What’s up with SketchUp Make?



I don’t find sketchup free particularly useful to me, but I have worked with it enough to answer questions and know it is developing all the time.
I know nothing about sketchup shop because I’m not going to subscribe to it just so I can answer questions on how it works.
I’ve never defended or attacked Layout because the only times I have every used it were to work out how it worked so I could explain to someone how it worked.

On the other hand I have worked with the forum/team by finding bugs, making feature requests, solving issues, helping others and generally being positive. Occasionally I have been less than positive but I have mostly done that behind closed doors.

While others only find the time to be negative.

I know which I find most productive.


I can appreciate the… uneasiness of transitioning from evangelist to apologist, especially through no fault of your own. It is, however, not an excuse to attack the messenger and intentionally confuse fair criticism with “negativity”, particularly about a product you don’t even seem to use.

The most productive use of your time, since you mention it, would be to start using LayOut the way I and many other users do, which is professionally, realize its unacceptable flaws and limitations for yourself, and then use whatever influence you may have with the development team to get them addressed. That way the brilliant piece of software that is SketchUp might finally be fit for use in professional settings.


Maybe you could elaborate a bit on this.


You can do that yourself, i’ve never touched layout (except to learn how it works) I use a combination of Photoshop and InDesign instead.

Layout comes bundled with SketchUp, but I would rather Trimble concentrate on the 3D app than worrying about a publishing/layout tool so much.


I use SketchUp, LayOut and InDesign together now. LayOut has a quite important role in the workflow when it comes to generating scale drawings from models. However I think we both can agree LO shouldn’t try to compete with InDesign for publishing/layout.


LayOut is not adequate for professional use, a point discussed in detail in this thread.

Yes, I do agree. There seems to be little point matching feature-for-feature a major desktop publishing program like InDesign. However, LayOut should still be able to generate a standard set of construction documents from a Sketchup model, which might consist of up to fifty 24 x 36 inch pages, 150 or 200 viewports, extensive text, etc.

LayOut should absolutely clear that bar, because (a) it is the only DTP supporting Sketchup viewports, therefore Sketchup Pro users should get what they already paid for, and (b) Trimble’s main business is construction, so it seems only appropriate that their desktop publishing solution should publish industry-standard, bread-and-butter construction docs, and do so relatively painlessly. Yet, it does not.


I wonder if this discussion would be more appropriate back in the LayOut forum… rather than 748 posts deep in a thread about SketchUp Make?


@jbacus Hi John, it is actually there Layout 2018 - not up to par with other drafting software

… but your post makes me wonder why you chimed in here to point out an off topic (correctly, might I add) but you never did intervene when the same topic is being discussed on the appropriate forum? The thread I linked above has over 100 comments, with many offering a lot of good feedback about the issues that plague professional users of LayOut.

I am not the only one, I bet, who would have loved to hear your feedback on the issues we experience daily that make our document generation chores miserable, and perhaps receive a heads up on how the development team intends to make LayOut useable for professional users.

See you there!?


I doubt you’ll find any of my post that expressly do either.


I’ve now posted into this particular thread over thirty times.

If you are a regular on our user forums, you’ll recognize that I have been an active participant in them, in their various incarnations, in some form or another, for over fifteen years. I can’t monitor every thread, unfortunately, but I do weigh in when and where I can.

I’m not sure I have much to contribute on the LayOut forum beyond the posts that others from our team have made. If there is a particular issue you want me to comment on, you can always tag me into the thread.


Please note the link to MAKE on your main sketchup website was not working today and kept giving us a 404 errror!

As a instructor who has worked and currently works in public schools i am truly BUMMED about this new decision. Sketchup Make was a GREAT and ACCESSIBLE (NOT EVERYONE CAN AFFORD APPLICATIONS) option for my low income students.

Having a web based option is difficult because SCHOOL LAB INTERNET is always an issue and it makes it difficult for students to work on their projects. A solid DESKTOP version was GREAT and all my students appreciated that it was a stable and reliable way to work. INTERNET is not always a wonderful and perfect system when you work in educational institutions because of firewalls and the lack of support for updating browsers.

Pardon my caps but i am actually SCREAMING and so are my students. They were totally bummed about this new development.


Remember- we haven’t taken away SketchUp Make- it is still available and still works on all the same computers that it worked on before we launched SketchUp for Web. We are very careful to keep SketchUp available for free to the widest collection of folks that our business will support.

