What’s up with SketchUp Make?



Here’s another idea, just for discussion sake:

What about with the SU Pro demo, allowing the user to buy, say, 4 months worth of usage for $233, and if they do that three times, they now have a full license? Annual maintenance fees as applicable from then on.

As a long time user, the annual maintenance isn’t too tough to swallow, but, for a brand new user, that initial cost makes you think twice.


What if after those first 4 months you can not yet decide? You’re almost trapped into continuing, to pay for the next 4+4 months. Or all is lost. Rather expensive. I think it’s a weird situation you are getting yourself into.

IMO Trimble should be allowed to make its own decisions on how to distribute their products.


Well, you could allow for reactivation after letting it lapse. Give users two years, or maybe even no limit to reactivate a couple more times. This starts to be more like “token based” use, I suppose. (I already mentioned how Panorama is doing this earlier in the thread.)

Oh, of course. I’m not sure whether anything expressed here has any impact on their thinking, but we can always make suggestions or comments.


“If anyone can recommend a good replacement for SketchUp Make, even if it costs some money, I’d love to hear about it, and so would my twenty thousand potential users.”

Well, having used SU since SU6 & looked at most other options, I am convinced there is simply no better CAD or BIM product for any price that is as easy to learn & use than SU Make or Pro, so give up looking & buy a drawing board. You may even get one for less than the cost of SU Pro!


Well strangely enough there may well be a good replacement for Make! I saw a mention earlier in this marathon discussion of a genuine freebie called ‘formZ free’. So followed it up.
I have only had a couple of hours to play with it but so far am very impressed.
It actually imports SU files and components and of course exports via the usuals. So could be a way of future proofing existing work if SU ever goes pear shaped. The junior and pro versions add even more options but are paid for versions. Even so the free version is still well populated to be very useable on its own.
The programme is certainly sophisticated with great options and capabilities for producing very slick results straight out of the box with functions already on board that SU has to rely on via third party ie. nurbs, lofting, reflective surfaces, Boolean, auto opening cuts for window/doors, dynamic sizing etc.etc. The layout and feel is not dissimilar to SU so the learning curve is not horrendous. Check it out.
By the way I have no affiliations with FormZ. Just looking around at the alternatives. In any case I have been a great fan of SU since its early days and its intuitive ease of use takes some beating.


To be honest, Inkscape, Blender, Draftsight, FormZ Free, BricsCAD Shape, Gimp, Paint dot net, Gravit Designer, Vectr, Krita, Daz Studio, Hexagon and Scluptris are great suggestions for everyday commercial and non-commercial uses.
If these people and companies want to develop and give away free products for commercial usage that is their right as much as it is Tremble’s (or any other company’s) right to charge for a product.


I agree Paul and there is nothing wrong with competition. It makes the products better and gives us the users better options. FormZ has been around a while and they seemed to have gotten on board with giving people options. They are also not afraid of allowing the Free version to be used commercially. They seem to realize that sure someone can make a few $$ off of the free version but most of them will sooner or later want the added features and benefits of the paid versions. Have a few jr designers working in free to develop ideas and then let the pro users take over.
I have been playing with FormZ Free myself, I also use SketchUp Pro, and it is very similar but I also think that it is not as easy as SU (imho). It works a bit differently but yes very impressive results.


I think you make the point Sean…FormZfree is not only free but free to use COMMERCIALLY. So what is SU’s problem - why have any restrictions at all on the make version?


So sick of this thread.

Interesting that these five words have earned me a badge for ‘Nice Reply’, 11 likes from members and at the same time been flagged and hidden because others found them to be ‘Off Topic’.


Well completely up to Tremble to do what they want to do with their product. I always support their right to do so as I’ll support another’s right.
You get more flies with honey than with vinegar. :wink: Maybe AutoDesSys wants to see if this holds true.


Someone “making” you read it and respond to it? I find it engaging and frankly some of the SU “evangelical” posts are quite amusing. I applaud Tremble for allowing it take place and not squashing it out.


We could also see FormZ Free disappear tomorrow. It just might not work. Having been doing this professionally since '96 I have seen loads of what I thought to be great products come and go. :frowning:


Yes AutoDes. are probably being quite cute taking this route as it no doubt does produce results. They obviously know how to divi up their packages to make them attractive to the flies. I notice that Twilight render for SU do something similar with their free version that is not restricted anymore. SU certainly does not find it difficult to run with updated MAKEs as an offshoot of PRO its more a question of whether they really want to because I suspect the whole lot is going to end up web based once the prototyping is done on the free pilot version. That seems to make total sense considering Trimble’s business. Fortunately my ver 6 pro still works fine even on win.10!


You might be surprised. The real point is that one has the “legal” ability to use them in any manner that they see fit, as long as the product is available. Some are open source with no restrictions on what can be done with them. None of them are trial versions.

I worked for a small case good (cabinet) shop several years ago. I used Inkscape and paint dot net as my Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop replacements with no issues. Sure not 100% the same but for what I needed they did the job and we saved some money.


the functional limitations can be evaluated here.


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Interesting thanks Paul, I haven’t read all of this post, (mostly a waste of time) but will give formZfree a try sometime. I did look at it in its early days & rejected it, but no doubt it has improved since then, but so has SU of course.
As with everything it will take time to learn, a principle which some people don’t appear to understand.


I think all these things snuck up on us while we were sleeping. Advantage Box.


Hmm, have just been reading some posts at formZ, looks like there are issues around components & support which will need sorting out before I try it out.


Since it’s way off topic anyway, check out Moi, it’s not free but it’s cheap and it performs well with some amazing results: http://moi3d.com/