SketchUp in 2019: where great ideas get to work



I have paid the license fees, I did not have the opportunity to upgrade due to “First Release Bugs”

I was putting in 18 hour days, seven days a week to complete the modeling for my thesis.

Please be very clear that the subscription is a new, alternate option, before you start a panic at the disco.

Thank you


Maybe this page will help: Pro Classic Pricing

You can choose either a (new) subscription license, or a (classic) perpetual license. Subscription licenses cost less at the beginning, but you pay every year. Classic licenses cost more at the beginning, but you pay less every year.


If you are a student, you are eligible for an even more feature packed subscription at an even lower annual price. Check out our new SketchUp Studio for Students subscription.


I only select “Buy and Take Home”. I quit business with adobe when they went to only subscription options. $300 a year, every year for a $400 software and very quickly the customer is getting The Shaft™

Nothing in the email sent to me or anything in the follow-on information read anything about SkecthUp Subscribe being an option. It read like “This is how it is now, so suck it up.”

That starts a panic at the disco and people bail.


I was really hoping that this release would get me excited about SU PRO /Layout again. But, unfortunately the “fixes” and features are underwhelming.
I was a true believer when in the old days the gospel was “who needs ACAD. You can do it all in SU/LO and it will be more fun…kick your CAD software to the curb.” That is exactly what I did in 2012. After 7 years of exclusively using SU/LO for designing and completing construction drawings for 100+ (custom and remodel) residential projects , I am now finding myself researching what has been going on with those CAD programs I left behind.
What I am finding is that the other software programs have added Sketchup type technology into their software while including all of the things I’ve been waiting for/purchasing plug ins for/pulling my hair out seeking work-arounds for in SU/LO. The other software has advanced much faster than SU/LO.
I have been disillusioned with the rate of advancement for quite some type, but kept believing wonderful things were to come. I went to Basecamp with the attitude of “this is an opportunity for me to see if it’s still worth sticking with SU/LO while they listen to what their users are asking for and hopefully deliver on”
What I’m seeing AGAIN with this release is it doesn’t seem to me that the SU team is as good at advancement in their product as they are at throwing a party. (Basecamp was a great event! and left me feeling encouraged again, if not a bit skeptical still)
This release sucked all my air out. Is it that the SU Team doesn’t have the resources they need to deliver what their users are asking for? Are they not interested in the same direction as the users? The team has certainly been helpful and fun along the way, but the product has been lacking quicker advancement.
For the professional user, SU/LO needs to keep up with professional workflow, standards and advancement of the adjacent industries of it’s users…and I suspect the pros would pay even more for these advancements if that is the lacking resource.
I don’t like whining on forums, but felt I need to be part of this conversation if I’m seriously considering kicking SU/LO to the curb and contemplating what I’ve missed with the “other guys” for the last 7+ years while I was waiting and trying to beat SU/LO into the program it should be.
The power of SU has always been the open source plugins to compliment the fun interface, but a serious software program can’t lean on it’s users/ 3rd party developers for everything. At some point the software team has to give its users something back that is worth it. At very least to show they can keep up or appreciate all of the time and effort the users/3rd party developers have put in. (read:free plugins)
On that note, Layout is a drag to use, but if it wants to continue the legacy of SU with simply interface and tools, I have been expecting for years that Layout could be opened up to 3rd party developers to create plugins for it to make not suck so bad.
I will close by saying this: I have been wanting Linetypes (dashed, etc.) in SU for a very long time, so that new feature is A W E S O M E!!, but it may be too little, too late.


I’m not clear why you feel you are stuck with SU2015, especially if you are a student with access to our low-price ($50/yr for everything we sell) student license? Maybe I need to hear your about your particular situation. Regardless, you are free to continue under your existing license terms if that is what you want to do. Subscription is indeed one of your multiple options.

There’s a lot to unpack in your post, and I’m not sure, really, where best to begin. Maybe I can just say that I do get it, and remember being a student as well- living in a cold-water East Village squat in the late 1980’s while I was working my tail off at Cooper Union. Actually, we usually had hot water, so it wasn’t that bad. I did eat a lot of ramen noodles, though.

