What’s up with SketchUp Make?

I hope so. You should know that SketchUp Make and Pro are products we all love and want to see succeed. SketchUp for Schools may prove to be a good educational tool. But SketchUp Free, in my opinion, will get no traction without extensions and even then the cloud will probably limit it. Just trying to help.


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There have been some very interesting and derogatory comments in this thread. I have been very hesitant to add anything. While I too am kind of disappointed in the enhancements (?) in the last couple of releases, I do have to add one VERY positive comment (IMHO). The performance improvement I am experiencing is VERY much appreciated for me. I am seeing the following things that I really like:

  • I have some rather complex models (at least in my opinion - lots of faces) that have had a significant lag when orbiting them. In the 2018 version, I am not seeing any lag at all.

  • 2018 is loading much faster for me. In general, I would estimate that it is starting up 3 to 4 times faster.

  • When I have sent models over to LayOut in the past, I have seen a degradation in the way dimensions were displayed in LayOut. With 2018, I am seem them back to the way I want them to show up and they way they used to (prior to 2017).

  • It also appears to me that my models are loading in LayOut much faster.

To me, these things are VERY POSITIVE and I feel that I would be remiss in not passing along my appreciation to the performance improvements. :grinning:

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I’m still catching up on this thread and plan to post my own thoughts/suggestions, but I just wanted to chime in here because this is the first mention of Customized Keyboard Shortcuts. I agree that this is essential for the web-version. Without getting too far into it right here, I’ll just saw that the closer the web UI and functionality is to the desktop version, the better (for numerous reason).

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To get customizable keyboard shortcuts for an app, one has to work around the browser shortcuts. This Discourse forum has shortcuts. Type Shift + / in this forum to see an overlay listing the keyboard shortcuts for this forum.

Chrome has a bunch of keyboard shortcuts. The easiest way to see all of them presented - and how they can conflict with SU shortcuts -can be seen using a slick feature in a Chromebook. Ctrl + Alt + / will display a keyboard overlay with shortcuts highlighted, and the user can press Shift, Ctrl, Alt and combinations of those modifiers to see shortcut assigned to assorted keys on the keyboard. Most of the letters are available, but many keys modified with Ctrl and Alt are taken by the Chrome browser. I’m sure there are many shortcuts with the other browsers.

To keep all the default desktop SU shortcuts, the browser shortcuts have to be disabled for the SU web app tab because there are some conflicts.

There are many desktop SU shortcuts that work in SU Free, but some do not do to conflict with browser shortcuts. The Discourse shortcut overlay mentioned above is useful. And the snazzy, interactive Chrome OS keyboard overlay is nicer. SU Free should add something like it,. Of course, that applies to pre-assigned shortcuts. I still want to customize.

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I wish Trimble would consider something less than pro, more than browser-make free.
As a retired hobbyist I can’t afford or justify the cost for Pro, and without Ruby or plug-ins Sketchup Free is simply too limited.

Oh, well. In a year or two I suspect almost all software will be browser or cloud based, the rest will be confined by ever more restrictive and sandboxed OSs to approved app-store-only installs. Great, until the power goes down.


This is like a great benefactor giving out free pizza to hungry people for years and then suddenly giving them bread instead. Are the people entitled to complain if they never paid in the first place? I’m happy to pay the PRO licence fees for an outstanding product that we have started to take for granted…


Loosing power will cause serious troubles already, which is why I always have a candle, a notebook and some pencils :slight_smile:
Loosing connection, however, is worse, according to my 15 year old daughter, who has almost finished watching Youtube, having seen it all…


If you’re ona laptop you can survive a few hours without power though :stuck_out_tongue: .

Thanks for a few good years. I am retired and use this for my woodworking hobby but without the woodworking extensions it would be much harder. I can’t justify the cost for pro so I will use Make 2017 for a year or so and then it will become out of date and problematic like all applications, so I need to get out my sketchpad and start drawing again. Not a bad thing because I can now spend my time and money on wood and stop playing on these computers - as it should be. Was nice for awhile. Toorah

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What makes you think SketchUp 2017 Make will stop working in a year? There are still many users using SketchUp 8 which was replaced five years ago. I’m not trying to talk you out of using paper and pencil. Go for it if you want. But SketchUp 2017 Make won’t just shut down on you in a year or two years.

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Thanks. In my experience I have had other applications start to error out after awhile as a result of new operating systems and hardware. Its good to know that your application has not got a history of this and its to your credit. That being said the writing is on the wall and it’s just best to be prepared.

