Non-Commercial Use

How are the users of free Sketchup versions (i.e. Make 2017 or the web-based platform) monitored about how they use their creations (commercially or non-commercially) on Sketchup?

I see you are a free user. Are you asking how much trouble someone like you could get into?

Hi @simoncbevans, no I’m not. I’ve never used a free version commercially and I’m buying a paid version either today or tomorrow. I actually meant what I asked.

AFAIK, there is no official monitoring. There have been some fairly obvious attempts by free users on this forum to tout for business and they always get short shrift from forum members.

Policing this kind of thing is really hard. It would have to be worldwide for a start. I guess companies just hope that the majority of users will use their products honestly. Maybe if someone were caught doing it in the US it might be different.

I see that’s interesting. Thank you for the info. You see in this part of the world piracy is almost socially-acceptable due to financial circumstances, and I don’t think anyone here would be convinced to use a paid version when they can do pretty much everything with the free versions. That’s why I wanted to know what motivates the paying users in different places.

How about honesty, and respect for yourself and for the work of others.


Hehe yeah, that’s my motivation too, but being surrounded by lazy free-loaders everyday of every year, you begin to think you’re weird when you pay for an app that has free versions. Guess I’m not as alone as I think. <3


Personally I had no dilemma as when I started using SketchUp there were no free versions.

Yes, it’s easy for those of us in the first world to overlook the fact that we enjoy the luxury of high morals.

OOH, high morals are a good thing to aspire to. If the rights of a company are not respected they will go out of business and you may have killed the thing you cherished.

It’s a bit like those who say that if you leave your bike unlocked you deserve to lose it out of sheer foolishness. Except that that is just an excuse for theft. Leaving a bike unlocked is not a crime anywhere but stealing is a crime everywhere. No community can thrive without the rule of law.

I guess we all have our own code of conduct we live by.


That’s what I was gonna say. Here we have a different set of morals, like cheating on exams is ok but hating/discriminating against people because of their skin color or nationality isn’t. Piracy is a thing but charity and helping one another are also societal norms. People of different socio-economic status can wine and dine together and so on. At any rate, this is another conversation for another day, unrelated to sketchup stuff :joy:

they can’t:

Despite of this does the Make version need an activation too which requires a communication with the Trimble license server and transfers the according IP address for doing this.

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That list seems to be inaccurate @SketchUp3D_de. I did export CAD files with Make 2017 and it is possible to import them too. Perhaps that list is comparing an older version of Make with Pro?

You can also produce construction drawings,
Export drawings in .dwg format so that you can print them to scale,
Use solid modelling tools and the like.

If you want things like animation you can export your drawing to Blender and animate it there (with better tools too)
Same with simulated film cameras.

And that’s pretty much everything you need for a final presentation. I work in interior design and clients don’t care what programs you use to pitch your work. They look at the end result and decide to pay or leave.

Also, E-mailing tech support is not a feature of paid versions. It’s a service the devs (or maybe re-sellers) provide to those who buy the licence. It doesn’t have anything to do with the program code. Same with the “commercial use” feature.

I use Blender and GIMP for rendering my SketchUp models and post-production - and like I said above, if I didn’t believe in that kind of morality I could make money without spending a dime on paid SketchUp products. The free SketchUp versions combined with other free software (like Blender and GIMP) are perfectly capable of getting the job done in my case. Perhaps professionals who work on larger scale projects need the added non-essential features of Pro but I don’t.

Tho I do understand where you’re coming from. You’re a re-seller so you wouldn’t want dangerous ideas such as these to spread :joy:

SketchUp 2017 Make starts with a 30-day Pro trial and you would be able to import and export CAD files during that time and use LayOut and the Solid Tools. After the 30 days have elapsed, the pro features will be removed.

Ah that must be it then. I was suspicious about how easy the whole thing is. I was thinking there must be a catch. Right thanks for the info @DaveR It all makes sense now.

There are still workarounds to the 30 day trial biz though, as I’m sure most of you know.

Anyway it’s all sorted for me now, thanks again!

I predict people who are not professionals do not last long in the business. It really is not that expensive and is priced well below other products like AutoCAD and we should be happy we have a tool that is affordable. Free loaders hurt honest people professionals because there is a risk of price increases if there is too much free usage.

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