SketchUp in 2019: where great ideas get to work



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.


Well put. There we’re several releases of very expensive Autodesk software were all they did was revamp the GUI and things that were Broken stayed that way. Then there were releases almost solely to fix problems with the previous releases instabilities. This was followed by abandoning the small firms and tailoring to big companies with large IT staff and subscription only business models. I get emails from them constantly trying get me to trade my perpetual license. See any parallels here?


You’re right @eneroth3. But I’ve been asking patiently for this feature since SU8. I thought it would be baked by now! I’m just a bit disapointed that SU team doen’t seems to understand the importance of developping Layout. In my own opinion, SU is pretty cool and don’t need much new feature (new engine would be great tho) but Layout is far behind and lots of people resist to use SketchUp more seriously just because of it. Getting Layout better has been one of the strongest request for years now. I was hopping SU team have done something there.

And my point was: If they would have done that, the subscribtion pill would have been MUCH MUCH more easier to swallow. In other word, if they were not ready to push that new feature, they should have wait to have a huge feature annoncement before pushing us to sub method. It’s a simple marketing strategy who could have avoid all that present mess.


p.s. Both of these companies apear to hold shares in both Trimble & Autodesk ?!



I am a user of Sketchup since the good old version 7 days and so I am sure there are plenty of people out-ranking me here.

The improvements in the SU 2019 version are minimal to say the least, and a future where existing loyal Sketchup users could have there “classic” subscriptions discontinued at any moment in favour of a significantly more costly one, not to mention that work created with Sketchup becomes useless hard drive space if we don’t pay up, is not a future that I am looking forward to.

It is still quite clear in my memory Trimble removing access to Google Maps imagery from the software and replacing it with an inferior aerial photo service. This was a terrible loss (particularly solar panel business owners but also architects/building designers) and the blame was put squarely on Google for removing access to their API.

But today I stumbled over this program: Edificius (ACCA Software) an architectural modelling package that makes this claim:

Locate the area to be surveyed and with a simple click rebuild the terrain’s digital elevation map directly from Google Maps® satellite imagery acquiring the area’s precise altitude data.

So I don’t understand why this feature can be offered to Edificius users but not to Sketchup users - who originally had this feature in the first place!

Maybe someone from the Sketchup Team could just explain this one more time…


I am a long time user of SU maybe 10 or more years and I have never been on the forums before (nothing much to say about a great piece of software) However I would like to input my 2 cents worth.
The great feature that I appreciate with SU is the developer community and the extensions that keep coming through.If it was not for this SU would not be what it is now. After the mediocre features in 2019
I would have thought that at least you would have added an extension feature to layout. My feeling is that if this was added It would make SU even greater and I would not get the feeling that SU has run out of ideas. Please give the developer community a chance to show what could be done with Layout.


Version 3 then? We can go around and around on this but it’s really not the issue. While your idea of a bare bones core application with the real functionality bolted on via extensions might work fine for a single license but it becomes a nightmare to maintain when you scale it up in a corporate environment.

Imagine your company is 100 users and you need 30 extensions to get the functionality you want. Your users are professional designers, not IT so don’t ask them to install/maintain this on their own.

You have huge issues with deploying the software + plugins/extensions in the first place, updating a rolling release “core” that will get out of sync with developers extensions, licensing for any paid plugins/extensions, support from as many as 30 different vendors, business continuity risks for any mission critical extensions that may stop development at any time, and probably a few other things I’m not thinking of right now.


Then the issue is that extension management isn’t good enough. Not that everything isn’t included in the core.


Hi Michelle,
I’m reading this statement as “updates throughout the year” are only included with the subscription. Will perpetual license holders that are up to date their yearly maintenance fees be included in the updates?


Christine, I completely agree. If every extension were packaged with the base module, it would become bloatware. Not to mention the work-space would become a six inch square.