Sketchup Free (online version) does not support 3D Spacemouse

I have used the 3D Connexion SpaceMouse for several years with all versions of Sketchup, including Make 2017 and now it does not work with Sketchup Free. What gives? Based on my research, 3D Connexion has requested the information they require to make their mice compatible, but Sketchup has refused to supply it. If this is correct, please provide the information and permit them to make their devices compatible. While it is not a requirement to use the 3D mouse with Sketchup it certainly is a great tool.

I feel your pain! I have become very dependent on my Spacemouse.

As of now, there is not support for extensions in any version of SketchUp for Web.

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All the more reason to continue using a DESKTOP version of SU for as long as possible. Latest and “greatest” version/platform does not always mean best. And if ya can’t use the space mouse you spent money for…SU Free just isn’t worth it. I feel handicapped when I can’t use my space mouse… and I’m only a hobbyist/artist!!

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There is reason for existence of SketchUp for Web. I think scope of this thread was not to question that (again) but to request space controller support.

Aaron, SketchUp for Web uses web standards which is a wonderful thing! From a technical perspective, space mouse/navigator do not need to wait until (if ever) extension support is implemented. The SketchUp engineers could consider building support right into SketchUp. The cool thing about the W3C Gamepad API is that it requires little effort to interface with a wide range of 6DoF input devices in a more general, cross-platform way (works on any computer with a browser like Chromebooks, not only platforms for which 3dConnexion decides to have drivers). For someone like me who likes simplicity, getting ridd of the dependency to wait for their driver updates makes it an interesting option.

I’ve played with it on another web game engine (haven’t found any internal camera API in SketchUp for Web yet).


I’m not a “sophisticated” user of SKETCHUP in the sense that I have no idea on how to do what is being suggested for the 3D Mouse. The amazing thing about SKETCHUP for me was that it allowed me to easily use a 3D drawing program without learning the idiosyncrasies of a true CAD program. The 3D mouse was a great add on because, for me, it facilitated navigation and allowed me to use my regular mouse for drawing. If it’s as easy to incorporate the necessary code to permit use of the 3D mouse with the online Free version then why isn’t it done? My understanding is that 3D Connexion wants to do the work but has not been provided what they need to make it happen. (I realize there are 2 sides to everything.) Of course I will continue to use the 2017 version that is already on my computer because there are no other choices except paying for Pro or buying another CAD program and the additional learning curve and expense of that. Sounds like that is the future though.

While I agree with you that it is frustrating that the Spacemouse doesn’t work with any web version, I find is slightly amusing that you can justify buying a fairly expensive (and non essential) piece of hardware to use with the free version of the software, but not buy the software itself.


Perhaps 2 reasons (that compliment each other.)

  1. ALL development costs money, and it is NOT fair to make the PAYING customers pay for FREE users ability to use an optional device.

  2. It may be (and I hope) that Trimble has the policy position that use of a 3D Connexion “Space Mouse” (or similar device) is a “more than normal hobby” use, and should only be implemented in the Shop (or other paid subscription) SketchUp for Web editions.

So, a question back at you:

IF Trimble were to implement 3D mouse / GamePad support in only the SketchUp for Web Shop edition, would you subscribe at the 9. 99 / month ?

  • YES, I would definitely subscribe to Shop (and support nifty features like 3D mouse support.)
  • NO, I would never subscribe, (I only use free software.)
  • UNDECIED. (I am not sure if 9.99 dollars a month is worth it.)

0 voters


Normally I don’t answer back and forth on forums (just too potentially argumentative). However, both the previous responses seem to assume that whole issue is a simple either/or decision. For me, it’s not. I don’t know about anyone else.

First, the 3D mouse I bought wasn’t that expensive. I don’t believe the point about not being willing to pay for software even though I paid a lot of money for the mouse is really relevant to this issue, given that Sketchup Pro, or even Shop, is much more expensive over the useful life of the mouse. My purchase price was equivalent to 1 year’s Pro’s or Shop’s maintenance costs or less. It has lasted at least several years without problems so the cost for the mouse is rather insignificant to me.

No point in replying to the survey, as paying $120 a year for the rest of my life isn’t a simple yes or no decision. First, and foremost, the functionality in Shop must be at a level that would permit me to use it as I do now and it’s not clear to me that this is true; at least at the moment. Second, there are definitely other pieces of CAD software out there that are much less expensive and would serve my needs. I’ve already started to look at those. Some are offered as one-time purchases with upgrade fees as the company puts a new version out; generally not annually. Most of these 3D CAD programs certainly contain sufficient features for my woodworking needs and are in the $115 - $200 range up front with lesser fees to buy the upgraded software when available. No annual requirements. All of the programs I investigated so far already support the 3D Connexion mice so no problems there. This, compared to Sketchup, which would cost me $120 per year forever regardless of whether I buy Pro or Shop (or more down the road) and another $650 for Pro up front).

The other possibility I’ve thought of is just dumping the whole 3D design thing for my woodworking hobby. I have used DelatCAD for years to draw various views of a project. It’s much easier to use and it provides printed output that is superior to Sketchup Make (maybe not Pro) for my use. While 3D modeling with Sketchup allows a lot of flexibility with views and design (and let’s not forget it’s a cool piece of software), it might not be a requirement for me. I got along without 3D before I used Sketchup and it might be OK now also. Plus it would be a lot less expensive; no cost at all. No 3D mouse, but I wouldn’t need to use it with DeltaCAD.

So, for now, I will continue to use Make until I can’t use it anymore or Trimble takes it away completely. In the meantime I will again begin to use my 2D program to see if that works for me.

