Your point was that you don’t have enough bandwidth to use Trimble connect. I responded to that point by saying that you don’t have to use it, you can save your files on your computer just like Desktop users have been doing since the beginning.

I point that out because that seems to be something that’s being confused here.

Ok so let’s walk through this a bit: Let’s say you subscribe, you get the desktop version and you model away, and then later you decide to cancel your subscription. Your desktop version will not work anymore. So how do you open your models? Well, you can export them to a few of the open free/open sourced formats that SketchUp supports, and/or you could open those in the web version that is free. SketchUp has a very long history of supporting one kind of free version.

If you’re super worried about them not supporting the web version, I’d take a look at your export options. There are some first, and third party ones that are great and will let you protect your models no matter what happens.

I wonder did I get your point? Free stuff(Blender) isn’t free,might be really expensive. It either takes your money(become a bronze member ) or takes your time(learning python cpp and customize software to your need ). I agree with your pov,the majority of Sketchup users are Architect,but compared to Blender user base,architect weights little. It’s the tool for VFX /Game Creation,so never expect it to be more architect-friendly.

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Unfortunately, many architects stop or try to stop to use SketchUp. We see that users are less pro than before and do not use well SketchUp.
For example, 10 years ago, I trained about 100 architect from a famous firm in Paris, with very interesting pro use, with methods. I know that they appreciate and show me very nice work. Now, all the firm have banished SketchUp and use Revit.


This is funny, we have the choice. No we are forced to go to subscription or to leave.

If the team of Trimble SketchUp think that the development these years is interesting, the new features exciting, why to adopt forced subscription ?

Could you revert to Google or LastSoftware’s licensing policy which did not require you to purchase updates without the risk of losing the license ?
I can tell you that we were waiting for them and we bought them immediately.

You can even increase the price of updates, as long as you don’t lose the license. And you will see if the users are happy and buy the updates.

It is also a very correct and very healthy deal, not to say ethical.

On the contrary, Trimble prefers that customers rent software they have already paid for (owner of classical license).

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Same. i have used sketchup since 2007, and have paid the annual maintenence fees since 2014. It has too many shortcomings as a program. The community of plugin developers and the rich ecosystem of objects has been awesome but paying more than double for a program that never really improves is bogus. Looks like i’ll have to brush up on rhino

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Ok, now I am confused. One part is reading ‘SketchUp hasn’t improved since Google sold it, the other part is talking about paying maintenance ’as to keep the license’
Again, the license you bought is yours to keep, but why did you pay M&S if it didn’t improve? I
That makes no sense. I have payed about 1000 euro’s since 2006along with some additional extensions for about 400. So that makes my anual cost 71~100 euro. I consider that a good deal, but according to what I hear, even that would be too much?
We still have clients running v8 and even a few v6. It still works (Windows, though I also recently had a client who was still running V7 on a old Mac)
Now that’s what I call ‘perpetual’

Thus, this really puzzles me, why are you so upset? Is it because you learned to love your favorite tool?

*Keep paying every year, hoping for something really spectacular?
*Can’t wait to enter the new received license info and see if it works?

Is there still some hope left to be at the right side and see some value that other might not see?

Here’s what I just read in a blog from Seth Godin about value and recognitions:

Seth Godin blog


If you buy an old painting at a garage sale for $1,000 and then sell it for $25,000, was the change in value due to a change in the magic involved in the creation of the painting, or is it because the market now recognizes the painting for what it is (and was all along)?

When Alta Vista refused to pay a million dollars to buy Google, was the problem in the value of what Google had, or in Alta Vista’s recognition of that value?

There’s often a significant lag between the creation of something useful and when the market recognizes it.

That’s an opportunity for speculators and investors, who can buy before the recognition happens.

And it’s an opportunity or a trap for creators, who might get disheartened about the lack of applause and upside immediately after they’ve created something.

When we look to the outside world for valuation and recognition, we might be confused about the intrinsic value of what we just created. Over time, those things may come into alignment, but that’s rare indeed.

Creation plus persistence can lead to recognition. But creation without recognition is still a worthwhile endeavor.

What’s the real catch?


Where is the assurance that competing products like Rhino will not go the subscription road eventually? There is none.

So many good products also just get sold to competitors and become a part of a larger product package or killed. Just look at Autodesk for their software acquisitions .

Also, once a product becomes big enough, the developers see more and more cases where clients demand subscription options. They will give in eventually.

What happens when they do? They have to start maintaining two separate licensing systems, that cost extra $, so it would make sense for them to drop perpetuals once a certain % of users are on subscription and the perpetual users have migrated.

What will happen to Affinity when they start releasing big version updates and add 5+ more products? Won’t they go the subscription route also?

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It is very simple to understand.

