based on downloads.
I’m sure this would make a lot of hobby users angry. My response would be it’s a hobby learn to model what you need……
All that said I don’t see Trimble doing much unless it’s seen as being profitable. Although they do have cost involved in maintaining the warehouse as it is.
On last thing. Really don’t see a way to keep people honest when it comes to reposting or passing on content…. Just my thoughts…

Honestly, how many people would pay for the inventoried items? IMHO, most of the stuff in there is way to heavy to use. I would rather make my own models to suit my usage.


There are plenty of monetized 3D repositories already. Who is going to decide what is junk? I’m not saying it’s all great stuff, but everybody thinks that the things that don’t fit their own personal use are Junk. Right now I can find crown molding, islamic screen patterns, cufflinks, water pitchers, an elephant, cheerleaders, and a WW2 tank all for the same project. Who is going to decide which of these should be kept?


Perhaps using “junk” was a poor choice of words but I think most people here understand the point I was trying to make. I do understand and really don’t disagree with the comments made by RLGL and endlessfix. It’s probably to late in the game to do a drastic change like this to the warehouse. My personal feeling is it never should have been set up as a free service to begin with.

My thought is that the 3dw stays exactly as it is (with cufflinks and a whole lot of piracy)…but another “showroom” layer is added, which is the premium/paid area.

I can imagine people setting to work creating some very cool sets of components for others to buy. Ones that work great for sketchup & layout.

I would be happy if the 3d Warehouse becomes similar to SketchFab.

I’m not quite sure what problem that solves. I’m curious what kind of components you would hope to find in the new models for sale marketplace you imagine?

Why copy the sketchfab model? What does that system do for your workflow?

I’ve used SketchFab a little.
It’s great, but seems to be heavily oriented toward game assets. Not native SKP models and not stuff I would tend to use in a SKP+LO workflow. It’s not well organised, eg Architecture contains stuff like Space Stations.

I guess Im also picturing something more integrated (like Adobe Stock images) where you purchase them using your SketchUp account and maybe can share them with a team .

Top models from SketchFab’s architecture category:


Maybe something like FormFonts?

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Some project! Can’t wait to see it.

The cost and logistics of jurying the monetized offerings might not be paid off for Trimble. Maybe the decision has to be that of the poster, and Trimble gets a set percentage.


Actually, yes… its the best platform as far as i can see, in terms of organization and model quality,. The request feature is excellent. Thanks for reminding me about it.

Though sadly ive never subscribed it because the cost is and license terms are a bit too restrictive for my situation.