I realize this all went way past keeping support for 3D mice in place, but I didn’t raise these issues, someone else did.


My mouse was a Christmas gift. But even had I bought the mouse, that shouldn’t dictate what else I should buy. Or not. That’s like saying if you can afford a TV you should subscribe to the package with the most channels AND all the premium channels. I’m not a professional of any sort and make no money on what I do, so I have little justification for the expense of a pro version of SU. And anyone who still uses [an older?] desktop computer with keyboard and mouse can pay just as much or more for a “regular” mouse.

I only said I find it slightly amusing.

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Don’t worry about it. Saying what you believe eloquently without profanity earns a “Like” from me whether I agree or not. I do some and I don’t some.

I personally do not like the “subscription model” for desktop software, but it makes a bit more sense for web-based SaaS. (And the poll is sort of a “tease”.)

But if you reread your original post at the top, you might realize why some readers may see “attitude” there with the “What gives?” and the accusal of withholding proprietary details, as if it was not their prerogative to do so.
It may be a simple as they do not have the time right now, or may not have solved the issue yet, or they might feel that their just not ready to release any public (or limited access) interface at this time.

I also have no issue with free users using free software, or looking elsewhere for a replacement for Make functionality. (Look at FreeCAD, QCAD or LibreCAD. They won’t be as easy or “sketchlike” as SketchUp, but there are likely to always be free as there are Open Source written by people who contribute their free time.)

Back on the feature support topic …
What if you could choose what you wanted on your “burger” for a much smaller price, say 24 dollars a year ?

Say, that they implement only proprietary (Trimble-made) extensions for the Free edition, and allow users to buy only what they actually need provided that the non-commercial use term still applies.
Would 2 dollars a month ($24/year) still be too much ?


I got lost with some of the sofisticated technical discussions.

Bottom line for me and what has completely killed my use of sketchup, is that my 3d mouse plain and simply does not work in sketchup at all.

In sketchup Make 17, I open program, 3d mouse works.
In web app, open web app, 3d mouse doesn’t work.
Its as simple as that. The web in general may support the device via any number of workarounds, but I don’t care about the web in general, I care about the sketchup make app, which obviously does not and thats a killer for me.

And lately 17 has just plain stopped working alltogether as well. Crashes after a few minuts. So look like I am heading to blender as my main 3d modelling program.

I just can’t afford the huge cost for the downloadable version of sketchup. Shame.

Since SketchUp 2017 Make hasn’t changed since, well, 2017, if it has started crashing, you should look at what has changed on your computer. That’s where the problem will be.

Since you are only a hobbyist using SketchUp, you could look into rolling back your graphics drivers to a version before it started crashing. That might help.

It’s not that the space mouse does not work in the web app because something is broken, it simply is a different software which does not have this feature.

Space mouse support for SketchUp is provided by the space mouse’s manufacturer who has not yet done any move to add support for the web app. (Partly due to lack of extensibility, however technically SketchUp could themselves add support for the space mouse, but it’s not necessarily their responsibility.)

If your local SketchUp installation is broken, you’d benefit most by fixing/resetting/restoring it. But that’s something for a different topic, not this one.


You need another option in your poll:
“I use free software but I am also willing to pay for software that offers me value for my money”
For myself in this case, as a hobby user, I wouldn’t pay 9.99 for the privilege of using my SpaceNavigator on Sketchup. I just won’t use or recommend the software.

As a paying SketchUp user who, as it is, must also pay the costs incurred by the users of the free versions, I sometimes wonder if we had a better Pro version if all the development resources wasted in the free versions were concentrated on the revenue-bringing products.

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Disagree. The poll is specifically about SU4Web Shop edition and it’s subscription price.
Your suggestion is too general. It wouldn’t tell us anything that we need to know.

As only 3 persons actually answered and the poll is 2 years old, it sort of shows that there is little interest.

Not a problem as I also don’t use it, and do not find myself recommending it.
(I am a desktop application kind of guy.)

Which gets to the heart of the matter. Most users who have 3D pointing devices likely prefer full featured desktop applications.

As asked also in a separate post above, how much per month or year would you as a hobby user, pay for 3D pointer support (if it was available) ?

Kind of an old topic, but I thought I would toss in my 2¢. I don’t mind paying for software I use. Of course the amount I’m will to pay is dependent on the amount of use and the usefulness. I’ve been a hobby user since I think before the Google days, I’m still using Make and it’s working just fine. I don’t use it often, but I do find it very useful for my woodworking. I wouldn’t mind paying the Shop version, the Pro version is too $ much for my needs. I know that the free Web app doesn’t work with my 3D mouse, but hoped it would in the Shop version. Apparently it doesn’t, so due to the my extensive use of the 3D mouse I am going to continue to use the old Make until either it dies or the 3D mouse is supported in Shop. Unfortunate, but that is the outcome of the decisions made by me and Trimble.

You may have started with the first ‘Free’ release that Google did, which was a variation of SketchUp 5. The version before Google would have cost you $495 for the first one you bought, and $95 for each Upgrade that you paid for. I bought SketchUp 5 that way, and also did upgrades to SketchUp Pro 7 and 8. Google gave us SketchUp Pro 5 users a free upgrade to SketchUp Pro 6.

SketchUp, the desktop version, doesn’t do anything to support Space Mouse, that’s all done with the extension that 3DX give you. I feel sure they could do something similar with a browser extension.

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This is the important point it seems many are ignoring. It’s not SketchUp supporting 3DX mice/controllers. It’s 3DX supporting SketchUp and other applications including browsers.