What’s up with SketchUp Make?

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.


8 posts were split to a new topic: Orbit around corsor

As with probably any decision that’s ever been made in history, there are various ways of looking at this, and each with some merit. I know I went ahead and “liked” @Caroline 's post as soon as I saw it, as did others, while some of you obviously had a very different reaction (no doubt many wished for a dislike button :wink:).

To say that SketchUp is “doomed to fail,” that Trimble “shot itself in the foot,” and that it is the “most stupid business decision” – to say all this now is very premature, and to me quite doubtful. Yes, every company has the potential to make mistakes, grave mistakes, but we all know the folks over at Trimble are not preschoolers. I’m confident that they did their research, argued the point in conference rooms, and ultimately made the decision that they felt would benefit the company and the software most. Did they have the users’ well-being in mind? We hope so; many of you obviously don’t think so, but considering it honestly, you must admit that although they’re supposed to be providing 3D for Everyone, if they don’t make the decisions that are most financially smart, pretty soon it would be 3D for No one.

I will say that I’m sure that the side of the license fence that each person is on will affect his perspective of the situation. As someone who doesn’t have any option but to be a Pro user (if I wish to be legal and ethical), my first reaction was understandably opposite to the reaction of those on the Make side. As Pro users, we see an updated SketchUp to download and discover, and if we notice the Make vs Free decision at all, it’s easy to just give a passing evaluation, see the possibility of more attention given to Pro, which sounds good, see some of the licensing and use confusion cleared up, which sounds good, so we say “so be it” and move on – I say it’s easy to do that, not that we all do.

Some of us remember the countless hours that we passed in intuitive fun, modeling our bedrooms, designing our future mansion, that first time we tried to draw an airplane and realized there was more to it than we imagined. In fact, I can attribute my career directly to the hours “wasted” on playing with SketchUp, a SketchUp that I could never have afforded to buy a license for. It would be a real pity if that opportunity is gone. So the question: is it?

There’s no question that SketchUp Free is more primitive than Make. In the last hours we’ve seen the complaints start on the forum, and I expect there will be plenty more. The lack of extensions is understandably upsetting. The annoying need to be online to use SketchUp Free is an important concern. As far as Make 2017 still being available, sure, that’s great, but you gotta realize that it doesn’t take more than about two years for software to start getting crippled, in these days of constant OS, hardware, software, and security updates. I just upgraded my Pro license to 2017 a few days ago, and you’d be surprised how many things started becoming a pain to accomplish in 2015.

So in all this tangled up mess of sentences, what I’m trying to say is that, yes, it’s sort of too bad that the days of free SketchUp software are over, but I don’t believe Trimble are a bunch of near-sighted dimwits for doing it. I’m sure they have their reasons, and I suspect that in the two years or so that it will take Make 2017 to become obsolete, they are planning to add a lot of the missing features to SketchUp Free. So if you’re a hobbyist, don’t panic yet. Try Free, use Make for what Free can’t do, and see what the next couple of years bring. Or you could do what Trimble is hoping you’ll do – buy that Pro license! Believe me, there are more expensive hobbies out there! :slight_smile:


Good day Barry,

Sorry for the late respons, I am just now back from work.
Here is the report you askt for.
WebGL Caps Viewer

– v0.1.0 –
WebGL extensions and capabilities supported by your browser and your GPUWebGL

  • experimental-webgl context: NO
  • drawing buffer size: 600 x 600
  • VERSION: WebGL 1.0
  • VENDOR: Mozilla
  • RENDERER: Mozilla
  • Platform: Win64
  • App version: 5.0 (Windows)
  • AA enabled: true
  • AA samples: 4
  • MAX_VIEWPORT_DIMS: 16383x16383
  • WebGL extensions: 24
    • 1 - ANGLE_instanced_arrays
    • 2 - EXT_blend_minmax
    • 3 - EXT_color_buffer_half_float
    • 4 - EXT_frag_depth
    • 5 - EXT_shader_texture_lod
    • 6 - EXT_texture_filter_anisotropic
    • 7 - EXT_disjoint_timer_query
    • 8 - OES_element_index_uint
    • 9 - OES_standard_derivatives
    • 10 - OES_texture_float
    • 11 - OES_texture_float_linear
    • 12 - OES_texture_half_float
    • 13 - OES_texture_half_float_linear
    • 14 - OES_vertex_array_object
    • 15 - WEBGL_color_buffer_float
    • 16 - WEBGL_compressed_texture_s3tc
    • 17 - WEBGL_debug_renderer_info
    • 18 - WEBGL_debug_shaders
    • 19 - WEBGL_depth_texture
    • 20 - WEBGL_draw_buffers
    • 21 - WEBGL_lose_context
    • 22 - MOZ_WEBGL_lose_context
    • 23 - MOZ_WEBGL_compressed_texture_s3tc
    • 24 - MOZ_WEBGL_depth_texture

