What are some ways to make money with SketchUp?


What are some ways to make money with SketchUp without a degree? I’m thinking about buying the Pro version for commercial use since I’ve invested so much time and effort into learning the program. What types of things can I make with SketchUp to sell? I know SketchUp can be used in almost any industry, so making a list is helpful.

So far I’ve thought of:

  • Sculptures
  • Interior design
  • Fingerboarding ramps
  • Furniture design
  • Skate Park design
  • Landscape design
  • Framed 3D art
  • Cards for special occasions
  • Selling 3D Prints
  • Youtube monetization with Adsense
  • Topiary Design
  • Aquascaping
  • 3D printed food
  • Board game design (3D printed or something)
  • 3D printed candle molds to make uniquely shaped candles
  • Coloring book
  • Puzzle books (crossword, sudoku, etc.)
  • Fashion design
  • Flower arrangement design
  • CNC jigsaw puzzles
  • Can a special lathe create pottery from a 3D model?
  • Precision milled skateboard parts
  • Frisbees made with 3D printed mold
  • Chess sets
  • Desk lamps

Any ideas are appreciated! Thank you!

List of ideas suggested in comments :grinning:

  • Graphic design
  • Illustration
  • Event design
  • Set design
  • Game design
  • Plugin development
  • Sketchup training
  • Sketchup modelling
  • Jobs posting sites
  • Rendering visualization
  • Architecture
  • Product design
  • Industrial design


Graphic design. Event design. Set design. Game design.


Plugin development, Sketchup training, Sketchup modelling.


Necessity is the Mother of Invention, how hungry are you…?? SketchUp is powerful in so many ways, except in rendering out. Top quaility graphics that is, but you can create and modify them as well as work in 3D. Then save as, plus export out as 2D. Or as a file extension that other rendering engines can polish up for you.

What ever your imagination and hunger is, it just takes time to figure it out.


Go to jobs posting sites (craigslist, indeed, etc.) and search “sketchup” so see what companies or industries might be using it. In general if you do not have a degree, but can demonstrate competence and real-world experience (i.e. some of your designs have been produced into actual products) then you have a great foot in the door and a good chance of using your skills to earn money.

The flip side is that if you see lots of attractive jobs, but they are using some other software, then you have some choices to make!


I use it heavily for Graphic Design and Illustration.


I have all my basic needs met, but I’m definitely hungry for design work. SketchUp is one of my favorite hobbies, so I would love to have a 3D modeling job. Also, I could use more financial safety for my future.


You can do a lot with just SketchUp for rendering (visualization). It helps to have a design background but not necessary. The nice thing is that if a company likes you, they’ll probably keep using you. One rendering alone covers the cost of pro licenses. Can be for multiple industries: Event/Set design, architecture, interior design, product/industrial design…etc.


Apart from SU modelling skill and experience, what other skills and experience can you add to that?


Skills and experience
Rated 0-10 from a professional standpoint
(Edited for @GSTUDIOS)

  • Design 6/10
  • Photography 3/10
  • Videography 4/10
  • Microscopy 4/10
  • Art 4/10
  • Sculptris 2/10
  • Unity 2/10
  • MakeHuman 2/10
  • Blender 2/10
  • Architecture 4/10
  • Skateboarding 6/10
  • Cleaning 4/10
  • Arts & Crafts 4/10
  • Organization 5/10

P.S. Thank you all for the awesome ideas!


So, with this extensive list you could associate a number out of 10 to each skill as to the level of ability you have with each skill (from a professional standpoint).

That could then be used to narrow down the type of SketchUp modelling or rendering services you seek.

Some online options to consider:

SketchUp 3D Warehouse - you can get registered as a SketchUp Certified Content Developer and offer your services to create content for manufacturers.

3D model sales sites (TurboSquid, CG Trader, etc.) - many have commission opportunities arriving on a daily basis (generally at very low rates) if you sign up and develop a model collection presence on any of these sites, that helps to market your skills


Find something you really love to do and then go after it. If you enjoy it you will excel at it.


My home was burglarized in 2017. I caught the perps on my Nest camera. I had just started using Sketch Up pro but was able to give a pretty good representation of the house, rooms where items were taken, car in driveway (same make and model thanks to 3D warehouse) .
The trial lasted 3 days but the hit was both the prosecutor and defense used my sketch up drawings along with the little movie I made of the burglars

The prosecutor said it was the easiest conviction they’ve had in a long time…They would like to farm out some crime scene work…

btw, he got 10 years, 2nd strike + enhancements

overview 30 Clubhouse.pdf (758.9 KB)


Take it from a registered architect with 30 years experience, you can’t just jump into architectural work or interior design without some type of training and experience. If you are interested in doing architectural type drafting without going to school, I suggest possibly starting with some local house builders and using their past drawings as examples to get you going.


Joshua Cohen’s presentation at 3D Basecamp, “Photogrammetry & 3D Scanning”, showed how they work with SketchUp for crime scene reconstruction and courtroom presentations. They do incredible work.


I was always thinking about working with local builders to get my foot in the door. Could you explain exactly what you mean by “using their past drawings”? Do you mean offer them a free service to render something for them? Or look at their drawings they already created? I would gladly offer my services to get a start. Something to put on a resume!


Hi Brian,

No, I don’t mean you should work for free. During the time I have been teaching Architecture and Interior Design I have had many people wanting students to do “free” work. I think everyone should get paid for their efforts even if it is only minimum wage getting started

When I first started doing drafting work my fist couple of jobs were working for established builders for which I was either making changes to existing plans or re-drawing sets of plans that they wanted changed. Working on these types of drawings helped me to learn what a set of working drawings (blueprints) really consisted of and how they should look. It also helped me to learn how buildings go together. You will need this base of knowledge to be successful using your skills in SketchUp to work in the building field.

If you want to do architectural and building related work I suggest 2 books to get you started: “SketchUp and Layout for Architecture” by Sonders & Donely, and “SketcUp to Layout” by Donley. Another great book is “SketchUp for Site Design” by Tal. Having taught both SketchUp and Layout at the college level, these are my go-to texts.

There are a lot of opportunities out there for modelers and drafters. I wish you well as you dive into this area. If I can be of any help at all, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Mick Campbell