Yet another freeze. Sketchup is not responding.
Why should I persevere with this?
Is this a good reason to buy the pro version or a good reason not to ?
Is the 2017 version past it?
Some people would say I’m just sore because Trimble has decided to withdraw useable free use. Yes, it is true, and perhaps it is only fair that I should pay for the software I use even though it can’t work with curves with a radius of less than a few millimetres. I should say I’m a retired hobbyist with a 3D printer and a ‘train set’. But there’s a few points that make answering the title question far from straightforward.
So to continue my modelling pastime to the same level I now need to pay $299 - The single most expensive item in my hobby.
Google introduced me to Sketchup. I invested many hours over the years climbing the learning curve and despite the many serious shortfalls with the each progressive version I persevered and faithfully submitted all my bug splat reports with vigilance and detail, I felt part of the community project.
Is it morally wrong of me to want to be using “free” software or to feel frustrated that software I committed effort and time into is summarily removed?
Where should I stand now?
It appears I have ‘the choice’ to buy the pro version even though I am not and never will be professional or use SU to gain income. Yes, I have access to the online version, but I am now heavily committed to plugins which are vital to the usability of SU. Which begs the question:-
The plugins are devised, written and maintained in good will by the authors. They ask nothing for their work, their only reward is the gratitude and appreciation from the community they contribute to. They certainly have mine. Without these people Sketchup would be lacking many essential tools. AFAIK they are not doing it for Trimble and receive no payment. Yet Trimble have decided to profit from plugin authors’ contributions by charging users to gain access to the charitable work they donated in goodwill, free of charge to the community.
If a supermarket was found to be re-selling the food their customers charitably donated in goodwill to community projects, there would be outrage. Yet, unless I am mistaken, Trimble would appear to be doing just that.
Of course, Trimble has no obligation to offer it’s software free to non- professionals and students. But they must know full well that the number of paying users of the future is directly proportional to the number of free users today, as a high proportion of paying users were once free users or have been influenced by free users.
This is my next concern. What is the longevity of the software?
To withdraw free use would be to alienate many of their potential future clients. Assuming they want them. My son uses a paid version in his work because I had the free version on the family PC and he got used to using it. I suspect that the “free users”, who take the subject seriously, will be looking to invest their learning curve time elsewhere, as the ceiling of free usability with SU >2017 is now so low.
I doubt that a current pro user would be satisfied that the “free” offering alone was sufficient to make an informed buying decision for a professional new to Sketchup and would very likely look elsewhere.
On one hand Should I stay loyal and invest cash in a software company that is inwardly looking, out for a fast buck by exploiting the goodwill of others, deliberately damaging it’s future client base and falling behind it’s competitors?
Should I sell-out, cut my losses and invest time a new learning curve such as Fusion 360 which is a free for non-commercial use 3D design and manufacturing suite streets ahead of SU in this field?
I sort of answered my own question. But is is such a shame. I will never be as proficient in Fusion as I am with Sketchup.
Rant over. Dummy back in pram. Back to repairing geometry…
I wonder if there are any plug-in authors which now can’t use the plugins they wrote because they don’t have the pro version?