SketchUp in 2019: where great ideas get to work



No, it does not work fine, because all these bolted on extensions simply lack performance. It’s just laughable that you have to watch a progress bar or wait several seconds to even minutes if you round some edges or toggle subdivision… basic operations that are possible in realtime (at comparable poly-counts) in any other serious program. And i don’t think that it’s the plugin developers who are accountable for this.


Better extension management would solve a lot of problems for me but it can’t solve the risk to business continuity and that’s a big one. After I posted that I looked to see how many extensions I have loaded. 65. Maybe 5 of those were R&D installs I didn’t purge yet so I have to agree with Chipp that there isn’t enough in the core for me.


Having plugins talk to each other is difficult, probably not so much even in the implementation but in getting people together so they can agree to have their plugins talk together in the first place.

I’ve contacted a few other window and door plugin authors in hopes of creating some interoperability between the Medeek Wall plugin and their window/door plugins however I found the interest (or energy) wasn’t there. So I was forced to basically create my own window/door module within the wall plugin.

I am developing my plugins with the intent to allow other developers to access the data from the plugin’s models (attribute libraries) and be able to obtain whatever information they need. All of the parameters are exposed and readily available within these attribute libraries. At some point I will publish a comprehensive document that explains the name, values and precise meaning of each attribute. This information can then be used by other developers to tie into my plugins or their models.

SketchUp in its native form (without plugins) is a blank canvas, like a tractor without implements (eg. plow, rototiller, combine etc…). You really need plugins to make it a useful tool in my opinion, especially for the design professional.


This classic licence webpage is not secret but is strangely stuck in there like some we-rather-you-didn’t option, like I said in my post SketchUp in 2019: where great ideas get to work

It is there at the very BOTTOM of this page

In essence though @DanRathbun I do not disagree with your question… Why so secretive about it… I think the answer is obvious to us all - marketing the new subscription price plan is being pushed hard, so hard that WE long time customers are, simply put, angry and not being respected.


Lets be clear - there is no difference between an app used under a perpetual license vs a subscription plan. There are not different applications just different ways to license them. If you have a perpetual license, you are entitled to all minor version “updates” ever released for that version. In the past these updates have been called maintenance releases. If you have an active M&S plan, you are also entitled to all major version “upgrades” released during the term of your plan. These are our big releases like going from SU2018 to SU2019.

The plan going forward is to improve our release cycle so we can launch improvements to the desktop apps more often than twice per year.


The inconspicuous link to classic licenses on the pricing page disappears entirely when the width of a desktop browser window is reduced to the point of triggering a mobile layout.

I sincerely hope this is an accident of the responsive web layout, not a deliberate choice.


I don’t think the SketchUp team is lazy like some people have suggested in this and other threads, I just think the focus has not been on the core program or on Layout.

A lot of new features that surround the SketchUp ecosystem have been added. This takes a lot of energy and resources.

I also think a lot of energy and effort has been expended on the development of the web based version of SketchUp in the last couple of years. I’m not sure what the motivation for moving to the web was originally but Make was and is still the better option in my opinion.

I’m not faulting the SketchUp team for this but I do think focusing on Layout and the Layout API would be time better served. At least from the design professional’s perspective.

And now to really get on my soapbox…

I’ve read through most of this thread and a few others like it the past couple of days and I suggest that some of you take a deep breath… No, chicken little the sky is not falling. SketchUp is here to stay. We don’t need to run to an inferior product like blender or heaven forbid Revit, so please stop with the idle threats. SketchUp is still the best 3D modeling software out there, bar none.


I’ve had a little time to think about the addition/change to subscription.

I’m personally not too happy about it but I understand why it could be a more attractive offer for larger businesses and some newcomers.

However for smaller businesses and freelancers who have supported and invested in sketchup pro for years this may feel like a kick in the teeth especially if it turns out that the perpetual licence is going to be scrapped soon as many of us is fearing.

I think that trimble have to remember is that sketchup is the cult indie to big software developers (like autodesk) blockbuster smash - different budgets and different audience.

In order for your current/long term audience to continue supporting sketchup, sketchup needs to continue supporting them. And I think a significant majority going by forums are saying if you abandon perpetual licences you aren’t supporting them.

For me I do understand why there isn’t much new with 2019. By going subscription I guess the idea is to stutter out say 5 new features/tools/ideas throughout each sketchup yearly cycle. So you may be saving the new features to drop at different times.

I pray that sketchup do not abandon the perpetual license. If that means that the classic version gets only one yearly update and small initial fixes and the subscription model gets several new features throughout the year that the classic users have to wait a year to also get then that may be the fair way of doing thing.

I’m personally got on my wish list that layout can become more like a lite version of cad and that trumble will give more support to the amazing plugin writers that help make sketchup what it is. Also a number of editable large tool sets that users can name and organise their plugin icons is a bit must as all the little iddy plugin toolbars just gets so cluttered and lost.


I think all Sketchup Team members have said multiple times that Sketchup Pro is Sketchup Pro - whatever the pricing plan. The pricing plan only changes when you pay and addon bits and bobs


Improvements? And MORE than twice a year? Did i miss something?
I think once a year would already be a great start.


Twice a year? You mean more than once in 15 months right?


