Sketchup Pro Pricing VS Make

I’ve been wondering why pro is so expensive when make has almost all the needed functionality but is free (for personal use). I sell (privately) an extension that is used exclusively for commercial use. Yet I see people using make or buying one pro license and using make for the rest of the machines.

Take the following scenario:

Two users that use SketchUp on a daily basis.
Five users that use SketchUp only occasionally.

Seven licenses should really be purchased for about $3,500, but it’s tempting for businesses to purchase 1 or 2 licenses and use make for the remainder, since make may have all the functionality they require.

I wonder how many people really use Make for commercial use.

I’ve seen evidence of it on the forums many times.


Isn’t it possible to buy a network license with seats? I’ve never had to look into these things much myself so I don’t know much about it.

Regarding how similar Make and Pro is I really want there to be more features in Pro that are very useful, some even indispensable, for pro users but not really needed for hobbyists, e,g, edge styling, smarter geo location, better filtering of 3D Warehouse.

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pricing depends on type of usage (commercial vs. personal/private) not on functionality. Using the Make version for commercial purposes is a violation of the license agreement and not only an infringement but an illegal and punishable act.

Freezing (or decreasing) the functionality of the Make version and/or releasing a new progam version of Make with a gap of 1 year (which would require a “Save as…” in a recent Pro version for opening in Make) could be an option.

I propose disabling ruby script (read all extensions) in the Make version.

There simply isn’t enough of a feature difference between Pro and Make. I’ve seen companies either ignore or not care about license violations without penalty for years. This apparently makes it OK in their eyes. I just had a customer tell me yesterday that he wants to buy 3 more licenses for my plugin. It’s $1,000 per license and he already had 3 licenses. Of course I’m giving him volume pricing so the new licenses are less, but guess what… He owns 1 SU license and isn’t planning on buying more as far as I can tell. If he could copy my plugin without paying for it I have no doubt that he would, but I enforce my licensing.

If extensions would be disabled in Make it would force him to buy Pro.

I bet if everyone would follow the license agreement it would make it less expensive for everyone.

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[quote=“Neil_Burkholder, post:4, topic:46232”]If extensions would be disabled in Make…

… this would also disable people to circumvent the missing DXF/DWG interface of Make by using a third-party extension.


I think that would be counter productive, considering that a large proportion of plugins have been authored by free/make users who then offer them for free…

there is a strong augment that limiting the creation of Dynamic Components and Style Builder to Pro, is a primary reason for such a small creator base and so little development of those products…

your extensions can be written as Pro only, and/or you could ask for proof of SU Pro licence before accepting to supply, but you say[quote=“Neil_Burkholder, post:4, topic:46232”]
Of course I’m giving him volume pricing so the new licenses are less[/quote]

Isn’t that just aiding and abetting what you perceive as his ‘crime’?

I would also argue that there are many hobbyist prepared to pay for ‘Pro’ extensions [particularly renderers] for their dream projects that have no need or legal obligation for a SU Pro licence nor the additional SU Pro functionality…



In fact no. I’m proposing that SketchUp do the same, by offering a discount for multiple users or at least a lower per user fee.

Right now unless purchasing 10 or more licenses I don’t see much of a break.

I could find very little info on network licensing so I emailed sales. Perhaps that would be the answer.

You need to read the Office 365 licensing agreement before using it as an example to support your SketchUp licensing argument. Also, Office 355 is a subscription not a one time purchase. I am adamantly opposed to subscription based software licensing.


I’m sure it would greatly reduce the amount of plugins, as well as hurt existing plugin sales. And your right about a vast majority of plugins being geared toward hobbyists, and free Make users.

That is a very valid point. But there is no one going to say that hobbyist would be prohibited from buying the Pro version if they required those features.

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I would dispute this statement. I think the vast majority of plugins provide functions that the core SketchUp team didn’t feel it was appropriate to build into the base engine, and they are used daily by serious professionals not just hobbyists! There is a big difference between an advanced package that caters to a specific profession and a general utility that benefits everyone.

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a floating network licence is available from 5 seats but roughly double the price and do require a permanent internet connection for accessing the license server (lic. checkout for 7 days avail.).

Oops. Good idea.

I must have been dreaming of the old days when you could buy a license for install on up to 5 computers.

SketchUp without plugins wouldn’t be SketchUp. I’d rather see Push Pull as a pro only feature than the plugin API. There is just so much you need plugins for (regardless of whether you are a hobbyist or not) and there are so many plugins that have been developed by hobbyists (e.g. most of mine).


Another scenario is this:

I use SketchUp 95% for personal use but occasionally use it for work.
A little while later it might be 75% vs 25%… and so on.

Agreed. Except that you could probably just make a Push Pull extension then.

Perhaps a solution would be to license Make for commercial use for $150?

I think everyone should step back and stop comparing the price of SketchUp Make vs SketchUp Pro. Instead, compare the price of SketchUp Pro to AutoCAD, Fusion 360, Rhino, etc. I consider the price of SketchUp Pro to be very reasonable and it should be noted that the Make version is free because it is subsidized by those who purchase Pro. Yes, there are those who abuse the Make license but there are no really good alternatives. Don’t poke the bear with a stick. Just for the sake of reference, I train and support 20 SketchUp Pro users in my organization. We made the investment in SketchUp (also some AutoCAD) and are happy with the current licensing model.


Well, the main “feature” of SketchUp Pro isn’t LayOut, DWG export/import, solid tools, Style Builder or dynamic components but being allowed to use it commercially. I don’t know if Trimble would like to give this away that cheep.


I’ve long advocated a less expensive sole-proprietor “Craftsman” license, so that more users are supporting SketchUp development.


True enough.

But I’m specifically talking about people that use SketchUp maybe 20 minutes per day. For example they might draw something to help a customer visualize a product. I’m talking cases where the user would never purchase CAD. Instead comparing with SketchUp vs paper and ruler. Technically they should have Pro but might not be able to justify the cost.

Ok enough I guess. I’ve pretty well voiced my opinions by now.

I have mixed feelings on this. Perhaps start limiting the kinds of plugins that can load under Make ?
Or begin blocking certain API workflows for Make (that are obviously commercial or competitive with Pro.)
Just brain-stroming here,… still undecided.

… But …

We actually have an example (that at one time was related to SketchUp via extension.)

It was DoubleCAD XT Free. It was a LayOut alternative, that had a Ruby scripting engine, but only for the paid Pro edition. It went nowhere. I believe all development on it has ceased. (I can no longer find any page for the Pro edition.)


a commercial useable cheap Make version with vector interfaces (mainly DXF/DWG) and maybe solid tools would probably kill most Pro sales…

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