SketchUp in 2019: where great ideas get to work

FYI, a few weeks ago, another forum user asked specifically if the perpetual license option (now branded “classic”) would be available to renew or to purchase for the foreseeable future, or if the subscription option would become the only possibility at some point. One Trimble employee responded that SketchUp would in fact be moving to subscription-only in some future undetermined year. A different Trimble employee responded later explicitly contradicting the first Trimble employee to state that no decision had been made.

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If Layout is the front wheel and Sketchup the back wheel…but I’m straying from the original metaphor.

As I’ve similarly stated in earlier comments, I completely agree with Sam!

Hi John,
I appreciate your comments about Sketchup’s utility while also discussing that of Blender’s. I love Sketchup for its ease of developing concept illustration but as I am now in need of mastering sculpting and animation, I have recently taken on Blender. They have a wonderful user community and fantastic program but its detailed–really detailed–and I say that as I dive into Blender 2.8 which is supposed to be a dramatic improvement to any version before it.
What compounds the learning curve of Blender for me is that the inbuilt User manual is - at this early Beta version- some 1219 pages ( if printed out) at last count . Aside from sheer length, I have difficulty searching it for useful information. Seems its writtern more for the programmer with little direct reference to the issue at hand at least for the ordinary user.
Do you have any insights for searching through the existing inbuilt manual or, for that matter, any other manual in development for 2.8 ?
Finally I too nore readily easy file transfer between Blender and Sketchup A few words about teh details of that process might also be helpful.

Thanks in advance,

Richard Stanley.

I think what happens now is called the Streisand effect.

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I did read many postings here in this topic, but it start looking like a 1000+page book, so forgive me when I wrote something that is already mentioned.

What I don’t get is the new price for the yearly updates in the classic version. Last year there was no update. No we have 2019, the dashes, very welcome, and if I understand several bug fixes. Why should we have to pay so much for just bug fixes.

Here in my area are several architects, a constructor engineer, 2 ( big and a small one ) shipyard, piping constructors, a city-hall member, that I know that they are using SU pro. None of them are willing to pay any price for a subscription like adobe. During the discussion last weekend, I came aware of this new way, so did I start asking questions. Most of them will going to an alternate draw/design CAD application. Also if you want to use the pro version, why do we need Sefaira? What about the plugins’ what about Ruby. A lot of them/us are using that to do repetive actions of special tasks?

Btw, I didn’t receive any word from my SU supplier about the latest versions and the time to update. Not sure if they are active any more. I did send them an email but no response.

the price didn’t change…

this may help understand better than the website…


Sorry I’m a little confused.

What is 18x24?

I was asking about the LO file size in bytes…

Not sure. About 20 megs. Many of them approach 100 megs

The major reason why Sketchup is not able to handle LARGE models is due to the fact that it does not support X referencing without loading the attached model as a component. I have a 60 mB model that grows to 80 mB when attached however, you need to turn OFF most of the layers to be able to manipulate the model. Parametric modeling software can handle large files without any problem so this problem is only related to mesh based modeling application like Sketchup. If you need to model large files, move to a professional program like Solid Works or Inventor. Sketchup is still focusing their efforts on the niche market with features that are not used in a professional environment. This not just my opinion as I have had the same conversation with developers who know much more about the 3D CAD world that I do.


This has nothing to do with parametric neither with mesh based software. This is just one SketchUp’s limitations. I use many mesh based 3D software that can handle millions of polys with no problems at all.


:clap: generic Jack of all trades, master of none…yet it could quite easily be with some genuinely useful targeted development. It’s been an open goal for years yet Trimble continually miss putting the ball in the net, even when they’re stood on the goal line. :man_facepalming:

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… as the saying goes on.
Jack of all trades, master of none, is better than master of one.
So that kind of describes SketchUp very well. There will always be better specialized solutions for a given task, but SketchUp’s adaptability has been at the core of its success.


Perhaps SU is the master of “ease of use”. To me as a LONG time user, v2 days, this has been their core value. So easy to jump right in and get your ideas out.


Depends how you define success. If appealing to a small niche audience of modellers due it’s lack of professional level (i.e. architectural, as that’s how it’s generally marketed) tools and output options then yeah, it’s a great success. On any other metric it’s a huge missed opportunity and has been for a decade. My point is it could be so much more whilst still retaining the cat-sat-on-the-mat level of easy entry and interface (albeit without the current 90’s vibe) that appeals to hobbyists.

It will always appeal to modellers and fiddlers because it’s an easy grab but to be considered a serious architectural tool for really delivering (as that’s why LayOut exists after all) then it needs a huge kick up the ar$e both in terms of development time and investment to get it hitting the heights it could and should be at.


Jack of all trades & keeping it simple is all fine to me - as long as it delivers. V 2019 is a big letdown to me. All / far too much dev time has gone into stuff that does not improve workflow.

  • keeping the outliner open still is bad in v2019. If the amount of objects in your hierarchy grows - so will the delays (same for component browser). Whats the use for a panel if keeping it open kills your workflow??
  • basic functions don’t work well - you still have to use workarounds for bugs/annoyances that have been reported year after year. Some features were introduced many years ago and never touched again.
  • same for the UI.

SU & LO got me hooked many years ago but as my projects grow - I notice both SU & LO are struggling to keep up. Using workarounds all the time while the multi core cpu and high-end gpu are barely used and SU & LO are freezing for a minute when you’re updating something in LO or adding a new component in SU for instance… a kick in the ar$e seems right to me.

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forums power users desiring/needing/requiring/ranting for an allmighty 3D AEC/BIM/CC modeler covering everything imaginable are surely not a true reference of the market.

This doesn’t mean that improving and extending the existing functionality as well as a careful implentation of new features preferrably for the main product (aka SU desktop version) isn’t welcome.


still, no CAD uses multi-threading of the CPU for modeling operations, every CAD uses the GPU for screen transformations only (besides rendering stuff).


The Intel Pentium processor came out in 1992, if I remember right. It was the first Intel processor designed to support multiprocessor computers. By that time Autodesk said that they would soon release a multithreading version of the 3D Studio and AutoCad modelling applications. Almost 27 years later, we are still waiting.


I thought Archicad uses multicore CPU from a few years ago. Am I mistaken?