Will Sketchup continue to develop into the future?

I bought Sketchup Pro 2017 as a somewhat affordable package for my freelance Building Design business. It cost me around $1000AUD but not having to upgrade every year seemed to add weight to it’s value.
I upgraded to 2018 (ahh yes, the rather expensive section fill release).
My assessment 18 months in is that it is more of an open-source type program than a commercial one. It’s a shell of a program that expects third parties to do the majority of the work. Many third parties do great work, even the one’s that don’t charge.
The problem is ONGOING SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE. I recently had a normally dependable optimization extension destroy my project the morning before a meeting with paying clients. It affected my reputation with my client, instantly.
I can’t blame the creator of that extension for not maintaining it as he’s not being paid to do so. I thank him for his effort so far.
So I look up the Sketchup 2019 update in the hope of some maturation. I was SHOCKED. A broken line and…Marcus. Are you f-ing kidding?
Multi processor support
Layer organization
Model optimization and efficiency functions
NOT TO MENTION obvious things like more interesting line and geometry manipulation tools. I could mention 50!
NOT TO MENTION LAYOUT! Don’t get me started on that. I have a MUCH longer list for Layout.
Not to mention the new pricing strategies.
It’s going to take decades to fill these requests at the rate they are going.
FURTHERMORE, after looking around at other responses to the 2019 “major upgrade”…it won’t be adding weight to my resume in the way I thought it might (and btw, yes I’m reasonably proficient at ACad and Revit).
And 2019.2 just looked like a desperate attempt to seem like they’re doing something. Small outputs with big pictures.
I feel for the tiny team that are trying to push this thing but without some MAJOR personnel expansion, goal re-calibration and customer respect Sketchup Pro’s days are numbered. PLEASE TELL ME I’M WRONG.


From what I’ve seen I’d tell you you’re wrong.

Okay. What have you been seeing?

1 Like

In short, much ongoing development which has required adding staff. You don’t keep increasing the your workforce if you are on the way out.

There have been a lot of improvements although many are under the hood and not evident to the average user.

SketchUp is better now than it has ever been in the over 16 years that I have been using it.


I understand about the “under the hood” stuff. I experience it with work I’m doing.

I don’t doubt you that Sketchup is better now than ever.

If you say they are adding staff, then you give me some hope.

Dave, I’ve seen your modeling work and it’s impressive. With that you prove what can be achieved with a small panel of intuitive tools. Maybe this is the sweet spot for Sketchup.
Me: I’m creating large models. I am getting better all the time at producing less junk but it gets unwieldy at fairly crucial stages of a project. Layer groups is surely on that list. I’d love to know what’s going on under the hood so I can determine; should I stay or should I go?


Generally they don’t go into much detail about what is going on under the hood and what improvements they are making but they seem to continue doing it. Many improvements have been made since the nearly stagnant Google days. That coupled with the moving targets that the industry calls operating systems creates a lot of work. The unfortunate thing about software is that adding a feature or making a core code change can cause things to break and other unintended consequences. For that reason it doesn’t make any sense to introduce a huge number of new features or make sweeping changes. If those changes create problems it can be difficult if not impossible to sort out what caused the problem. It’s like repairing an anesthesia machine or an ICU ventilator. You don’t just throw a bunch of parts in and hope that fixes the problem.

Thanks for the compliments. Although most of my models don’t cover the physical area of a large architectural project they can often be as complex if not more.

To add on to what @DaveR has already said, what SU may lack features, it surely makes up for in community support. Us trainers, sages, and forum contributors love helping people learn and grow in their skills as much as we love using SketchUp ourselves. If you find yourself frustrated at any point, reach out with screenshots, questions, feature suggestions, etc, and we’ll all jump in and make your user experience as seamless (or painless) as we can.

I personally have found success from the ‘open source’ nature that SU provides by both adding functions / extensions to SU as my needs advance and become more complex, as well as learning from the community, youtube, 3D Basecamp, our new campus site, etc.

1 Like

I don’t disagree with anything you’re saying. I just want what many other programs seem to be capable of. And they’re not bells and whistles I ask for.
Obviously multi-processor support is a biggie but individuals write layer organization extensions, for free. Only I can’t rely on them to run efficiently or effectively to a standard I expect Sketchup/Trimble to do.

And I’ve noted the amount of faces on some of your details. Lots of faces… The Tap Wrench is quite staggering.


Do a search on the forum for multi-processor or multi-thread support.

I hope “staggering” is a good thing on the tap wrench model. :wink:

I’m not able to delve into the world of adding my own functions to Sketchup at this stage. I’m relatively new to the world of building design and am grappling with Development Plans, energy and sustainable design principles, footing and timber framing design, client quirks and chasing payments. Lots to learn before I head down that path unfortunately.

