SketchUp in 2019: where great ideas get to work



I would not call the SketchUp team lazy. They do a ton of work to improve the life for us developers by fixing bugs, adding new API functionality and improving documentation. Also it’s not really true that extension developers do the heavy lifting. It’s quite easy to get an extension to work but it requires a ton of knowledge to design a good and future proof API. Many of the popular plugins are quite poorly made when you take a closer look at them but still do their job great. The core and API however need a much higher level of quality to assure they can be improved in the future while still supporting existing extensions.

The reason why these tools don’t feel like integrated parts of SketchUp is not because they are made by third party developers, but because these developers lack knowledge in how to make something look, behave and feel “SketchUppy”, with the exception of Skalp that tries to emulate access to the graphics pipeline by drawing physical geometry to the model. As an example Solid Tools is a native feature but still doesn’t feel very integrated as it doesn’t honor components.

Rather than integrating functionality that a lot of people have no use far (and having it designed by people that don’t use SketchUp) I think there should be made an effort to spread knowledge in what makes SketchUp feel like SketchUp. It would also be great if Skalp had access to drawing to the view directly, instead of having to draw physical geometry to the model, assign layers to it etc. With this API improvement Skalp could be made to feel just as integrated as the native section fill.


So now your even charging for the online modler… good job chasing away any young new designers from using SketchUp (slow clap)… Your making a huge mistake.

I don’t mind the price increase for us professionals. But the previews “Make version” is the main reason so many people know and love this software. It was free and accessible and therefor we learnt to use it, and upgraded to pro when we became professionals. The new price is going to have consequences for number of new users.

But kudos on the Adobe and VR integration. At Least now i hope your using your new subscription money to finally fix alle the annoyances and missing features in the layout software.


That doesn’t come across well.

I have been using SU/LO since forever and it is by far the best software for my needs - It does everything generally very well.


There are two different web versions. One free and one professional, with additional file formats supported and some other extra features.


I think you’re missing the point. My comment has nothing to do with how the plug-in dialogs look and function in SU, this is of no great consequence, it’s just a detail. My point is that, if they were baked into SU, 3rd party plug-ins would and should be inter-operable with each other but because they’re completely separate they’re not. For example, if you add some parametric windows using FlexTools it won’t nicely or correctly cut an appropriate hole in a Meedek wall and also adjust all the geometry and elements to suit. It certainly won’t if you then adjust that FlexTools window, which that plug-in was designed to allow…Separately they work beautifully (nice work people) but they don’t play well together (how could they?) because they were created by separate people/companies and, as such, don’t “talk” to each other. If they were all developed in-house at Trimble they would talk the same language and then function accordingly…and also if these plug-ins (or the rights to these plug-ins) were taken in-house by Trimble they WOULD make them more SketchUpy, so problem solved.


John, I think most people see it from the opposite perspective, because with the subscription model (where you lose all access to SketchUp if you cancel the subscription), you’ve effectively raised the pain threshold and made it harder for someone to decide “not to upgrade”, because they are not just deciding if they want to pay in order to access the new features, but they have to decide if they want to continue to access the entire program at all.

You’re basically saying that if a user isn’t happy with new features or improvements, then they shouldn’t have access to SketchUp at all.

With a perpetual license, someone decides that the current features in the software are worth the price. They pay it, and own it perpetually. If the user feels a new release is not worth paying to upgrade, it’s a very easy decision for them to choose not to upgrade, knowing that they can still have access to the core program they previously purchased. This actually holds Trimble accountable because it creates incentive for you to provide enough improvements each year to earn continued upgrade fees from your existing customer base.

The upgrade fees are directly tied to the value of new features, not existing functionality that’s been in SketchUp for years already.

The subscription model provides more leverage to the developer, because let’s say a user isn’t interested in dashes, or any of the cloud features. It doesn’t matter, because the user would be forced to upgrade just to continue to have access to the existing core features of SketchUp. Or, of course, make the very hard decision to leave SketchUp altogether for an alternative.

In other words,

This is not true. With perpetual licenses (with $120/YR annual maintenance agreements), you have to convince users to pay the $120 annual maintenance every single year by continuing to improve the product with features that your users find value in and will happily pay the maintenance fee to get the upgrades.


I was hopping one big update in Layout who would have changed EVERYTHING for me and for many users: Having plugin in Layout. Still not happening. I’m a bit disappointed about that.

And what about the SketchUp viewer on iOS. Version 5 doesn’t work for the last 2 days. Is this temporary? or down for good? I got a phone call from two clients this morning freaking out about how they will do their meeting!


These different features wouldn’t automatically be compatible/interlocking just because they were developed in house. Coordinating it would be about as hard as coordinating between extensions developers. What could be done is to create one single feature that is a very generalized solution for what all these extension does, but I don’t know how much would then be left of them.


Can anybody advise whether the new licensing system enables a user to install SketchUp Pro on more than two physical machines?