You and your school are also likely entitled to use our full SketchUp Pro desktop suite in your school’s lab through our SketchUp for Education program. And if your district has adopted Google’s GSuite for Education, we have a new solution (SketchUp for Schools) ready for you there as well.


Add me to the chorus of people who HATE web apps! They are without exception under-featured, slower, suffer from browser compatibility issues and are less convenient to use. On top of that, they take more processor/battery power so laptop battery life suffers.

I routinely need to access and work on projects offline - having everything ‘in the cloud’ is a no go for me. Count me among the users who will continue to use the 2017 version until it’s no longer viable and then look for an alternative.

I would also ask why you hid the Make 2017 download page? it took a fair amount of digging for me to find it; every time I went to sketchup’s page and looked for it, I was unceremoniously dumped to the web version page.

Sketchup is (was) a great product, and I actually wouldn’t grumble if the free version were changed to a paid version at a reasonable price, but sticking users with the web app just sucks.


I think SketchUp Free could potentially outperform SketchUp Make in the future. Check out Octane Render for example. It is a web based application that uses hundreds of GPUs in Los Angeles to do real time rendering. Desktop rendering applications could take 30 minutes to render the same image that Octane could render instantly because the Internet gives them access to so much processing power. If SketchUp Free used tons of GPUs at SketchUp’s headquarters, then Sketchup Free’s performance could be many times better than SketchUp Make’s. Potentially, the web-based SketchUp of the future could allow much larger models with much more polygons, than SketchUp Make can currently allow.

I’m glad SketchUp Make is still available though because I love the program and use it regularly for fun. Awesome program! If I start getting professional about 3D, then I’d definitely purchase the Pro version. Currently, it’s a bit out of my price range though, so thank you for keeping SketchUp Make free.


Maybe they could do that but they wouldn’t let you use a render farm for Free.


Drawing requires performance in real time. A single second of delay would make it unusable. Renderings from a render farm can be delayed by minutes and you’d hardly notice it.


What is the roadmap for the web based SketchUp versions as far as installing or using plugins?


I still hold that the best option for Trimble is to offer a paid version of SketchUp Make in the $50 - $150 price range. It still would not have layout and some of the other advanced features of Pro but it would certainly be a better option than to try and take all of the non-pro users to a web based app.

I’ve actually tried out the web based version of SketchUp and even though I would never use it I am fairly impressed with what they are able to do within a browser and I suppose there is a certain segment of the market that finds this format the best fit for their needs.

The biggest drawback for me and for users of my plugins of course is the fact that the web based SketchUp does not allow for plugins. My plugins are primarily geared toward the professional user so one could argue that this decision by Trimble should not affect me.

However, the problem I see is that with SketchUp Make being phased out over time there is no way for the new user of SketchUp to install my plugins in trial mode unless they already have Pro installed. So less people being able to actually test out my plugins ultimately does mean less exposure and less sales.

I’m only asking that SketchUp’s upper management also consider plugin authors and the effects their new marketing strategy has on them.

Just my two cents.


As a policy future plans are almost never announced in advance.
(Search the forum on “forward looking statement” and you’ll find numerous SketchUp employees stating this policy.)

I doubt anything has changed regarding policy since …

Developers category

SketchUp for Web category

… which was said …

… and …


I think I’ve addressed that question earlier in this thread- but I understand why you might not want to read through the whole thing just to find those responses. In short, we habitually don’t pre-announce major features nor share the details of our development roadmap. But for this particular question, you should know that the solution isn’t an easy one (technically) and that you should not expect to see anything launched soon. Extensibility as a feature is clearly valued both by our team and by our 3rd-party developer community. And of course also by the users who have come to depend on various extensions for their daily workflow.

Thanks for giving it a try and a closer look. You’re right- there is a large segment of SketchUp users who are well served by a browser-based build. I’m gratified to say that our daily activation metrics show that conclusively. Hopefully, I’ll be able to share some of those numbers with you all soon.

For those folks and for others who find that our web application lacks this or some other critical feature or service… SketchUp Make 2017 remains available and viable on the desktop.

I’m sure our regular 3rd-party extension developers appreciate the concern you’re voicing for them, and I’ll let them share their thoughts with you if they like. Since most of the developers who are building business models around selling extensions have observed that it is SketchUp Pro users who most support them, I think the risk is small. Speaking for SketchUp’s upper management, I assure you that we do carefully consider the impact our product strategy has on this very trusted and valued segment of our community.