What’s up with SketchUp Make?



I’m not with that company anymore anyway and the specific details are foggy at this point at best by now. Oh thank you on ThomThom note…I thought it was him after seeing that


No, Thomthom has passed on the hat (but still develops for SketchUp).

That’s not really fair, considering that SketchUp does not even run on every real computer system (“PC”). And the vast majority of the worlds’s population know only mobile devices as “computers” and historians may once consider everything before was the preceding evolutionary step in the history of computing.

The comparison of digital things and physical things is tricky:

For physical products the customer can always disassemble them and analyze their matter (even with a raster electron microscope) and in theory repair them (with little or high effort).

By contrast, digital products do not consist of matter und are thus easily copyable without effort (sin), but their binary representation cannot be disassembled to understandable source code. Also what is better than with cars, they do not suddenly change and break or degrade over time, it’s the environment that changes and breaks them. So you could keep SketchUp Make 2017 running up to infinity if you keep the environment frozen.

The real problem is that the extension environment is given new possibilities with every version (2018 has already some unique API features). If extensions want to make use of new API features, they won’t work for SketchUp Make 2017 users.


I wouldn’t describe a system where I can’t run my own code as an actual computer. While it’s good smartphones and other systems are spreading across the globe I think it’s tragic how people are left out from actively participating in technology, but instead passively consumes it.


I agree about consumerization, but would want readers not to misunderstand or mix up “running one’s own code” with “systems supported by SketchUp”. Even Chromebooks now have a developer mode and one can tweak what’s under the hood.
But SketchUp does not fully support them and other operating systems (there is a web app which doesn’t allow users to run their own code).


This is because you’re complaining about the abilities of Make for commercial use, and despite paying for several Pro licenses, didn’t even use them. You could have just shared those 7 licenses with new staff so they could try the application out, and you still can.



This is because you’re complaining about the abilities of Make for commercial use, and despite paying for several Pro licenses, didn’t even use them. You could have just shared those 7 licenses with new staff so they could try the application out, and you still can.


you are kidding right…you did read the other messages that say we get PRO versions once we see that they can and will use it right? But at some point my old company has now said bye bye to it.

You seem a little defensive to be just a user and not an employee of the Trimble company. If the program is the “cat’s Meow” explain why I’ve tried 6 files now to load from the warehouse ( 2 lounge chairs , a car, a desk with stuff on it, a robot and an airplane) just to prove a point. Using my old computer that loaded these with the 2017 version and the “New and improved” Browser version, IT has no trouble running the downloaded version. The moment it tries to explode even one level of any of the grouped/component level items it freezes up. So unless you plan on not using the warehouse in the Browser version, exploding anything, using extensions, or doing anything complex this program I guess works then. Oh my old computer that did run this had an I5 6th gen chip, 16G of RAM, 7200 RPM HD and a low end GTX900 series Graphic card. more than enough to run the downloaded version but it seems not the browser version well.

Dont list me the poor company needing to make money line also. I’m a capitalist at heart and you can’t tell me they weren’t making money before for all those years either. I’m saying that this path to make the money was screw up from the beginning and it could have been done better.


No arguments with you in response…Just want to say your first few lines are very deep and profound…nice expression of that point. I’ll have to use that one day with my friend :+1::grinning:


Quite the contrary. You asked a question, and I attempted to answer. I am just a SketchUp user and nothing more.

I was under the impression that your company had seven pro licenses which they bought so you could train other users, after you already discovered and found a business case for the software (this is what you wrote). But, for some reason, because the free version isn’t feature rich like the Pro version, you threw away the models and stopped using it (you wrote this too). I’m only saying that your company still has 7 Pro licenses that are perfectly good, and you can still use Pro, with extensions, with the 3D warehouse, with all the features you can imagine, right now. Unless I missed something.


I DO NOT LIKE the WEB based version.

I understand that you run a business, and you need to keep it viable and profitable. However, I think that you could gain a lot by offering hobby users a sensibly restricted version for an affordable price, The Pro at ~$600 is cheap for business use, but not for hobby.

I think you may be underestimating the wide user base skilled using your software for hobby and school projects, making it attractive for businesses using your Pro version. I seriously don’t think the web-based version will keep you on the track you are now, long term. The makeup 2017 will keep you going for a while - until you decide to stop supporting that version in the warehouse… Then your free-version-skilled based will start declining, and you will start comparing yourself - and compete - with other professional design packages. Existing and new coming.

To provide some background: I am an electronic engineer, using a lot of electronics CAD software for work. In mechanical world, I am an occasional hobby user - using Sketchup for small interior designs for my home, woodworking, … My son (16) interested in architecture is using it for his sketches.

I don’t think I would have ever started with Sketchup if it was web based only. Well, I did start with makeup (2015? I think…) and I am your user now.

I did seriously tried the web-based version. It worked fine when I started to play with it. However, when the project grew a little, it gradually became terribly slow in responding.

To classify, I drew my living room with few pieces of furniture downloaded from the warehouse, and I spent maybe 3 or 4 hours (net) drawing - so not THAT terribly complex project. I then downloaded the last makeup 2017, and was like going from crawling on my knees to stand up and running. HUGE difference!

To be more technical and specific: It was end of August 2018, I was using Firefox, up-to-date version at the time, on my up-to-date work laptop, Windows 10. I was on my holiday broadband connection, typically 8Mbit/s download, 1Mbit/s upload (not specified, measured!). When I saved te project as Makeup 2017 .skp file, it had in order of 80Mbytes. No wonder the on-line data exchange made it slow.

