SketchUp & Trimble Connect Linked Models Bug

Let me start by saying I did a quick search but was not able to find any relevant posts regarding the issue I’m experiencing with SketchUp and working with files residing in Trimble Connect.

The issue is the following, I’m working on a project which consists of a central model where 4 other models are linked into it.

This setup was working fine when the files were stored in my local hard drive. However, I recently migrated all files to Trimble Connect and re-linked all files accordingly. After repositioning the linked files to the correct coordinates, I hit the upload changes button for each linked model. Once this is done, I sync to the the cloud. Next time I open the file, all the links are missing.

I hope someone else has experience this issue and can share some light.


The (re)positioning or aligning in the Collaboration panel gives no indication that it is saved or ‘done’ once you hit the button. That’s been reported, hopefully it will be different in future versions. As a user, you need some confirmation.

With ‘sync’ you mean ‘Publish’? Once a model is uploaded to the cloud, it get’s it’s own, unique ID. That is different when you publish the same opened file in SketchUp.which has been (auto)saved locally, also.

Once you get the message when trying to save that says ‘this file is being used by another application’ you need to publish instead of saving, otherwise, the alignments won’t stick and a new unique ID is created.

If you are the only one working on a project, you still need to think in terms of Collaboration (with yourself). Files can be stored locally and even be synced automatically with Trimble Connect Sync, But the (meta) Data (alignments positions, property sets, data sets etc. ) are managed and stored in the cloud.

Thank you Mike, yes, I meant to write Publish.
When I open files from TC, I hit the Publish button to save my work. I believe that’s the proper procedure instead of hitting Save file which brings the pop up message you mentioned.

Regarding the re-positioning issue that has been reported is it just limited to not providing any status indication if is being saved or actually not saving at all?

Thanks again.

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So this is a common confusion with the SketchUp integration of connect.

SketchUp purpose
Build a part of a larger project. Alongside collaborators work in the same view.

Connect purpose
Show all the contents of the various contributors in one place to coordinate reviews and clashes.

Because Sketchup doesn’t actually have the concept of a reference model natively It pulls the references in like an import. If you ‘saved’ to connect you would be saving the piece you’re working on and a duplicate of the reference data. (Your file will be quite big.)

Because it’s all included in the SKP on normal save. If the same reference models were ‘mashed up’ in connect with the SKP it would show two sets of the same geometry overlapping.

As such the ‘publish’ command removes all the references out to avoid that. And saves only the unique work.

The exact thing you’re trying to avoid

As such I’d recommend either or both depending on your need.

  1. A master model saved to Connect, with references and all.
    Save it to a synced folder on your computer. This will contain all your references and will work like you want it.

  2. Published models to connect if others need to use your work as a reference in their work.

Note: This is a common confusion. And something even I got confused by as someone with intimate knowledge of both…

It’s really a challenge with the UX and architecture of how the Connect integration works in SketchUp. So hopefully it gets addressed at some stage. In theory Connect and SketchUp should equally know about references natively.

Happy to give more tips on using sketchup and connect together if that’s your goal. If references for your own workflow was your goal there might be other, better ways.


The repositioning does work, but as said, is not very intuitive for the user, due to the lack of confirmation.

Trimble Connect basically evolved from Gehry Works and was used to replace Trimble’s BIMsight, the collaboration platform for Tekla.

TC extension for SketchUp was developed by mindsight studio’s, btw, but I am not blaming @Whaat for these minor UI issues, perhaps the product managers at that time did not have enough budget or realized the impact TC could have. :wink:

As @DougO stated, it’s a mindset. It is not just another D:/data drive in the cloud, it should be used to prevent ‘islands of information’ instead of creating them.

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Thank you Doug for the explanation that was more than I was hoping to receive. Off I go to apply the shared knowledge.

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