At present, I have to rely on ‘Pro 2018’ (with layout) on my (2x) desktop machines (one at home and one in the office - each of which gets used for about 50% of my time). I also have ‘Make’ on my laptop (which I only ever use when out on the road - visiting clients) - but this doesn’t allow me access to layout or various important tools…

[Please don’t even think about suggesting using the web version for anything… LOL]

Also, nobody seems to be making any reference to changes or improvements to layout… Is it any less terrible a user experience than it has been?!

Finally, having logged into my account to download ‘SketchUp Classic 2019’ - I find all of my payment history and account history has disappeared despite paying for annual updates for years! Does this mean we have to start from scratch with the 2019 release?


Just thought of another thing, is the mapping image quality sorted now?

The change from reasonably sharp ‘Google maps’ to the unusable brown and green fuzz that happened not so long ago was a disaster…


OK, just found the new 2019 download link in my spam!

So the 2 machine restriction still applies despite my having to be signed into my account to use the software… great…


Good important point. I think whoever is in charge of community engagement should think hard and hopefully learn from this update ‘event’.

So many people have been confused by the lack of clear info…

Here’s my little story:

The first webpage I opened up came up with the options of 1) the Free Web App, 2) the Pro Web App (I **** myself right there at that point :smiley: ) and the Pro Annual Subscription model. Hmm… wtf I thought…

I couldn’t see any other options at first - So I would say SU TEAM need to either remove the SU Pro option from the ‘Personal’ (which totally threw me tbh) ‘tab’ or the Personal/Professional/Higher Ed/ Primary & Secondary tabs need to be much more vivid somehow - red perhaps?) Eventually I saw the Professional tab with other options, and my heart sank with the words ‘subscribe’ all in a line…

EVENTUALLY I managed to find the ‘Looking for a classic license?’ option hiding like some cheap unwanted we’d-rather-you-didn’t option down the bottom. I felt cheapened by seeing it presented like this, yet grateful you had at least allowed it to exist. I wish you had included this as an option up the top with the ‘subscribe options’. That would have helped greatly the initial confusion and anger felt by many who are venting somewhat to all this.

I’m sure SU 2019 is gonna be great, a better product for all of us. Please, USERS of SU, have some patience. In my opinion the worst thing they’ve done is fudged the launch of SU 2019 in the way it’s been marketed and communicated to ALL of us, but I trust the actual product will be fine. And please let the ‘dashed-line? is that all?’ meme die… It’s inaccurate and unhelpful. As SU team members have said they’ve prioritised other stuff such as the Trimble integration, VR support and a host of other stuff (non which I have any use for FTW but that’s another matter).

Lastly, I wish SU could have done more in their time this year, I want improvements and solutions to so many things - too many to talk about, but remember… This product (for me in the UK) is costing approx £100 per year for the core SU Professional. It’s not 3DS Max which for me in the UK is £1242 per year! or Revit which is £1740 per year… For me this cost is massively important as I’m self employed and still trying to make ends meet on a very tight budget. Let’s have some perspective on expectations here please.

If you wanna go free and use Blender or whatever else then fine, but at least be respectful, constructive and not ranty.


sketchup has fallen victim to the professional community. Interior Designers. Architects of small and medium forms. Furniture makers, etc. sketchup has occupied a niche between large programs (cad, bim) and the lack of programs. Let’s be honest. Initially, he was not intended for this. He was perfect back in 2008. And it fully corresponded to its name - Scetch up! In 2019, developers need to make a decision, either they meet the needs of the professional community, or adhere to the original concept.

P.S. I want to express many thanks to the developers of this product. For all 10 years that I was with you. Sketchup is a significant value in history 3d. Along with leading products of this industry.

Interior designers and small-scale architects are in great need of a new product, or a rethinking of skechup. help us, somebody!)))


Hi Joe! You will be able to renew your M&S OR switch to a subscription - whichever works best for you. Currently, we do not have a date when we will sunset the classic M&S upgrades completely. You will always be able to use the version you’ve last upgraded to in perpetuity, even if the day comes that we do not offer M&S anymore.


thx for the reply.


But the decision that the Classic M&S will be phased out is made?


Because you need to be on active support to get a new version (which is usually once per year) and if you miss a year - you will need to pay extra fee. So it will not be just $120 if you miss a year or 2. At least - this is my understanding. (in my mind was always treating it as subscription)


Yes. We will phase it out eventually, but we do not have a timeline as to when the sunset will occur.


To be honest, I think Trimble just saved SketchUp. Or it would have done the same as many other Google products - just die. And with Trimble, SketchUp, which was good, became even better.

So you may call SU2019 a revision of market and commercial model to make it sustainable. I suppose. (which is not a big for users, but hopefully will make them stay around for years and years)


what happens if we have to transfer to a new machine? Will we always be able to use the version last purchased and upgraded?