SketchUp in 2019: where great ideas get to work



Why is this URL secret ?

I looked and tried to find a link to Classic plans but could NOT !
We cannot navigate there from the website’s drop down menus.


All I can find is…



Yea, Dave pointed that out in another thread I since read.

I think it is so silly to hide it’s product page this way. It is actually disrespectful to the customer base.

I am extremely concerned about modifiers like “for the time being” etc. or similar used to describe the “availability” of classic licenses.

In fact this whole idea of resculpting the “Pro” product and renamed the previous one “Classic” reminds me of the 1985 Coca-Cola reformula disaster. That one truly left a bad taste in my mouth, and I’m no longer a Coke customer no even a cola drinker because of it.

SketchUp marketing has in the past few years been leaving a bad experience in my mind.

I am seriously looking for alternative(s).


If the Layout API were ready for plugins, I suspect there would already be plugins.


The addition of “for this year” doesn’t sound that reassuring.


Hey Drew

I am the 2D Bryce from SketchUp 5. SketchUp V1.0 was released in Dec 1999 at a whopping price of $495 per seat! As I said above we’re in it for the long haul. I hope we can give you plenty of reasons to stick with us.


How can I activate a layer in SU 2019?

When opening in a “mobile” browser (e.g. on iOS) the Classic option appears to be missing.

I must say that de-emphasizing the link on the “desktop” view is a classic UI dark pattern, typically employed by unsavory companies. It reminds me of RealAudio in the 90’s. They offered a “free” version of their audio player (which monetized user data, as it turned out), but made it hard to find the download link among their paid products.


Thank you for the reply John,
You are of course correct that there is an ongoing cost to keep the software relevant with new operating systems and hardware. I do realize that, and in fact I almost added mention of that in my original post, but I elected to be succinct. With Sketchup and nearly all other software I own, I will pay a modest annual fee to ensure I keep up with the latest version. In my opinion that model is totally fair and I’m pretty sure most people would agree. I would pay more than ‘modest’ as an option if I needed continual support with any particular software.

$300 per year for an annual Pro subscription seems like quite a lot compared to the cost to purchase the ‘classic’ way. At least Sketchup should consider a purchasing model where after 3 or 4 years of ongoing subscription the latest version is owned so one’s not left completely empty handed after spending over $1000.


This whole release is underwhelming and the only people who gained from this must be a Boulder coffee bean company.

The closest experience to Sketchup as an alternative for me is FormZ. While I use it in tandem it may be time to hop over completely.


A LO Ruby live API requires a ton of work just organizing and moving things around under the hood to have a stable base to build it on. Not disagreeing, just saying I expect it to take a few years, even if it looks like they are moving in that direction.


Agreed, however: released in 2015 … 2016 … 2017 … 2018 … 2019 now … ? ? ? How many devs?

On the licencing front, thanks to the SketchUp team for keeping the perpetual licence (with a reasonable maintenance) going, I wouldn’t be here without it. Whoever fought to keep it alive, thanks thanks thanks.

I am disappointed that the old Pro is now relegated to Classic naming. Surely it could have stayed Pro (or be called Pro Classic), the new subscription Pro could have been Premium (or called Pro Premium, or something along those lines) and then you have the Studio which is essentially Pro / Premium with a bolt-on thus Pro Studio. Semantics, I know, but I am (and I’m sure other Pro users feel the same) sensitive that way.


You’d better get motoring quick then because development pace over the Trimble years has been nigh-on glacial, so don’t be surprised if we approach this with a hint of scepticism. Sorting LayOut to allow developers to create plugins for it (as in they can do Trimble’s heavy lifting) should be top of your list.


Which they should have started years back and which would already be a thing if they had. No excuses.


I third this Matt who too have bought both your books to further my skill set and implement into my workflow.

I am truly disappointed that Sketchup was a fun yet very professional piece of software that I have invested time and money into converting from the huge corporate CAD competitor only now to find that Trimble are trying to squeeze even more money out of us who have embraced SU over the years and migrated our total workflow to SU & Layout.

Very very disappointed with this new proposal of subscriptions. I feel that as users from the early days till now, who have help finance so you can develop Sketchup to what it is now are being disregarded. As loyal users we should be rewarded for our years of support and embracing your software.


@mattd - spot on!


I wrote this from my experience (have several dozen SU licenses). With every new release you are getting email with new license codes for your licenses of SU, if you are on active support. And you have 30 days grace period to reinstall support, if you missed support end date. After it you will have to pay extra reinstallment fee.

I’m sure it was written somewhere on SU website… (and is quite logical/expected)


Actually, I think about it more as a service. I need a tool that I can rely on. I want it to be developed and improved. To get all bugs (especially, security related) fixed. And I wand developer to produce required integrations, documetations, training materials. Plus develop community around the tools, engage plugin developers. So with all of this, I really treat it as a service, and not just a tool that you buy once and it is being used in exactly this form for many years. Well - it is 2019, and we are in the age of Industry 4.0.

Confusion is mostly around the fact, that some people (possibly, including SketchUp team) forgot that SketchUp was a subscription product for many years - each year we were paying a support&maintenance fee, which is, in my eyes, a subscription to fund development and support of the product. So “Classic” product is a subscription as well, the only difference is that you can skip updates and not pay S&M fee for some years (but why would you do this, if this is your work tool?). And that you loose software if you get on new Pro Subscription and then stop paying the fee (can understand, although not the best approach…)

Plus a fact of significant price increase. Take as example Office 365. Office Pro with Visio Pro are not far from SU in terms of cost (even a bit more expensive). But with them your are paying the cost of software, over subscription, approximately every 3-3.5 years. Which I can fully understand. With SU it is more like every 2-2.5 years. Plus with Office 365 subscription you have 5 own devices, not just 2.


I did this when a new version was launched which added nothing useful for my use. At that point I skipped a (few) version(s). At least you can continue doing your business in the old (classic) version.

With the new subscription model you have a big problem if you don’t renew; you can’t create anything new anymore. All previous investment in libraries and plugins etc is useless. So the choice for the user is a much bigger one - and thus the company can get away with mediocre yearly updates…

So the marketing spin ‘to earn your business every single day’ isn’t working for me… at all…


SKP 2019?! I will not even bother to download it.
Actually thought it was a hoax… Or April fool’s joke… Carnival ? … Maybe even a marketing strategy !

With so many features that have been requested over the years … Dashed lines I solved with a plugin by: Vladimir @Syroezhkin

Propose we should name Vladimir Syroezhkin as visionary of the year, give him an award !

I have more respect for all the good people who have developed plugins. They have shown more ingenuity, creativity, determination and loyalty than a years worth of "work" from SketchUp.

It makes me wonder… What is Trimble’s end game ? Who owns Trimble ? Does Autodesk have a distant finger in this … As truly this release defies any kind of logical explanation… Other than it must be a conspiracy.

Quite frankly… I have been moving into Blender.

I wish I new how to program as its time for Sketchup to become open source, as Trimble is destroying years worth of work, by so many good people.


Fully agree on this one and not very impressed that Trimble have not just not developed futher/modified existing subscription (as I insist that SU 2018 and before were subscription products), but separated “Classic” and “new subscription”. In the office we also have several phased-out products, that at least we can use to view/check old archive materials, possibly do minor changes or export. With subscription model all archiving process becomes quite complicated.