SketchUp in 2019: where great ideas get to work

SketchUp Make 2017 is still available though, even if it doesn’t have all new features and bug fixes. However I’m a bit worried it may be taken down from their website when 2020 is released, as they normally only make 2 versions back available. I surely hope not for the sake of the hobbyist community.


agree. That’s precisely why I quit AutoCad. But you have to say, the list of annoying SU bug is quite small compare to Acad. But again, agree.

@mattd where do you get it?

Woaaaaaaw! That is so cool. Thanks a lot for the plug guy.

I also have this problem with some client being alergic to colour planset. Not agree with them but they are the client! This plugin fix that problem. Thx @jim_foltz and all of you who point out this very nice feature.


This is not exactly the same as what @AK_SAM is talking about. Please re-read his post. It’s not about you, not working for Trimble SketchUp.

voilà! In my opinion, Grayscale textures should be a viewstyle in the core program.


It certainly seems as if the 2019 release has stirred some strong opinions. One of the saddest things is that so many original & considered recommendations by extremely competent and enthusiastic users under the feature requests heading on this forum that would have certainly improved SU have not been implemented. It appears that there is genuine disappointment that the core programme has not developed as the users would have wanted it to. After all they are the customers and should be listened to. Whilst there may be merit in going to web based software it isn’t much use if your connection is sub standard, or non existent. Neither will it help (if I understood it correctly) if sometime after you cease to be a subscriber, you need to alter, or update work you have previously done and are unable to do so, for any reason. I certainly hope that I can continue to own my software call it Sketchup Pro, or Classic or whatever in the future. If it becomes purely subscription and web based like others who have spoken here, my last purchased version would likely be my last update. Let’s hope that the ownership option stays as that is in part one of SU’s USP.


Your beautiful work in SU inspired me to consider SU as an alternative to AutoCad which I’d used since the 80’s. You are correct that $300 annual is very reasonable for a business… and likely you’re quite correct that the primary outrage is based on fear of what happens down the road.

That fear is justified.

You obviously invested huge amounts of time into SU to make it a workable solution for your business. When you spent all that time you owned your copy of SU and surely you eagerly awaited updates and happily paid the fee. I question whether you would have comfortably invested all that time into SU if you knew you would have absolutely nothing if SU went belly-up or if you didn’t continue to pay subscription. Knowing that you could continue working for the foreseeable future with only your latest version of SU and the mods you’ve made gives a huge comfort level that will be totally gone if subscription becomes the only available option. Consider the reality that you’d have no legacy version to fall back on. What if subscription kept going up each year and now it’s up to $1500 per year and each update doesn’t really help your work performance but only mostly creates headaches because you have to redo all the settings and shortcuts and other things that you’ve spent years setting up? Would you still want to keep paying your subscription at that point? That is what happened to me with AutoCad over the years between the 80’s and the 2010’s.

What we’re seeing here is a revolt to ‘the norm’ of subscription… and I hope that it continues. We’ll pay for updates, but want to be able to know that we’ll always have a working tool on hand even if it’s not perfect.


One of the great things about Blender is your SU models come in ready to render (with your SU textures, or add new ones), without UV Mapping. You can then use Blender’s realtime renderer, EEVEE, just like you would do in Unreal.

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I completely agree and would love to see Nathaniel’s work better supported. I also dont use it (and other extensions) for similar same reasons.
So you can have all the might of these amazing extensions but they dont get aopted. Its like having awesome fonts and never using them because compatibility means we always end up with the same 6 fonts for everything.

Issue 1) We cant collaborate with people who dont have that extension - model can break if they open it and save it.

Issue 2) No assurance that the extension will be maintained or features wont be dropped. Adopting somthing into a workflow is a huge investment.

Issue 3) Inability of Layout to document it (with schedules etc), transmit to other pros in IFC or DWG formats.

Issue 4) too much admin; Skalp, Vali architects, Profile Builder, Meedek Wall and Roof, etc etc - all licensed in differnet ways, updated at random (or never) and not compatibility tested with each other.

Since this BSA alliance , developers are hiring 3rd party sleuths to chasing down and sue users who install multiple copies or dont maintain accurate records of licenses (eg if i sign in on your pc and forget to sign out) and the amounts are $10ks per infringement. I cant go into details here but its a serious professional risk.