The other aspect is the online nature itself. When I tried to engage with your free web version, I was on holidays, and I was lucky enough to have a broadband connection. Quite sure if I was to rely on my mobile data, I would have not even started… No matter whether 3G or 4G or 5G - data is getting cheaper, but not quite for free. I can imagine lots of woodworking hobbyists struggling to be always online in their shed…

I have another time off work around end of year (2018), and I have returned to a small hobby project again, still using the Makeup 2017. Just checking if there is anything new on your side. There isn’t…

Please, PLEASE, reconsider an affordable offline version of your software for hobby. For us hobbyists - and for yourself in your long-term business model.


Personally and professionally I’m not going to question the business decision by Trimble and SketchUp to offer the current web based version of SketchUp. I’m sure they have their reasons and it probably does fill a certain segment in the market that was previously missing.

However, I do question the reason for eliminating Make. Yes, I get that it will cannibalize some sales of Pro but if you increase and improve the feature set of Pro you make it more attractive to the professional user such that they have good reason to pay the licensing fee and upgrade to Pro. In this regard more emphasis on improving Layout would be a huge incentive to get a lot of power users to upgrade from Make.

If revenue is the problem then it seems it would make more sense to start charging for Make rather than giving it away for free or providing a web version which is also free. Completely cutting a potential revenue stream or creating a new non-revenue stream just doesn’t add up from a business sense, even I can see that.

So yes, I strongly support the call to provide a desktop version of SketchUp for the hobby user. I doubt the millions of users that are currently using SU 2017 (Make) would even blink an eye at a reasonable price tag ($100 - $200), and the serious influx of cash would go a long ways towards funding major development for the SketchUp and Layout platform.


Charging a smaller license fee for Make - makes sense - pun intended. You could then call it Sketchup Lite.


Also other companies don’t charge for their light versions and also allow them to be used commercially;
BricsCAD Shape and FormZ Free are but 2 examples. To say that it “can’t be done” is just being disingenuous. FormZ also has a “low price” option in FormZ Jr so not a bad idea on a low-cost lite version.


Sad how Trimble doesn’t recognize that Sketchup’s big success and cult like following was directly related to its free open source platform. Future plugin development will be based on money only, and slowly dwindle. Therefore purchasing Pro doesn’t even make sense for a lot of people. I will continue to use Sketchup Make 2015 with the plugins I have, but moving forward this software is a dead stick. So sad…


SketchUp was never open source.


I’m actually really satisfied with SketchUp Make in its current build! I think the SketchUp Team outdid themselves on SU Make 2017. It’s basically perfect, so I think there’s no need for an update. I’m still happy with it two years after 2017’s release and use it almost daily for drawing random stuff as my hobby. I’ll be a happy camper as long as it’s still available for download in the future. :grin:


A wise Make user would download the installer and keep it in a safe place or in safe places for the future.


I have like four. Lol…:joy:
But I should probably put a couple on a flash drive just to be safe.

I’m just hoping when SketchUp Pro 2019 comes out it doesn’t bump SketchUp Make 2017 off the list…


It’s not a problem to make the list one line longer.


I would like to throw my hat in to the ring regarding the Online only version of Sketchup. The points raised by Mike.b resonates quite well with me and I would hope from Trimble as well. I’m just not quite clear on whether the folks at Trimble look at this community post. Similar to video game forums, I would hope that they would be looking at what the user base is saying and work hard to provide what the people actually want.

  • I have tried, and also really dislike the new online only version of Sketchup. As pointed out by others, when I got about 2-3 hours in to a design of a new table, the lag became intolerable.

  • I particularly like using the shortcut keys to switch between items like rectangle vs hand vs orbit, etc and this stops working due to the lag. I too am on a fast 5G network at my home that I use for gaming so it isn’t my network that has the issue.

  • Some have pointed out that a reasonable price point of $100-200 for an offline version would likely be accepted by the hobby community. I agree with that but only if it is a one time fee for the download. I see that there is a new name out there now called Sketchup Shop. I thought that might be something I would entertain but: a) it is still Online only, b) it doesn’t offer me anything useful for the price point that I have to have and c) it is a yearly fee. Yearly fees smack too much of a Microsoft type business model and again doesn’t give me additional benefit for hobby applications.

  • It was interesting to read about the management at Trimble finally realizing the issue of online only once they were trying to work on the plane. It is exactly this kind of thing - working on a plane, sitting out on the back deck sipping a cold one of one’s choice designing the next project for the spouse, etc that makes the offline version so valuable and necessary.

  • Fortunately, I still have Sketchup Make 2017 which I am going to revert to. I just need figure out now how to get all of the work I did this weekend on the online version exported to Make 2017 so I can speed up the design process.

Tim Stauffer


I will add one positive for the online version which I am sure was one of the reasons the developers were likely thinking of online only. With an online application, as long as any computer you visit or use has the supported web browser, you can access your model anywhere, anytime. So, if I travel to visit my parents for example and don’t take my computer, I can log in to my dad’s computer and show him the project I am working on. We are both woodworkers and we like to trade ideas and information quite often. I at least wanted to point out one positive that I see for online applications. Having said that, I’m still going back to Make 2017:grinning: