Sketchup Team Members

In my Autocad days, I remember being puzzled about why so many things about the design of the software seemed so unsuited to architects. I was eventually taken to one side and told quietly that architects are only a small section of the customer base, the main users being engineers. I guess that explains the advent of software like Archicad.

1 Like

Now that is enlightening. Judging by the posts on this forum (not necessarily a good indicator), there are certainly a fair number of building designers using SU. But I would guess at least as many hobbyists and maybe, since recent developments, students too.

The Live Component offerings would also suggest an architecture bent.

It’s really Corner Bar stuff, but at the beginning Archicad was an application for designing pipes and ducts (don’t know the original name) and it was expanded to architecture as an afterthought.

Was it called Ducticad at that stage?


1971, Engineering School, Civil/Structural Engineering Department – we were all told to take a drafting course if we hadn’t taken mechanical drawing in high school. The choice was ours: traditional, or this new thing called ‘computer graphics.’ Every one of us opted for ‘computer graphics.’ Half the class was traditional drawing; the other half was writing FORTRAN programs which instructed a plotter pen to draw what we had just drawn by hand.

Fast forward a good dozen years, and people started putting up a bunch of partitions in the middle of the large engineering office I worked in. I asked what the space was for, and was told there was this new thing—‘AutoCAD.’ I laughed because I had been telling the draftsmen for years that their days of ink and velum by hand would soon be over.

It was for us engineers. Now it’s for everyone.

1 Like

Hobbyists in the area of design and architecture. Students of design and architecture. It isn’t a separate group. I’m not surprised SketchUp is the design and architecture department of Trimble, it’s clearly what the software is made for.

I could have fun coming up with such a list. Maybe for 3D Basecamp '22.

1 Like

One of the things I love about SU is that it is NOT architecture centered. Most CAD programs are oriented to architecture and using them for engineering is not fun.


Marketing Team? mmmm … your short tutorials are very good and informative - short, sweet and to the point. Perhaps they should assign you to the training team as well!

Hi, I doubt that very much. Bojar Gabor first developed ArchiCad as early as 1974, launching a fully fledged software in 1978. It should not be a surprise as Bojar worked just down the corridor from Erno Rubik. Erno developed the Rubic’s Cube to help architects and engineers to think in 3D, hence Bojar’s interest to develop software for architects to augment their 3d thinking. Up to then, Autocad was purely a 2D software for draughtsmen! SU only came about in the year 2000!

I remember all too clearly drafting framing details in AutoCad (isometric details drawn in 2D) in the early 90s… I believe that version 13 (release in 94?) had 3D modeling… but was painful to use.

1 Like

A friend of mine worked for a company called PAFEC back in the 80s. They had a CAD program called D.O.G.S. It couold do 3D although I don’t know how easy it was.

It was painful because writing these programs was hard. One of the assignments in my 1971 ‘computer graphics’ class was to plot an isometric view of a solid, and I wanted my computer plot to match my hand drawing, but it was not straightforward algorithmically to check all the geometry of the object in any orientation in space to find those hidden edges. So, I just computed the spatial coordinates where the dashed lines began and ended outside the program and instructed the pen to draw those segments as dashed lines. My prof pulled me aside and wanted to know how I did that because they were “still having big problems with hidden line algorithms.”

What I did was, of course, no help whatsoever. I may even have whined a little that figuring out what edges were hidden was not part of the assignment. Hard to remember; it’s been fifty years.

What I’m trying to say is that none of this was easy, and those of us old folks who were around back then were grateful for any graphics program no matter how painful it was to learn and use.

1 Like

Believe me, That was not meant as a diss! I have been workign in software for decades and know how much work this all is!

I remember being very excited when V13 came out at the idea of being able to model 3D details… unfortunately, the computer I had could barely get through displaying a cube on the screen!

Pretty cool to see how far we, as an industry, have come in just a few decades!

Both Archicad 13 and AutoCad 13 were released at about the same time, and both were so full of bugs and caused massive crashes that the releases were almost withdrawn. And I am not superstitious…

Understood, but the amount of CAD bashing that goes on here is a little hard to take. There’s always this hint of ‘thank God SketchUp is finally here to save the world from CAD!’

(whispering) don’t tell the anti-cad camp… but “cad” standing for “computer aided drafting” or “computer aided design” kind of implies that is exactly what SketchUp is… but don’t tell anyone I said that :wink:


I’d say that drafting SketchUp isn’t, but the “design” part was what, in 2003, made me think “I want this…” after about 15 minutes of playing with the, then, 8-hour trial.


Made me go digging in a drawer - probably my first venture into 3D CAD was '86~'87 with MiniCAD (which over time morphed into Vectorworks). Handrail profile spun into a large termination post. This is a scan from a wide carriage Image Writer (dot matrix printer).

I was trying to resolve a geometry problem with the handrail profile at a landing that I now recognize as a problem that follow me can’t do, but @eneroth3’s Upright Extruder solves. Hey, it was a Macintosh Plus, I didn’t know what to expect, and I was game to try anything.

The next 3D thing was Architrion which I finally gave up on in 1990, but that’s another story. I found the right tool with UpFront around '93, but there’s another thread for that.

1 Like

My first venture into CAD was a 2D called Drafix CAD. It was free as I recall. It ran well on Windows until Win 7 came out.

1 Like