Yes, aside from one thing: the VR/AR viewer is only offered to those on subscription. So those of us that bought SU Pro licenses (+ annual maintenance subscriptions) are being excluded from the one big new functionality of SU Pro 2019.

If, as John Bacus has said, this is where a big chunk of development time went, then maybe it would be nice to offer it to longterm, paid pro customers — that have essentially funded all development to date — to benefit from the work that has been done through our dollars. (Rather than using it as an enticement to pull people off perpetual licenses and on to annual subscriptions.)

There’s much more to say about this, but I find it a bit rich when SU team members ask us to trust them re their completely obscured future roadmap (of which a couple of elements peaked out between team member disagreements), when they keep delivering beyond disappointing updates and fall further and further behind in the pro 3D / CAD space.

They decide to offer new features to brand-new subscribers that they exclude from their existing loyal customers — while continually ignoring the myriad of performance / UI / workflow / LO issues that the core base of pro users have been asking for (unsuccessfully) for years — and then wonder why we’re feeling put-out.


Actually, it seems to me that the performance hit is due to the management of the Undo stack, that is, it is when you commit the created geometry that it takes time.

Ruby is reasonably fast and openGL is damned quick (as you can see in FredoCorner or Curviloft preview mode), but of course developers would benefit from having some basic geometric calculation provided in the API (and written in native C++) and more efficient methods to manipulates face and edges entities.



As you may know, I’ve been watching your work for quite some time. You are doing wonderful things! The only reason I haven’t bought your plugins yet: Although your tools are creating powerful graphics and information in great detail, I don’t have confidence lately that the SU/LO core is keeping pace in order to support your work and allow me to document it in my drawings in a meaningful and efficient way.
I would vote for: the SU Team to partner/hire you to develop the “SU/LU for Architecture” package I mentioned in my previous comment.


Time will tell on that…

While I’m here. The last software developer (financial planning software) in my life that decided to start forcing me to upgrade to their latest product, when the version I had worked perfectly fine and I was perfectly happy with it, and perfectly happy being 5 or even 10 years behind the Bleeding Edge… angered me to no end. There’s no inherent right that exists here, for a maker of a product, any product, that says customers MUST buy what they’re making! That they MUST have the latest version. You software developers cry about your revenue stream, and why you need customers to continue to contribute regularly by purchasing every year blah blah blah. How are you so different from say… Ford Motor Company. I own a 2014 F150, but I don’t feel compelled to buy a new truck every year, and the vast majority of people I know feel the same way. It’ll be years in the future yet before I buy another truck from Ford or anyone else. That’s because I’m happy with what I have. But how does Ford survive? Don’t know don’t care because that’s not my job to ensure survival of corporations, but they do. They’ve structured their business model somehow, to be just fine right here right now, even I’ve bought a mere 2 vehicles from Ford brand new in my entire life (I’m 54). Now the software company I was speaking of has jumped to the ultimate mode of coercion against it’s customers, the subscription model, and the only thing there is for me to say to that is… see ya! This, I believe, is the core principle at work here. Snarky? Really? Your defense of a company that’s [attempting] to introduce the same type of thumbscrew mechanism on it’s customers, while providing little in the way of features (pronounced Value) is snarky. Defending a way of [attempting] to do business that is going to backfire. When businesses do this, I go away. From what I’m reading on this topic, I’m just one of many that have but one thing to say… See ya. Trimble, you don’t have an entitlement to have me constantly provide you a stream of revenue by constantly buying updates to your software or even worse, by “subscribing” to keep a privilege to access your app online. I’ll buy it if I like it. If I like it enough, I’ll upgrade when and if I feel the need. You can take your subscription model and… you know the rest.


From Trimble’s point of view, they have gambled on SU - taking financial risks, considering the development history baggage - free for many years, now needing to earn it’s way.

I see the subscription as more about gaining new users - may be critical to robust SU development continuity.

Comments regarding the SU kernel / core being slower than the competition do concern me, but this example does put that in some perspective -

Calgary company (Jayman Built) - 83% production time reduction switching from traditional CAD on a $300M project (and 82% cheaper than CAD / Revit)!!!

So it appears in this case, the advantages still outweigh the disadvantages significantly (with traditional CAD).

Subscription...Monthly $25 SketchUp Pro License

That is correct. M&S customers will receive the updates to the SketchUp Pro desktop product by way of M&S releases. We have not yet determined the schedule of those releases.


Been a user of SketchUp since 2003, the new pricing structure will force me to consider other options. Little new features, price gouging will be the new way.


Interesting. But why? Every other app also has its undo feature. What’s the problem in SU? Is it related to the way SU automatically generates new faces when you draw closed lines or draw on faces? Or is it the inference engine?


I am now a pro version subscription users(no longer use pirated soft I am sorry),the reason why I support your bussiness:1.Finally I am able to afford sketchup thanks to subscription model 2. I believe you will work hard for users,and I believe you will finally listen to users.

As a subscription users,I think I have a right stand to suggest sketchup team something:

1.Please tell us users the future of Sketchup,will it be totally web based modeling tool ? Will desktop version remains as flagship product?

2.Please share your detailed roadmap in trello like what Corona or Skatter for Sketchup did. Users will have clear understanding the improvements,what your team is working at right now.

3.Please do take open letter by ChippWalters seriously,I am really afraid one day I have to give up sketchup because it is a purely web-based application(I have a really poor internet connection)

Thank you very much