SU free-v-SU Pro

I have had no success with SU… seems to me no-one is being too forthright about the limitations of the free version compared to Pro.
In fact discussions don’t often state which version is being discussed… am I wrong?

Main differences:

  • Make is for personal use only - no commercial work.
  • Make doesn’t have all the importer/exporters Pro has
  • Make doesn’t have Solid Tools
  • Make doesn’t have Advanced Camera Tools

The most noteworthy is probably the first two items. Other then that Make can do mostly what Pro can do. Even most extensions work with Make as well.

I beg to differ there Thomthom. Make has Sandbox.

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I stand corrected. You’re right. I’m either confusing it with another extension or it used to be Pro only in the past…
Even less difference between Make and Pro!

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Thank you! I find the way SU operates is very confusing. Lines are placed
as individual elements but when operated on they act as joined elements.
Dragging and pulling makes weird shapes… I just don’t get it!

One can make groups or components but editing is clumsy. Push/Pull creates
faces and edges that are easily broken or lost… I just don’t get it!

It seems to me that SU is so unlike conventional CAD as to be unusable for
Tutorials haven’t helped much. Not having real solids makes the program
to me. I’m OBVIOUSLY missing so much- I find SU completely unintuitive…

SketchUp Make vs. Pro

Video Tutorials: Getting Started

[quote=“godzaconic, post:5, topic:10284, full:true”]It seems to me that SU is so unlike conventional CAD as to be unusable for

SU is no CAD

SU is a mesh modeler, if you need a NURBS surface and/or volume modeler then go for it.

‘SU is no CAD’- a strange statement?

Anyway I seem to be correct that the free version is all but useless.
But why, when the idea is to sell the better version? Will I find the Pro version just as frustrating?

Considering the number of people who don’t find either make or pro useless, you may wish to reassess where the problems you are having lie.

Should have said “useless TO ME”

I find it hard to believe that those who have
the free version can achieve all that much…

My prior experience with CAD systems has conditioned how I approach the subject; SU make is therefore incomprehensible to me :disappointed_relieved:

You’ve pointed it out in your introduction post, old dog new tricks etc…

If you want to learn how to use Sketchup feel free to ask and many people will help.
If you wish to stick with what you know then do so.

All you get from randomly complaining here is a lot of helpful people deciding to ignore your posts.

Simply bitching that it is incomprehensible is simply incomprehensible to me.

You seem to be speaking out of ignorance and with a strange notion of “achieve”. The list of features disabled in Pro to create Make is actually pretty short, and there are ways to accomplish most of the same results in Make, though perhaps not as quickly or easily (creating dynamic compnents is an exception, but that isn’t something you would be accustomed to when coming from CAD). There are a lot of people building very complex models using Make who would disagree with your claims that it is all but useless and that they can’t achieve much.

in the sense of: SU is no replacement for a classic 3D CAD system of the MCAD or AEC/BIM area etc. which are typically based on a NURBS kernel.

in SU everything is made of edges and planar faces, i.e. an approximation of analytic entities as e.g. curves and arcs/circles as a bunch of lines resp. organic surfaces as a facetted mesh.



      Should have said "useless TO ME"

I find it hard to believe that those who have
the free version can achieve all that much…

This what i’ve achieved using FREE SketchUp ver. 6 : 1.Serie-La.S. with Daimler-Benz Superstructure | 3D Warehouse

Thanks, that explains why I’m not used to the way it operates.

SketchUp has indeed its own paradigms. Back in the days when I was a student I used mostly 3dsMax and Rhino. When I later got a job in an architectural office they used SketchUp exclusively and I only knew the application by name. The biggest difference I found was the “stickyness” of geometry. I realized the importance of groups and components only after modelling a complete building without groups - only to find that my boss wanted to adjust the angle of the roof. To my dismay I found my model was not structured well for adjustments.

However, from there on I picked up quickly on the paradigms of SketchUp. Group and make components. Find extensions that specialize SketchUp for your workflow.

Picking up a new application after long usage of another makes it more challenging IMO. Once you have some expertise in one tool it’s hard to dedicate the time to truly learn another. (I’m still installing Blender now and then thinking I’ll learn some basics of it, but end up getting inpatient and going back to the applications I already know.)

Best suggestion I can give is to set away from time to look at some introduction-videos. And find the joy in learning something new instead of worrying that you are not (yet) as fast in the application you learn as the one you already excel in.


Good advice. I have used groups and components as I used ‘cells’ and ’
in those other systems but of course they all function in different ways.
Microstation was the first that I found ‘intuitive’ with its sticky
commands whereas Autocad dropped the command at completion. And so it goes.
I am heavily biased
to the Bentley products…

When I have spare time perhaps I will get into SketchUp Make a bit more.
Also trying FreeCad and TurboCAD but the latter won’t run on my Mac (yet).

TC f. OSX is already avail, an OEM version of Punch! ViaCAD.

A lot depends on your needs. Free (version 8 or earlier is really free) is very satisfactory for almost all normal woodworking needs. It is quite sufficient for metal fab. flats, beams etc. even brake parts. It will fall down on surfaced parts. Almost any small to medium building projects can be accomplished. Free’s main limitation is in visual output. “to scale” prints are difficult(also redundant, either dimension them fully or just use a computer to view them. One accessory I maintain is not an option for any 3D program is a 3D controller. To be able to rotate pan zoom all at the same time anduse the mouse a a MOUSE and not to control motion is SO SWEET. I do answer questions I SletchUp, You Can to G+ fb and youtube