The future of SketchUp

Hi guys! I understand the frustration with this, but the fact is, it is a lot of back end work to support multiple versions on 3DWH. Every time someone uploads a model, the servers have to convert that file to all supposrtwd versions. Add to that, whenever a new version comes out, every single mode on Warehouse has to be converted to the new version. Add to that, we have to pay for server space to store each version of any model uploaded. This is the reason that we have decided to support three versions back on warehouse. Not ideal, I understand, but I personally feel like it is a fair setup for a free service.


I am and have been a hobbyist user of SketchUp Make 2017 since it came out and before that the other versions. I have only contributed some 40i or so models to the 3DWarehouse, but have been inspired by most if not all models I have seen, including ones that were created in SketchUp 8.
So losing the ability to D/L SketchUp 2017 models in the future will really suck.
Maybe the web app will still allow saving as 2017, so atleast then I can find something I like in the 3D Warehouse and then be able with an extra step use it in my SketchUp Make 2017.
I just hope they never remove the uploading or editing of your own uploaded models in 2017 format to the 3DWarehouse that would really disappoint the world of hobbyists everywhere.
Why kill a horse for glue when the kids can still ride 'em.


At the moment I see in the Warehouse models in five formats. If you have to skip one, why not let version 2018 go and let 2017 stay for as long as the old Make version is kept available?


A fallback tactic would be Eneroth open newer version plugin (perhaps?)


Unfortunately that doesn’t work on a Mac. But a good solution for Windows users.


Some things to point out:

Existing models can still be downloaded in the formats that are automatically created, and in the format they were uploaded as. That should mean that most of the over 4 million models that are there already should continue to be available for 2017 users.

Eventually there will be a point where you are looking for a model in the 3D Warehouse window, or in a browser, and now you find out that it’s a recent model that doesn’t have a 2017 conversion. You can get around that issue by searching in the Components panel. Then you will only be shown models that are compatible with your version.

If you like to upload models for others to use, and you want to make sure that 2017 users can still use them, you could Save As to 2017 before uploading the model.

I am not sure of the future state of Collada, but assuming that sticks around you can download in that format, and even load it into very old versions of SketchUp.


Instead of having the 3D Warehouse pre-convert and store numerous versions of all models, models could be converted on the fly when a download is request (for at least some versions). That newly-converted copy could be retained in case other users request it in the future, or it could be discarded.


That does seem like a good idea, if it’s something that can happen on the fly.

@psaal @TheGuz, something to consider?


I know , right!
It’s the same as how I can’t even download new drivers for Windows XP - I own that software which I got free when I bought an old computer, but it turns out it’s Not “supported” any more!!!

Later today I plan to install Snake (which I got free on my Nokia 6310) on my new Galaxy S21. It had better work or, I will be calling my lawyers…

PS does anyone know where I can get one of these cables? And how do I connect that to wifi?

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You only have the license for it, you don’t own it. And it wasn’t free, it was part of the computer cost.


This does seem like the ideal solution, as it wouldn’t require storage of multiple versions of a model, which if they’re going to support 3 versions back, seems like it would cut server/storage requirements by 2/3 (not including any old models that remain in the warehouse as older versions).


Hi Justin, thank you for what you are doing to promote the use and knowledge of SketchUp, I watched a lot of your instructional videos.

I think we are missing the point here: as far as I know, but perhaps you know something that I don’t, the only REAL difference between versions is the support of dotted lines, so in my opinion, if nothing else is considered, we would just need a SketchUp 8 version, a version just after dotted lines were introduced and perhaps the current one; everything else is redundant. The real reason why it is not like that and versions are not compatible is to push people to buy the latest version.

In my opinion, I would be more easily persuaded if the following version wound actually be better. For example dynamic components, which are amazing, still have bugs they had 10 years ago. Match photo, non to bad at the time, could be improved to have at least the option to assign vertexes to specific points in the picture, which would be very helpful in surveys. Being Trimble a company that is famous for this stuff I was expecting a lot more.


Maybe @AK_SAM was using satire?

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I don’t disagree with the observation that there are bugs that have lingered for a very long time. But the rest of what you wrote is selectively ignoring a huge number of changes between versions. I don’t know how those changes affect the file format itself (which is the real heart of the question) aside from the major shift in 2020, so I can’t speak to how big a task it is to convert from one version to another. But even if it is simple, the huge number of models in the warehouse still means converting them all is a substantial processing task. Convert on demand makes sense to me.


While I understand the need to keep things current. I agree with the fact there there seems to be a lack of development in SketchUp. Especially when you consider the subscription model they are pushing everyone towards. Which has shown to be vastly more profitable than letting people purchase the software.

At least my Adobe subscription has the benefit of state of the art software.

However, it is not the cost that is going to be the problem. It is the internet. If I am not “online” I can not use my Lumion software. If I get signed out and can’t sign back in, I can’t use SketchUp or any of my Adobe programs. All the companies are linked to a single point of failure.

It is one thing to use the internet to distribute your product. It is another to require it to USE the product.

After the last hurricane that hit use we didn’t have cell phone, landlines, or cable for over a week. I had work to do, and all the tools here to do the work. If the programs would have worked I could have done the work and then found a way to send the finished work to the client. Even if that meant snail-mail.


You have a solution with other CAD application. Some can open any SKP recent version and may save as older SKP version… so this is not a problem.

I am a SU2017 user. The prime reason for that is that I have to work a lot when there is no internet available. So, I will not be subscribing anytime soon. I will switch to another program and shoulder the task of the learning curve of new software before I will EVER sign up for a yearly bleed to a software developer who need do no upgrading nor improvement in order to dip into my wallet for next year’s use of the same-old, same-old. As noted in a previous post, we pay money, and don’t even own a copy of the software, but rather, are just licensed to use it. I get the rationale, but isn’t that enough for a developer? I own a 50 year old lathe, It works as well as the day it was sold by the manufacturer… and certainly, a shiny new CNC capable model could do much more. If I want to upgrade it, at least I can sell the old one to someone who is just a learning hobbyist. Too bad software developers don’t agree. Maybe Trimble should consider building a new version that would give me what I need/want and I’d see the way clear to make the purchase. Didn’t someone once say “The customer is always right.”? Did Trimble survey its users and ask them if they wanted a subscribed online-only product? I doubt that they do.


Agree and this subscription-based marketing is a big difficulty and injustice for individuals, it is impossible to survive with all these monthly never-ending payments. And sadly almost every program is based on this system and not giving much in return, sketchup autocad adobe cloud storages … you feel ripped off on every scale


Excellent, and very simple idea.

Boys and Girls, I have made a lot of my SketchUp models available on my cloud storage… Most of my models are too large to Warehouse and I like to add narratives for the user… Enough BS preamble…

I upload all my models in 2016 format as I believe that is the latest 32bit freebie PC version… as all other versions are now 64bit, and some/many still have older computers… though I question it’s (PC) ability to handle more modern SU models.

Why not just store it as say 2016 which should make it available to all… assuming V2016(free) is still attainable for hobbyists… V8’ers upgrade!
I feel Trimble’s direction is forcing hobbyists away, making SU much less popular than even just a couple of years ago.
In the forum I support, more and more people are drifting from SU… I haven’t noted where to, as I am a confirmed SU tragic… nevertheless, this old dog is prepared to learn new tricks.