We are not hip young students working on macbooks at starbucks and an appetite for trial and error. We are in a corporate environment with professional standards and liabilities to adhere to. Our projects are worth many $millions and people rely on our outputs. Nathaniel is a bright and dedicated guy, but how would I know if his structural modelling is accurate or his model data is reliable?


Dear Trimble,

I am very disappointed with this release. I was thrilled at the idea of an actual update after so many years, but soon realized by reading the web page that the biggest new feature is another price increase in dashed line makeup. Oh, and of course introducing as usual a “2019” file format that makes older versions artificially obsolete.

I love SketchUp and have been using it for more than 10 years. But I see some serious management issues here. How can Trimble increase the price without following the competition? Are you trying to see how much money they can milk out of SketchUp users without investing in it? The new feature/“amount of coffee” ratio seems pretty terrible to me and this will not work much longer. In the Forum summary email I just recieved, 12 posts out of 16 were complaints about 2019, the new business model and even censorship. The anger is building up.

A great move would be to buy and implement extensions and hire their developers, there are true artists out there! :wink:


Nail on the head. A perfect summation of the major issues.


To some extents that applies to all software. If you want to all work on the same document and not have data losses from converting, you need the same tools.

That sounds like bad plugin design though. If you open a model and manually edit something that e.g. was drawn from parameters, the parameters wont be updated, but if you make changes to something else, that wasn’t related to the plugin, I don’t see how it could happen. Do you have an example of a plugin that specifically says the model shouldn’t be edited without it?

I agree though that extension management and licensing could b improved. An improved Extension Warehouse favoured by more plugin authors, with multi-seat licenses and an extension manager that remotely can handle a whole organization could be very useful.

I don’t think you need to worry about this. The SketchUp team is constantly improving the API, adding new functionality and fixing bugs. The SketchUp core is constantly improved, but often not with new fancy features that meet the end user’s eye, but with improvements for us developers. In the end it benefits everyone that it gets faster, easier and less frustrating to make extensions.


Good morning forum,

This was the second thing that REALY got to me ANGRY … “bug fixes”

During 2018 I believe SK updated once, (stand to be corrected), but dynamic components, (an integral and very important feature of SK), is still “buggy”, (and has been for some years). I reported this bug on the forum. Read the bug fixes for 2019 … did not see anything written about this.

But even if it has been fixed… why were these bug fixes not done for the 2018 version ?? That is the reason we paid for the years support & updates !!!

Again, not good enough in my opinion.

I have no problem paying … but I also want to feel like I am getting what I paid for … support, updates & issues to be fixed now, not in next years subscription !!!

For this reason alone … SK2019 should be released … for FREE to exisitng subsciptions!


p.s. my posts on the DC issue:

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I do not mind the subscription option when the updates are frequent and full of features and innovations, such as VRay for example (and this is hardcore coding there for many many applications, not dashed lines on a layer), which is extremely far from being the case for Sketchup and Layout.
There are no details of what is supposed to have been done “under the hood” improvements and bugs fix, I installed the demo version, and the same annoying old bugs are still there, still extremely bad at handling large model and geometry, frequent random crash, no background autosave, same crappy material editor on mac, no real hatch in Layout, etc, etc, etc…
It all has been told already in many places, but my frustration so that I felt the need to comment on that.
It is almost 2020 and Sketchup is still delivering the same version as 2012, there is much room for improvements, but the version we are still waiting for never comes.


Have you read the release notes?

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I agree with this statement as it relates to the SU core. I think the API is generally quite stable and for the most part has pretty much everything I need or want. Over the course of the last three years I’ve only had a few gripes, it really is a beautiful thing. If the API had been anything like AutoCad’s antiquated AutoLisp system I would never even have tried making the first extension.

However, I do think that the Layout side has a bit of a ways to go, both on overall performance/features and its API. I’m hopeful that some energy will be expended by Trimble in this regard, making it a more powerful piece of software and thereby take the entire SketchUp ecosystem to new territory never before imagined.


Thank you for that gkernan.

Mostly bug fixes. Features that impact workflow are minimum. Among the most touted: rounded rectangle and draw rect from center, both already available in plugins.

Most people understand bug fixes are not considered enhancements-- just correcting for expected results.