What’s up with SketchUp Make?

As SketchUp evolves, our free software is shifting from desktop to web, where we think more people will be able to access, learn, and master 3D drawing. This week, we’re introducing SketchUp Free to the world. Our free web-based modeler delivers the core of SketchUp’s 3D modeling and saves your files to the Trimble Connect cloud.

We know many of you rely on our free desktop version of SketchUp Make. That’s why you can continue to depend on SketchUp Make in its current build. Although we aren’t updating SketchUp Make this year – and we won’t be updating it in the future – it’s still available for download on our website or within our web app modeler if that’s your preference.

This is a big change to how we deliver free software, and SketchUp Free is definitely a new approach to 3D modeling. So, we do expect that a lot of people will prefer to stick with SketchUp Make, or upgrade to SketchUp Pro, to keep using SketchUp on desktop. That’s okay: but, we’d love to hear what you love and [gulp] loathe about our web modeler.


I got this error in Firefox.
This dit not happen in the previous version.
How do i fix this?

The fix is on its way see: My.sketchup worked, sketchup free not working - #14 by bugra

Hi Bep- thanks for trying out the new SketchUp Free. Which version of Firefox are you running? You might check to see if there are any updates available for that. Alternately, maybe give Chrome a try?


Does this mean that models created in any version newer than 17 wont be able to be opened in Make from here on out?!?

We might have another “EA fiasco” on our hands!


Not a big fan of the browser trend. What happens to people who are offline most of the time? They will now be forced to buy the pro or pirate the software.

I´m a pro user myself, but i know that this will probably take a negative turn. Don´t loose what made you popular; the ease of access and intuitive software is what made you big in the first place thanks to the big G.

I would reconsider having some sort off offline option… For now i´ll urge people to download make while they still can.


Yes. Unless the author saves it back to an earlier version or uploads it to the 3D Warehouse. It’s nothing different than creating a model in SU2017. Users of SU2016 or earlier wouldn’t be able to open it either unless one of those things was done. There’s no reason for it to be a fiasco.

Users on previous versions always had the opportunity to update to the newest version of SketchUp, this will no longer be an option.

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We will always support backward compatibility for your models- you can save down from any future version of SketchUp to the SU2017 file format. SketchUp Pro 2018 models can be saved down for use in SketchUp Make 2017. Both SketchUp Free (online) and SketchUp Pro 2018 are fully compatible with 3D Warehouse.

For the sake of simplicity, models created online and downloaded from the new SketchUp Free to your desktop are saved down automatically to SU2017 format— making them transparently compatible with the either the SketchUp Make 2017 or SketchUp Pro 2018 desktop clients.



on my windows 10 machine

Yes, you can download your models to your hard drive from SketchUp Free as well.

How archaic! Why go out of the way to make your product harder to use?


We’re certainly bullish on the power and reach of the web (blame our time at Google for that, too :wink: ) but at the same time we recognize that many folks, especially our Pro users (who are often working from remote construction sites) have a legitimate need to be able to use SketchUp without a connection to the internet. We’re not planning on dropping essential modeling support for offline users now or anytime in the future.

SketchUp Free users can still download and install SketchUp Make 2017 if they need offline access.


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I couldn’t agree more, I hate the cloud based theme. Never a good thing here in the boon docks of northern Vancouver Island, where internet is at best glitchy. Never know if the internet has failed you and your cloud or what. Having said this, ever since my update to Make 2017, I have been having little issues as well. And now this. It’s a sad day when we have to rely on the
cloud for more than just rain and shade.


Same, current Firefox. Can you go to WebGL Caps Viewer - WebGL extensions and capabilities viewer | Geeks3D and paste in (or private message me) the text report at the bottom of that page, so we can check into this? Thanks.

I agree with kimrebley (whose post was hidden due to one inappropriate word), but without a ruby interpreter, Sketchup Free is doomed - and Trimble have totally annoyed their user base by this poorly thought out action.


(Sorry for already posting in a similar thread before finding this one)

STL output is nice, but for paper, you actually can’t print out a scale drawing, nor can you export a .dwg to print to scale in another application. I suppose we’re supposed to be moving into more of a paperless world, but not yet really. It’s seems crazy to me to have a CAD program that can’t produce scale drawing output.

@Caroline, that was the most stupid business decision in the history of Trimble - which has just shot itself in the foot. There is no way that web based software will ever be comparable to desktop software. I can’t run my ruby scripts in ‘Sketchup Free’, and it seems that I can’t even create a custom colour.
Sketchup Free is horribly SLOW, it can’t load my models from my local drive, it takes ages for it to spin up and I will repeat myself - but without Ruby scripts, it is worthless garbage.


Already when my.sketchup was launched in 2016 I feared the plan was to have it replace SketchUp Make some day and it saddens me the day when SketchUp Make is discontinued has come. A web based app just can’t compare to a desktop app.

The web based app is harder to use due to its interface. There are no standard top menu for Save, Edit, View etc so you need to re-learn how its organized, while the desktop version follows an established convention. The connection to Trimble Connect is not at all intuitive, especially for people who don’t know what it is. How on earth would you know you are supposed to click on a Trimble Connect icon to access your files? It looks much more like an integrated feature from a third party that you can wait to learn until you feel comfortable with the basics. The flat design and elements with very vague boundaries makes it hard to see what content belongs to what container and the whole interface is much harder to parse and understand.

Not to mention the drop in performance. SketchUp isn’t the smart phone puzzle app you use to kill time when you are on the bus or take a dump. Even for hobby users it is a tool used often for very large and intricate projects. SketchUp Free lets you draw boxes and cylinders but not castles, towns, detailed houses or other more advanced projects that could spans weeks, months or even years.


You can’t export a .dwg from SketchUp Make so this is not a new thing.

There’s nothing preventing users from continuing with 2017 Make. It isn’t being turned off.


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