WebGL Caps Viewer is based on GX3D.js http://www.geeks3d.com/webgl/gx3d/

Bep van Malde

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True. I guess I’m just saying there isn’t some alternative way of getting scaled output offered in it’s place. Dwg isn’t really a great alternative either as it’s just line work with none SU’s nice colors and shadows.

Even if it’s not to scale, how about 2D output like .png for perspective views. The SU f Schools version at least offers .png as an output. How come it’s not in the new SU Free?

SU for Schools:
28 AM

SU Free:
33 AM

Let me just toss this out there for discussion:

Jim Rea of ProVUE Development just introduced a new version of Panorama, their database program. They’ve announced a new approach to subscription licensing that’s interesting and worth looking at. If SU Pro were to use a similar scheme, it would be more attractive to the casual user who currently depends on Make, but doesn’t want to ante up the full price of Pro. It also helps pros who have a work crunch, and need more seats, but don’t want to purchase more just for a month’s worth of work. He explains the way the system works in this video:

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Thanks, as always, for your detailed thoughts; some responses inline. I apologize for the long post, but this is a complex question :wink:

Obviously, our team takes a different position on this point, no doubt colored by the years we spend inside Google. And I think one could make the opposing argument pretty easily. I already prefer using Google’s office productivity (GSuite) tools to those from Microsoft. In fact, the majority of applications I used to rely on running from the desktop have now been replaced by web applications. The ability to open any computer in the world, log into a web service and instantly have access to all of my data is, well… just very powerful.

3D CAD systems are surely among the most compute intensive and complex applications available today on any platform, and they will likely be the last class of tools to completely convert to the web. But tools like OnShape (developed by the former Solidworks team) provide a pretty compelling argument that attitudes are changing. The balance is tipping toward the web.

It is surely the case that there are fewer UX standards for web applications than there are for desktop clients. The “WIMP” UX pattern that is so ubiquitous today was without precedent when it first arrived on personal computers in the 1980’s. Given 30 years of development history, it now feels pretty ‘normal’ for most computer users. Web-based application UX patterns are still evolving. For high-functionality editing applications (including things like email clients and word processors), UI patterns are really not much more than ten years old. There isn’t as much precedent to lean on as you might want. (knowing how deeply you’re interested in such topics, you might find this paper (“Noncommand User Interfaces”) by Jakob Nielsen interesting.)

We’re inventing new kinds of UX to accommodate the new opportunities afforded by running an application like SketchUp in a browser with supporting infrastructure in the cloud. There will surely be some cases where we get things wrong and have to fix them. But if you’ve been following the development history of my.SketchUp since we launched into beta a year ago… you’ve seen that we’re always improving it and launching new features all the time.

I think it is more or less inevitable that SketchUp Free (running interpreted in the browser) will have lower raw performance on compute-intensive tasks than we can achieve on the desktop. We’ve made a number of significant (step-function) improvements over time; most recently with the switch to WebAssembly a couple of months ago. Technology in this area is moving very fast right now, with significant support from Mozilla, Microsoft, Google and Apple.

At some point, given advancement in both hardware and software, SketchUp Free’s performance will be fast enough for the majority of projects folks will want to do with it. We think we’re already fairly close for most folks, though there are certainly cases (your magnificent Huge Castle, for example) where today’s SketchUp Free is going to struggle to keep up. I expect this will improve significantly over time.


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

You can’t be that naive Dave? It’s only a matter of time. The fact that a Ruby interpreter and extensions are not supported in SketchUp Free tells you all you need to know. SketchUp Make as, we knew it, is dead. SketchUp Make 2017 will be downloadable for only another year or so. This decision to go web based and ween the free users off extensions is a horrible decision for the users and the extension developers. SketchUp just shot the users that made them successful. SketchUp Pro may succeed, but this opens the door for a huge portion of SketchUp user base to move to another product. Really disappointing.