  • We bought software, we didn’t rent it
  • A version without update technically ends up not working anymore because of the evolution of OS and hardware. That’s why we continued to pay, and Trimble understood the situation perfectly.
  • Some of us will quit SketchUp and stop paying, because we don’t want forced subscription. Maybe that’s where Trimble didn’t play a very smart game. Since by losing our license, we are no longer obliged to pay.
  • The transition period will allow us to train in something else
  • Before Trimble, the dimensioning tool in Layout, the Google 3D engine, the introduction of dynamic components etc … are more interesting than the refresh of the splashscreen, the creation of empty groups, the editing of hidden groups etc…

You are right. For the moment, they have a cool licence policy. For example, students can buy very very low a student licence… that turn into a Pro Commercial license after their studies without anything to pay !!! They access to new versions at any time !!!
People can buy or not updates, they don’t loose their license. The prices do not increase since years and years…

But, if they go to subscription… I code more and more in Python. This is Grasshopper that interest me. And just in case, I have already developed a Grasshopper-like prototype in Swift, which I will probably improve and translate in C ++.
Grasshopper makes 3D functions development faster and easier. Grasshopper improve productivity by 100. For example I do in second what I do in SketchUp in an hour. And mastering the software is the key.

And there is free Blender, there is Archicad Start Edition, there is FormZ, there is MOI, etc…

care to elaborate on that…?


SketchUp is the best software for drawing quickly and pleasantly in 3D.

When you discover Grasshopper, you realize that you don’t need to know and use Rhino except basic actions. And you realize that a very sophisticated 3D interface as SketchUp is no longer necessary or the unique best way.

Grasshopper is a scripting tool where you don’t have to code like in Ruby on SketchUp, but you build a diagram graphically and intuitively. You build algorithms, in a fun and fast way.

Then you link these algorithms to elementary drawings in Rhino. This concept is called Algorithmic design and it is very powerful.

For example, I draw a simple line in Rhino, and I develop in Grasshopper an algorithm to draw a bookshelf (or I reuse an algorithm already made). I get my complex piece of furniture, and I can change options like on a dynamic component in SketchUp.
But if I change the line in Rhino, if I replace it with a curve, I obtain in a second a complex and curved piece of furniture. This is where productivity becomes multiplied by 100 …

But if I use Grasshopper to do research in design or architecture, then it becomes creasy, compared to SketchUp, or Rhino, or Revit or any modeler. It would be 100 x 100 x …

Sounds like an oxymoron to me :wink: j/k…j/k



Have you tried Grasshopper ? Really If you learn or if someone show you the concept in 5 minutes, it is fun !

I will look into it :wink:

I think we should also consider market saturation.

In a perpetual model, there are spikes in revenue when releasing a paid upgrade. But the steady day-to-day cash flow comes from new customers. So it’s mainly new customers funding the development and maintenance of the software, not so much existing users.
So what happens when the software reaches market saturation and new users become rare? The income decreases, resources are reduced, people are laid of, and ultimately development and maintenance slow down.

This is where the subscription model comes in. It ensures a steady cash flow by making existing users fund the development and maintenance of the software.
I think this is a big reason we see large players going the subscription route. They probably are reaching market saturation and the perpetual model is not enough anymore.
And that’s why small players can come in and try to disrupt the established big players, by offering perpetual licenses: their potential market is the userbase of the big player!

That’s why a company like Affinity can do this, they have a huge potential market to capture. But ultimately one day they will reach market saturation. Most of the potential customers who are willing to switch from Adobe to Affinity will have done so, and their revenue will plunge. What then? Will they still be able to offer perpetual licenses?


Perpetual license customers buy updates. If you multiply existing perpetual license by updates fee, it is a huge revenue.

I make a living of selling SketchUp extensions. I can assure you that of the thousands of licenses we’ve sold so far, only a fraction of those are active and will buy upgrades.
You can’t simply multiply the total number of licenses sold by the upgrade fee. Far from everyone will upgrade.


Sure you’re outlining an aspect of Grasshopper that helps you a great deal, but from cursory Googling about Grasshopper / Algorithmic Design I don’t think it’s going to help me in what I use SU/LO for which is the design of domestic buildings and production of construction documents. Can grasshopper save me time in turning my survey notes into a floor plan and then into a 3D model with separate components/groups for walls, windows, structural elements, etc.?

Believe me, I’m not happy about the discontinuation of the classic license and M+S but the alternatives, Rhino, Formz, involve significant investment of money and time. And whose to say, as has been pointed out somewhere, if at some point Rhino or Formz may decide to discontinue perpetual licenses…?

Blender with some of the recent ‘more-like-CAD’ plugins looks promising but how do you turn your nice Blender model of a domestic extension into 2D construction documents as you can with SU/LO?

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If upgrades are interesting, customer buy them. At the time of Google and LastSoftware, people bought updates. This is a basic commercial law, and this is the purpose of subscription plan : to keep customer forced to buy with the minimum of research and development.


I am architect, so I design building and this is exactly I develop on Grasshopper (before on SketchUp with heavy work with Dynamic Component).
For example I reproduce easily the level tool in Revit/Archicad. You change the floor level and wall, slabs etc are updated… Very simple to do.
Grasshopper is a development tool, you do what you want.

Yes it is an investment of time. But Trimble say to you, you can keep perpetually the last version you keep. So you may do not buy a subscription (your license is lost, so ?), continue to use SketchUp and during this period, you may prepare the transition to another application, if Trimble do not change their policy.

The 2D construction document from 3D model is the same in any 3D application. In Rhino/Grasshopper there is Make2D. I don’t know for Blender, but I started my own algorithm. In SketchUp, outing a 3D model give you 90% of the plan. You have to add 2D symbols to get 100%.