You keep saying I can use Sketchup Make 2017. I can’t. It crashes on my computer which is a relatively new and powerful Thinkpad with a NVIDIA Quadro M4000M. See https://forums.sketchup.com/t/sketchup-2017-started-crashing/45688.
Sketchup Make 2016 is no longer available.
It does not seem to be a common problem, but others have it as well. It is what happens when you stop supporting software.
Somewhere it says there was an update on October. The current version is the same as the one I got on 4/10/2017 and it crashes. It crashes without any explanation after selecting “Start using Sketchup”. I have traced it in a debugger and found the location where it fails. With that information, it shouldn’t be hard to fix, but I get no response. I have no idea whether the Pro version would work or not.
Many people have presented their thoughts on removing support for Sketchup Make. Here are mine:
The web version is really lacking. It doesn’t have extensions, 3D Mouse, or good performance. IMHO it is a bad way to go. It will not make me upgrade to Pro, and it probably takes more development effort than supporting a “light” version.
I am an occasional user not making money from Sketchup. The price for Pro is too high for me to rationalize.
It made sense for Google to provide Sketchup for free. It makes less sense for Trimble to do so. If people don’t get paid for developing software, they tend to stop doing it.
I don’t see a free community developing for Sketchup as it has for Blender, Gimp, LIbreOffice, and others.
I would be willing to pay for Make, but my idea is more in the $50 range. That is what “light” versions of programs with similar complexity tend to run.
Sooner or later the fair price of anything is what people are willing to pay for it.