Performance sucks?



I’m sure this isn’t our team’s intent- instead, we think we’re making SketchUp easier for the majority of users to access. From my team’s perspective, SketchUp running in a web browser is pretty great. So far, our adoption metrics suggest that we aren’t alone in thinking that.

I recognize that SketchUp for web is not at full feature parity with SketchUp Make yet, and for this reason we’re keeping the SketchUp Make client available for download for as long as there is demand. If you were using SketchUp Make yesterday, you can still use it tomorrow. Our experience has shown that our client software lasts a long time— there are still lots of folks using builds that we shipped over five years ago.

There’s no reason to assume that we’ve launched SketchUp for web for any reason other than the one we founded our company under a decade and a half ago- to make 3D modeling as widely useful and available as we can.


Thank you for the nice reply. I realise that this is not your fault, so forvgive my rant.


You’re doing commercial work with the free version of SketchUp?


No. I have a license and have had one since 2014


Why do you ask?


Because it seems like you’re complaining about the performance and features of web-based free SketchUp, but are using it for client work. Maybe I missed something.

“I do almost all of the 3d work for the Norwegian franchise of X-Games here in Norway”


I am a freelancer and I have and have had a lience since I started my business in 2014. Beyond that I have no knowledge about what my clients have.


Agree Sketch is terrible now that Trimble took over. Started at work when Trimble forced everyone to remove free version and go with pro. Immediately models ran slow to the point i stopped using it. New computer at home and now you have to use the web version? Glad i never bought the pro version.
Going back to see if i can get it off old machine.


I’m sorry you feel that way, and I hope we’re able to earn your trust again in the future.

I don’t think the performance problem you experienced was directly related to a change in licensing policy— if you are still experiencing that you may want to consult our Help Center article “Improving Performance” for some useful tips.

We actually celebrated a significant milestone here in Boulder very recently. We have now (officially) been working at Trimble longer than we were at Google. In that time, we’ve grown significantly both in terms of team/resource and in the scope of our aspiration for the future.

I know change is tough, but I think in the long run you’ll be as excited as we are when you see where SketchUp takes us all together.


Add me to the apparently long list of people who think the web based version is a dumpster fire. I just do simple plans for home renovation, woodworking, etc. Maybe import a model here and there from the warehouse. Simple right?

Apparently not. My brand new iMac pro is brought to it’s knees with long pauses (many seconds at a time) in both chrome and safari. Not to mention the bugs. Oh god the bugs. I have hit perhaps half a dozen major ones in the first hour of using it. Overall I work at perhaps 1/2 to 1/3 speed of the desktop version.

I rarely leave negative reviews about anything, but I feel compelled in this case. Whomever decided to proceed with making a web version of this should be fired–if not for concept, then surely for execution.


There are definitely people who share your position posting into several threads on this forum, but I’m pleased to be able to say that overall growth in usage has been very good since our official launch about 8 months ago. I’m sorry your experience hasn’t been a good one, and certainly it is not what we intended for you.

Performance problems are especially frustrating and tricky to troubleshoot. A new iMac Pro should be fully sufficient to run SketchUp for Web for all kinds of typical modeling projects. Certainly the kinds of home improvement and woodworking projects you’ve described should be well supported. I’ll assume you’ve tried all the obvious things (amply documented in these forums) already.

Would you be willing to share an example model that is performing poorly for you so we can learn more about what is happening? If you haven’t seen them before, here are our best performance tips for modeling in SketchUp. Sometimes ‘simple’ models are more complex than you realize.

I suppose this is me?

Since you’re new to these forums, you may not realize that our development team (I’ve been SketchUp’s Product Manager for over sixteen years) actively read/respond here. SketchUp Free wasn’t my idea alone, but I’m proud to count myself among its strongest supporters.

I know that posting in user forums on the internet can feel like crying into the void… but our forums are different than many and I like to keep a more congenial tone here. In return, I think you’ll find this a very open and supportive community ready to work with you to solve actual problems.

Please try to remember that there are real people reading your posts here, including the team that is staying late and working weekends to bring something entirely new to life. New product launches are complicated, messy and sometimes frustrating. Honest feedback (even soul dejecting posts from people who think our baby is ugly) is a gift, and I thank you for sharing it.


Hi @jbacus,

Although the performance tips alluded to are provided by a link, it is not very obvious. The same link is provided here for those who were unaware of its presence within the post: LINK TO SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVING PERFORMANCE .

(Click the boldfaced text above.)


Please try to remember that there are real people reading your posts here, including the team that is staying late and working weekends to bring something entirely new to life.

John, what a thoughtful reply from my negative post. I’ll try to reciprocate with something helpful. The bluntness of my previous post (and this one) is meant not just to be mean, but to emphasize the severity of the problems I think you face.

Choosing to move a 3D modeling app to the web is a tough choice to say the least. I remember hearing Mark Zuckerberg speak about Facebook’s decision to use HTML5 over native apps as his biggest regret—having to reverse course made them a year late to mobile. The promise of HTML5 web apps was there, but the reality was that the performance and interaction compromises were just too great. I worry that you are facing the same uphill battle.

As I mentioned, in my first hour of usage I ran into:

  • (Several times) An issue where I became unable to change tool (i.e. hand/arrow/move) with either sidebar or keyboard shortcuts. I had to reload the page.
  • Saving the scene took >10 seconds. The button didn’t change immediately to ‘saving’ upon clicking it (what is going on?)
  • Clicking the ‘upgrade’ button on the outliner unexpectedly navigated away from the app entirely, rather then opening another page. Doh, we’re in a web browser. Cue lengthy app reload and file open.
  • Frame rate way lower than same scene in desktop version. Simple boxes OK, loading a couple of more complex models from warehouse renders system very slow and unusable in a way I’m unaccustomed to.
  • Clicked the ‘paint bucket’ button and app froze for ~5 seconds before returning control.
  • The entire app froze crashed the tab in Chrome 67. Reason unknown. Lost a few minutes of work.

Zooming in particular (super critical part of using Sketchup efficiently) is horrendous:

  • Zooming using my trackpad is difficult to control because it appears that “scrolling inertia” is present
  • Zooming when you move two fingers right/left rather than up/down results in seemingly-random zoom behaviors
  • Zooming speed is not proportional to amount of finger movement
  • Zooming speed is modulated by low frame rate (slowed)

I’m sure you have a bug tracker somewhere with these issues in them already, as well as many others. However, I think you have a fundamental problem with your engineering process if a basic user can hit these issues in their first minutes. Maybe you have a theory too, but I have managed software teams for ~20 years and to me this usually means that the test suite is simply not good enough. I feel for you on this one. I can imagine how hard it is to build good end-to-end testing on a 3d modeling program in a web page.

Finally, regarding performance, you provide a link to the “improving performance” page, but it appears there are exactly zero actionable ways described to improve performance of the web version that don’t involve removing objects (which kind of defeats the purpose of modeling them) or “stick[ing] to simple styles” which most people will already be doing by default. The “Checking your computer” and “Setting OpenGL…” sections are irrelevant for users of the web version as far as I can see. Punting people to a fairly useless page on “improving performance” does nothing to acknowledge or fix underlying issues.

You and the team have done a lot of great work over the past years on Sketchup so perhaps these things can be overcome. I will be rooting for you!

Last question (sorry if I missed where this is addressed): What’s the deal with the desktop version now? Will desktop be a superset of web functionality or will capabilities diverge over time? Is everything going web eventually, or will desktop version live on? Hard to plunk down the $XXX for pro without understanding the strategy and where/how Trimble is investing their energy going forward.



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