This may sound harsh, but here goes:
When I was a kid my parents renovated and worked on the house we lived in. My dad went out and bought tools he needed to do the work. If he didn’t want to spend the $$, he borrowed them from neighbors, co-workers, grandpa, etc.
He also often did work ‘for fun’ - or for a ‘hobby’ if you like - making wooden things for the family - from bookshelves to doll houses to doll cradles to play swords and shields and airplanes, etc. - he used the tools he paid money for to build these things - even though he was just ‘a hobbyist’ and not a professional woodworker, toymaker or ‘maker’. He bought the most reasonable tools for his use - from soldering irons, table saws, hand tools, etc. When he needed a trencher or cement mixer, wood splitter, or similar he would pay $$ and go to the rental store and get what he needed.
I couldn’t imagine him on a Craftsman or Delta forum (back before the internet existed) complaining that the tools he wanted to use would cost him $$, even though he was just ‘a homeowner’ or ‘hobbyist’.
Fast forward to today:
I take photos - primarily for the love of it. Sometimes I use said cameras for work - job sites, etc., but regardless, I love making images.
I have invested in cameras, lenses, filters, tripods, gadgets, bags, and software. At some point I decided that I needed to get better software than what came with my camera(s) and iPhone - so I spent $$ on panorama software, editing software, cataloging software, etc. etc. All because I love what I do, and believe in supporting other people who give me the tools to love what I do that much more.
I get it, SketchUp was free. You used to be able to download a new and updated and fancy version every year or so. And you could use it for work, for play, for whatever… (depending where your morals lie and on how you value the people who create the tools that you use…)
I got my start in the @Last days. I used a demo disk that seemed to work forever, then I would use it at work on the architect’s desktop machine. Eventually Google got its hands on it and I would use the free version for some projects I did at home, and then I made the full on switch to the paid version, and eventually ditched another much more $$ CAD package.
Yes, it costs $$. Its a tool. I like getting paid for my work. I think others should get paid for theirs.
If you are angry about this, or having issues with the technical aspects of using the web app -
2017 Free / Make / Whatever is still available for download and use - please, download the 2017 version. Use it until it wears out. I still have clients using Pro8 Pro 2016, Pro2017, etc. - that refuse to upgrade. Its a PITA for me, as I have a list of folks I have to remember to back save for… but its working for them.
And while you are using 2017 maybe start up a respectful, constructive dialog in another thread encouraging SU to offer a ‘make’ version that runs 80-100 a year for a single license with no upgrades… As a pro with lots of clients spread round the skill spectrum I can see a potential market for this approach - but one would need to convince SU about it - and one would also assume that they’ve already done their homework on it…
And finally - by all means - if you are angry and pissed off - vote with your wallet and go use some other free software out there.