But I see the value in the training and support. I’m actually giving my friends 10yo kid a Sketchup lesson on the weekend because he’s keen on architecture.


Yes, staggered…not SHOCKED! :open_mouth:

Shockingly good?

1 Like

I did search for multi-thread support. And whilst modeling is produced via a single core, my understanding is that many other elements in the program and viewport can take advantage of multi-threaded processors which should in turn lighten the load.

1 Like

The viewport display is handled by the graphics card so multi-threaded CPU support wouldn’t help there. If you are looking for better/faster viewport rendering, you would be better off replacing your GT 620 with a newer Nvidia GPU such as one of the GTX10xx or GTX20xx series cards.


I actually have a 1050Ti. I probably haven’t updated that info.

On that note, I saw the CUDA’s finally spring into action recently after exporting my SU Model to TwinMotion. Most satisfying.

1 Like

I may be going off-topic a little there.
I know there’s always more that I can do to develop my skills and make the most of Sketchup. The flexibility is absolutely what attracted me to it in the first place. I make refinements to my templates almost every week.
I just hope SU look to fill at least one or two of what I believe are obvious omissions and that Trimble look to add value for customers rather than pursue some other agenda with bits of the program.
I appreciate the interactions on this.


(and btw, yes I’m reasonably proficient at ACad and Revit).

I just want what many other programs seem to be capable of. And they’re not bells and whistles I ask for.

Is there any reason the continuum of development should change suddenly? You might simply use what fits best, not depend on choosing a software and expecting it to be something that suits you some day in the future. Revit seems a good career choice in the architectural field. If that or some other software offers what you want, why bother with SketchUp?

1 Like

Hi there, thanks for chiming in.
At present, I’m an individual with one or two clients at a time. Sketchup/Layout is about the level of financial investment I can manage for modeling/drafting platform. I certainly can’t afford to pay for Revit.
I’m not saying that I expect Sketchup to develop into Revit. I don’t necessarily want to open Layout and see the multitude of panels that I do in AutoCad.
The reason I posted this thread is to hopefully and eventually communicate to Trimble that I believe they need to lift their game a bit for major releases. Simply maintaining it’s compatibility with various OS’s isn’t quite good enough when there are basic operational gaps in the program. If they want to focus on marketing/subscription activities as the main content of a major release and somehow think we’ll be impressed, well, I’m not. I believe they will eventually be pushed out of their position if they continue on their current trajectory.
I don’t want that.


Hi Syncmark77
I am one of those third party plugin developers.
I am also a business manager in an architecture firm.
I had 2 plugins developed to use internally, but made them available for sale.
I think you are right about the risk of relying on third party stuff for professional work upon which your reputation rests.
From my perspective the reliability and update timing of third party plugins can only get worse now that SU has moved to more frequent point releases.
Every time they change something, it tends to break something in the plugin or cause a conflict with another plugin.
I will have to pay my developer more frequently to trouble shoot and fix than before.
It will depend on their availability and it will cause delays in updates more frequently through the year.
This means I am reviewing my pricing and given that I have not recovered costs of development and costs will now go up with point releases I am wondering if I should exit.
I imagine other commercial plugin developers will be solving the same equation.
The situation smells of a large company making a strategic set of purchases (SU, Tekla etc.) to consolidate a compelling platform and then changing their mind about priorities. This may mean that the apps eventually become zombies that are of use only to those who don’t rely on them to work consistently in a professional context.
I don’t know about Revit, but Archicad - which we have now moved to - looks to be maturing as a more flexible design tool at the front end of the process. I can see us eventually retiring SU.
That said, your Layers organization needs might be served by Layers Organizer, of which you may not be aware - one of the plugins I made available on the lasuapps.com site. I don’t need the sale - just letting you know it might be useful to you.


Why don’t you stop moaning, leave this forum and quietly go back to Autocrap!

There’s a whole bunch of people (including me), who love SketchUp and appreciate how much it’s benefited them professionally.

Awwwhm… sorry to interrupt but that’s not how a feedback must be taken. I mean, he may ask too much from a software with a calibre as SketchUP but still, there are ways to answer him why his ideas are ok/impossible by now to implement in SketchUP. I’m 50% agree with him! SketchUP made tiny steps when talking about development since 2014 but… you can’t tell someone to leave SketchUP as it is and find another software to use. It’s not the behavior SketchUP crew wants to see on the forums. You can wether tell him his wrong and those ideas are bad or the reasons sketchup can’t implement the features from above… or simply ignore him. I don’t mean no disrespect but he is a user after all and you can’t “hush” him away. Hope you won’t be mad at me, no offence!
And yes, I love SketchUP even so and I proudly use it since 2010