After looking at this lengthy thread, I will put my rambling 2 cents worth. First, how I got here. I am currently retired. I have always had an intrest in drafting. I used several free apps in the late 90’s up until about 2010. I had been on the look for better apps but did not want to pay the money for them. They seemed buggy and lacking for the money. My daughter was in college and I asked if her were any cad programs in the student bookstore. I scored a student version of AutoCAD for $200. I used that for my needs until I wanted to get into 3D. With the online help and tutorials I could not figure out how to make it work, even with following along while watching it. And oh the student version was not to be used for commercial. When printed it had a border around it announcing it was a student version. Late into '16 I stumbled onto SU and tried the free trial and was hooked. I bought Pro. For my limited usage being without Layout was not an option at that time, still isn’t. Style Builder is something I have not even tried to explore. My drawings are becoming more complicated as time passes. The web version of make would not suit my current needs. The marketing people need to figure out what the market will bear and how to milk it. Realistically I would pay for Layout as an add-on to the non-web based SU. As far as support goes the forum and tutorials from Trimble as well as what is on the web cover my needs. Most apps have free support until the next major update and offer premium support for a fee. For my use I would be willing to pay $250.00 for a package of SU and Layout with no maintenance fee for a 1 year period with the ability to up grade to the next version at a steep discount. As far as extensions go I use 2 that are from the warehouse, both free. SU is something I may not use for a month at a time. Realistically as the year has passed the only reason for the current maint. agreement is to get the next upgrade, as I see it. For my usage it was not worth the money but I will take the '18 version and not renew the agreement.
Thanks for the space to rant. BTW this took about 40 minutes to put down, fat slow fingers on the kb. :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ve changed hardware several times and migrated to Windows 10 from Windows 7. I have 8 versions of SU on my computer and they all work just fine. SU 7, 8, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. I require them merely for testing since I am a Plugin developer. I have a C++ compiler that I use for additional developement. It came out in 2002 and still compiles just fine.

In my experience (at least with Windows), the majority of my old programs run great. I can even run old DOS programs dating back to the 1980’s.

Some of the newer programs require certain hardware capabilities - So some of the newer programs will not run properly on old hardware.


Yes I agree. Round corner and Solid inspector are very important to 3D printing. Nice to see STL export built in already. Needing an internet connection sucks though. Adding the option to work offline if possible would be best. It kinda blows that my computer which I specifically bought just for 3D design would would be crippled by a browser and a spotty internet connection. I have a SU pro licence I abandoned. I was being punished for purchasing the software, my older version was spitting out files others could not open. How long till the last free desktop version of SU starts putting out a format that cannot be opened? Why should I put any effort into a SU model now when it will eventually be made unusable by an update? All in all I do not like the way this is going. You guys are forcing me to Fusion 360. You are turning SU into Tinkercad… that is horrible.

All newer versions of SketchUp remain backwards-compatible with older file formats… can you post a problemmatic file for us to take a look at? Maybe there is a different issue that is causing you to have trouble sharing files with users of newer builds…

I misspoke. My old version could not open files made by newer versions so I abandoned my licence to upgrade to a free version of SU. Which was hard for me to do since it cost me around $600 back then. I still have it on an older computer but I do not use it.

Later versions of SU can save older format types

Yes but it was annoying getting people sending me files to resave them in an older format. I also couldn’t use some newer plugins and stuff from the 3D warehouse.

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Moved testing to a machine at work today to see how an unlimited internet speed (300 meg+) and power (8 cores 16 threads assigned ) would perform with SketchUp Free.

The operating system was Windows 10 and tried for 15 minutes on three different internet browsers. The rendering issues were for the most part reduced or eliminated as

seen in my home machines. But I’m still getting on all three runs the occasional “Long running script” errors and delays until the browser can catch up. Zooming in helps as stated

but when running scenes of the final project there are long delays and “glitiching” between transitions. I understand the following of the rest of the industry into the cloud but

the when it comes to performance of a CAD tool there is a great need for improvements before SktechUp Free will come close to the native running tool. If in the future a native

SketchUp ( No-layout, or Styles) CAD only for Woodworkers, and Makers users I would pay for such a tool! Keep up the great work and I hope your able to overcome the

performance problems. Or as I predict and I have started to see a shift by some application sellers get out of the cloud and drive more native solutions.

Same here in Australia where our spanky new National Broadband Network is hopelessly inadequate for working on-line. An hour of uninterrupted internet use is still just a dream.