Broadly speaking, I don’t think we are asking you to do anything you don’t want to do, nor working in bad faith against your best interests as a designer using SketchUp. On the contrary, what we have done is offer a subscription for SketchUp Pro as an alternative that includes more stuff for a lower initial price. The break-even price comes after 3-4 years (depending on how you value the features/services beyond the SketchUp core application). If you don’t like that for whatever reason, you are free to continue using SketchUp under it’s previous (“classic”) licensing model. But you shouldn’t think you’re getting a better deal by paying once and never upgrading again. You’ll be missing out, eventually.

I don’t know how much it matters, but we do think differently than you seem to about subscription licensing. From our perspective, we have to earn your business over and over again every day you are under subscription. With perpetual licenses, we only have to convince you to buy once to satisfy our business model. The way I see it, a subscription is good for you because it keeps our performance as a team aligned well with your ongoing happiness. If you aren’t satisfied, you can cancel the subscription and move on to whatever alternative you find to be more satisfying.

One thing is for sure- a software company that isn’t continuously improving its products is a software company that isn’t built to last very long. That continuous improvement represents a continuous cost on our side to keep the programming team fed, housed and working hard for you. Additionally, more and more of our products depend on cloud computing services that we have to pay to keep warmed up and available to you when and where you want them. We simply can’t afford to sell access to those services under a perpetual licensing model.

You’ll no doubt argue that you didn’t ask for any of those things to be built and that you don’t care about them at all. But the reality is probably different- I think you’ll actually find them pretty useful in the long run.


The SketchUp Desktop applications are the exactly same whether you have a subscription or classic license. The only difference is the time period in which you can use them.

The Classic M&S plan gives all updates and upgrades for one year while the plan is active, then the software runs perpetually if you choose not to stay on the plan and upgrade further. Note that you will be subject to reinstatement fees if you lapse and want to get back on M&S.

Subscriptions gives you access to the latest products and greatest while your subscription (there are 3: Shop, Pro & Studio) is active but access to all the applications (which vary per subscription plan) is lost after the term expires. There are no fees to restart your subscription though, you can simply pay when you need to use the products again.

Updates and upgrades schedules vary for all our apps and services. Web apps like SketchUp Web release rather frequently - on the order of every few weeks. Other apps like the mobile applications update every month to every few months. Historically with the desktop apps, we’ve aimed to release one major version upgrade per year and one minor update, sometimes two (ie 2019.0 -> 2019.1). We do hope to expand this cadence to be more often than twice per year as we realize it’s better for everyone if we get improvements out faster.


I am no longer a student, I have graduated and now officially a freelance contractor until I get something 9 to 5 in CADD. Also, I have already done commercial work with SketchUp and needed export options to other model formats, requiring the Pro version by default.

Never thought I could even earn that second degree, due to my brain injury induced learning disability and trying to train on software never encountered before. Training was extremely difficult because memorizing procedure is near impossible in some cases.

I failed a “basic” python coding class that everyone swore up and down was “easy”. They had no business putting me in there to begin with and dismissed me when I told them all I see is gibberish and the instructor never explained things.

My brain sees ZBrush as drawing which ties into my Bachelor’s in Illustration, but I want to beat the people who designed SolidWorks senseless with a rolled up newspaper. I have to write a procedure for every task in that CADD program, including dirt simple ones. The software is useful, but infuriating and gives me an actual headache each time I have to use it. Some of those headaches have lasted a few days.

My brain sees SketchUp as 3D Drawing and building models is fast and productive compared to others. The software is intuitive and not difficult to figure out solutions to design problems that I cannot do in 3DS Max. The “Drag and Drop” method for placing orthographic plans is something other softwares have a needlessly complicated procedure for importing and placing. I have exported an average of 30-40% of geometry assets from SketchUp and completed the model in Max or ZBrush.

Though it must be recognized the limitations of the current format is becoming an issue, such as still no “In-House” chamfer and fillet tool, or watertight testing for STL export.

These are options that must be seriously considered if you are incorporating 3D Print Building modes into the software now. I built my thesis model in SketchUp, but had to rely on 3DS to properly format to a watertight STL.

There is no other software for hard surface modeling that is as easy to use for me, but I have to be able to function in the professional world without having to do backflips everyday.

I may be stuck as a freelancer and that will make living extremely difficult.

That prospect makes me miss being shot at.


I attempted to apply to cooper union . . . they sniffed at me and called me a “cartoonist” like it was the dirtiest word in the book.

What a thing to tell a 15 year old.

Then they showed me the door.


