It’s the tool that sits in one of your bins that seldom gets used. I have a beam saw - it cost maybe $350 when I bought it in the 80’s. I maybe use it once a year. It it were stolen, I wouldn’t replace it. But it is very handy when I do use it. I am not a design professional. I don’t draw buildings or additions for a living. I would like to do more of that because I am older, and I don’t have the speed, strength or stamina I used to. So I need to alter my career path. Now I have to learn the ropes. I have to self train. I don’t have time to sit around and learn by practice drawing stuff like I did in photography college. I was there for the BA program and we did setups of the different lighting etc. to learn that trade. I have a wife, bills, mortgage, and employees who depend on my being able to sell jobs.
I had to draw up a complicated range hood duct. It had to go from 4" x 12" to 8" square while staying below the cabinet line and go sideways around the stud in the wall. I used it to give to the sheet metal fabricator. I could have drawn it by hand but a sketchup drawing looks crisper.
Is that considered commercial use?
The bulk of the things I use it for are like that - to communicate my concept to another professional. And there are times it is faster to draw it by hand, and yet I may spend the time using sketchup to improve my facility with the program. To me that’s a vast grey area.
I was going to draw a quick as-built of a section through an elevated carport so the engineer could tell me if the floor beams could be notched or not. I had my lap to there - instead, I drew if by hand, photographed it with my cell phone and texted it to him. I could have used sketchup - it would have been to scale, but I would have spent 3 times as much time. Further, that time would have doubled yet again if I had exported it to layont. Style builder? I have never even opened it. It’s the cousin you’ve never met yet is related to you.
I would be willing to pay $2-300 for the free version that did not have layout or the style builder, but could read auto cad files etc. I have used layout once. Frankly it was hell trying to learn to use it. It irks me to some extent to pay $700 for a tool that a third I would never use. In my last few additions I that I designed, I drew up versions with sketchup, got a customer ok, then hired a draftsman to do the plans in auto cad for submittal to the city.
I think that Trimble should consider that as an option. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are plenty of people in the same boat.as I am - they use the gelded free version because they have no need for layout.
Anyway, am I all wet here?