I’m glad you enjoyed Basecamp- we definitely had a blast together with you all. I’m sorry we didn’t meet yout expectations about new features in SU2019, but I hope you’ve had a chance to consider all the additional features and services we’ve built for you outside the SketchUp Pro core applications in the last year as well. The reality is, we’ve done much more outside the SketchUp core than we did in the base application’s UI this year. If you’re only looking at SketchUp, I’m not surprised you came up feeling this release was a little light.

I’d be keen to hear some more about what your ideal future for SketchUp looks like. If we can’t satisfy your needs, I hope we can help you put a wider portfolio of stuff together (maybe from us, maybe from somewhere else) that does give you what you need.

So tell me what you were hoping to see in SU2019 that we biffed? Do you want LayOut to compete more directly with AutoCAD? Maybe you’d rather we had spent our time on parametric wall tools? Or maybe some advanced rendering features? Maybe you were just hoping to see more raw performance running massive numbers of polygons through our rendering pipeline? Or maybe you don’t know… just that it should have been MOAR!!!


I don’t know who you talked to at Cooper, but I do know that many of my classmates had an interest in cartooning. Of course I was there quite a while ago, so maybe it has changed. Where are you in school now? Did you find a more supportive program?


I understand why people are angry, this update seems to miss the boat on many key issues–especially performance with large files. This is not exactly a defense, but I have the same complaints about QuickBooks Online–they just change the window-dressing and seem to ignore the bigger issues.

However, I do take issue with the subscription haters. I was using Make for years on a semi-pro level. I wrote in frequently requesting a subscription option as a stepping stone because $695 was just too much for how I was using it. I figured that at the right price point it was a win-win option for the company AND those of us at an in-between level. This is makes sense for many people the same way most have to finance or lease their homes and cars because the upfront chunk is too much. I use subscription software elsewhere in my business because with the maintenance included, it makes sense from an accounting standpoint–especially if I am uncertain I want to continue with the software longterm, or if my company will even exist in 3 years. That said, the $299 price point is still too high relative to the purchase cost, and they should offer quarterly or monthly options. Off course this is more expensive in the long run, but some of us aren’t sure about the “long run” and can’t manage the initial outlay. I’m old enough to look back on my life and see how many big purchases in my life were made incrementally. I used to finance all my cars, and did a lease once, but now I only pay cash upfront. I also rented equipment I needed before I could purchase it outright–which was a good thing because I learned from the rental what I really wanted and needed. My only point is–don’t hate the subscription option, it has it’s place for many. It’s also important that the company has a revenue model that works for them or the product will cease to exist. However, I challenge SU to do more in your product development and be more aggressive with your pricing. I think you can generate larger revenues and operating profits by sitting at softer price point on the supply/demand curve.


I would tend to agree with you on the core 3D modeling aspects of SketchUp. I don’t think there is any need for any major new features. Just further refinement, elimination of bugs and of course compatibility upkeep so that new operating systems can keep everything straight.

The one area that I think still does need some major overhaul is Layout. If we can get Layout to be as robust as some of the other 2D systems out there then SketchUp as a whole becomes unstoppable.

Honestly, the $300.00 yearly price tag is very reasonable for most any business that is actually profitable. Especially when you compare it to other similar software and drawing packages out there. I don’t mean to diss on the SU community but sometimes I feel like our overly frugal attitudes are somewhat self destructive. If Trimble does not feel like SketchUp has a profitable future, I can assure you they will take the foot off of the gas, maybe that is partially what we are seeing with this latest release.

However, I am still of the opinion that a mid-range priced “Make” with a price tag half that of Pro would still be a viable option for many if Trimble would acquiesce.


Chamfers and fillets are really more common in Mechanical CAD apps like Solidworks. They come with constraint modeling systems that most freeform-minded folks struggle to adopt. Maybe you have tried Fusion360? Might be something you would like better than Solidworks. SketchUp’s winged-edge data model doesn’t lend itself to a reliable chamfer/fillet tool.

SketchUp does include a water-tightness test (the base of “Solid Tools”) and STL export is now included by default in all our products, even SketchUp Free. We do have some new features available in SketchUp (currently only in SketchUp for Schools, though likely available more widely in the future) to help you preflight models for 3D printing, based (loosely) on ThomThom’s Solid Inspector tools. He is a member of our development team now, so he helped us make the new features better.


What I want in SketchUp:

If the software is now being applied as a hard surface modeling tool for 3D Print Building, than a Chamfer and Fillet Tool needs to be part of the tool sets. One with multiple options like SolidWorks that is organic to SketchUp, not a Plug-In Tool.

A Watertight Test feature is required if the software is now capable of exporting as an STL. If it exists, then there needs to be a clear “How To” because I can never get the Solid Surface test to work.

A rigging system for hard surface game modeling assets needs to at least be considered.

I do not have a need for dashed lines with model building, I fail to understand the significance.

I cannot afford $3600 for an annual SolidWorks license . . . especially when it is an obnoxiously anti-intuitive software. The only way I will be able to improve with it is under an employer’s business license.

For your direct questions:

I am a Gen X’er. I could not tell you who I spoke with at cooper union. It was some time in The Nineties as I was leaving junior high. I went to a general purpose high school, then went to SVA for Cartooning and Illustration.

Then I enlisted. Then The War broke out. Then I did what I was trained to do.

Then I got hurt.

Now I am trying to piece my life back together. This is difficult, as I can still draw comics, but not at the industry standard of three pages a day. Even if I could draw at the pace I used to, with the insane politics at Marvel Comics now, I would have no hope of getting hired. Despite being ten times better than at least half their new artists, with my background, I am “Not Diverse Enough”.

Using my other skills such a logistics, record keeping, information analysis, paperwork processing, personnel management are effectively impossible when doors are slammed in your face because people still trade in “Crazy Veteran” stereotypes.

So I had leave new york forever. Went back to school for Industrial Design.

Training in CADD proved very difficult with my brain injury. Discovered the hard way I have a learning disability now, when before someone only had to show me the method once. I figured out what had to be done to adapt and solve the problems.

Now I am looking a CADD Draftsman 9 to 5, I could not care less if it is “boring”. I have lost around 30 pounds since leaving The Army, not the kind of pounds a man wants to lose. Kinda tired of starving.

SketchUp will serve as a support tool until I can advance from “functional” to “proficient” in 3DS and SolidWorks. Then it will serve me with my “Garage Business” plans.


OK–good to know. But the link you provided is not what is showing up in your pricing menus here

The Pro Classic Pricing is not there. What is concerning is that those of us who paid $695 up front may have wasted $400 if next year if there is no ongoing “maintenance only” option at ~$120.

Where is this in the pricing plans? It seems that next year you may be forcing everyone into the subscription model if they want maintenance–which would indeed invite my considerable wrath–if not a lawsuit. Please get your website in order and clarify these points. Ichabod117 is right,

Address this matter soon or you will all be working 24/7 cleaning up this debacle.


Have you not seen Fredo’s latest chamfer / radius plugin? It’s stupendous! It shows that indeed you can add these features to SU. As does plenty of other surface modelers including Blender, 3DMax, Lightwave, Modo, Maya, Wings, the list goes on.

Not to mention Whaat’s Boolean Tools which I find far superior to SU’s own internal ones. I think you do your product a disservice telling people what cannot be done, especially when plugin developers, like Thom Thom, can actually make your product a superior one.

To think the total sum of the brain trust in the SketchUp Developer Bullpen can only put together dashed lines and a nicer tape measure as the top two tent stretching poles for 2019 doesn’t say much about the overall passion there for improving the product. Heck, Fredo not only created a whole new filleting plugin last year but did so much more (including animation) in only his spare-time SketchUp development efforts.


I’m not clear why you would feel that you have wasted $400, but maybe you can take me through the argument? As you have seen me say several times now, we are offering a new way to buy SketchUp but not forcing you to adopt it if you think the old way to buy SketchUp is a better value for you. I happen to believe that subscriptions are a better way to buy, as you are getting more stuff for less money (at least for the first 3-4years) and we have to win your business continuously over time rather than just ‘once and done’ under our old model.

We haven’t announced any future end to our existing support and maintenance for perpetual (classic) licensing, so I wouldn’t necessarily jump to the conclusion that we are actively working against your best interests. You’ll have to decide if you trust us or not, I guess.

Classic pricing is found by following this link.


not to be cynical, but SU2018 saw a single maintenance release, for Mac only, because of a critical problem experienced by that platform


Is there anything really new? Dotted line, that’s it.
The new website wont make the old users happy
what about big files? it isn’t worth the ,new" ,cheap" price. :confused: