Will Sketchup continue to develop into the future?

There can certainly be cases where a change accidentally breaks things. But in the recent case with 19.2, where the C++ API was dropped, and some plugins now have to be updated, the changes were described to plugin developers in October 2017. Even then the change was held off for two major versions and two minor version updates.


WOW, thats awesome. I’m just trying to verify the multi processor support, could you link me to that?

Being also from Australia, you could always drop $10,000 on a programme like archicad. What’s that you say? 10x more expensive? Exactly my point. Sketchup is a great package for the price.

1 Like

Syncmark77, I perfectly agree with you.

If I can appreciate the concept and what SU (is supposed to) deliver for its price, ever since I pay for an SU licence (since 2004 or even before), am subject to deception.

I have SU on both Mac and PC. Both constantly bug and often are the times wasted trying to find solutions. Wasted because most of the time, those solutions don’t apply…

I don’t need a 3D program to conceive. From the old school, I see in space and I can perfectly work with 2D plans. Also, I never met the need to deliver 3D plans to any contractor in the building industry.

It’s my costumers that need 3D illustrations, witch is natural as the are not formed to reed 2D plans. So this is why I got into SU, to communicate with my clients.

I have the same feeling as you have : they don’t care.

We, planners (or architects) alway work with scales. This is a fundamental need for all the chain. Now, try to import a 2D print scale 1:1 (or any) into SU. Forget it, you will always have to re-adjust it in SU, this without talking about “strange phenomenas” that can occur when importing a dxf or dwg file.

Why it is that this simple function - importing - has never been subject to any amelioration ? Is it because they don’t understand the need ?

This is the way I work :

  1. I do my sketchs by hand at first. There are many reasons for this, one of them being that I don’t always have a computer with me, an other one because I draw on a support, like a cadastral or existing paper plans.

  2. Once I have defined the way I will orient myself, then I introduce my ideas on a 2D program to refine and adapt all datas : limits, distances, surfaces… and work on specific details to solution certain technical challenges.

  3. Then I do a 3D drawing which is only for the client. It inform him about the forms and general distances and surfaces, as he does not care about how am going to link the slabs to the walls or the size of armature in the concrete.

  4. Once the client has agreed with the project, then I go back to my 2D drawings for execution. It is very rare that I have to draw a detail in 3D, the exception being a very complex assembling difficult to see in 2D (before, we would draw those details by hand while explaining its idea).

That’s how I do for now and SU could be perfect without the bugs… But it has bugs and some, like suddenly freezing for no apparent reason, are really annoying.

At the end, I think this last “commercial” turn is what has finished killing my interest for SU. If before I would agree that there could be bugs and agree to participate paying for its development, now stop. I paid for the 2019 version (meaning that since 2004 I paid over 5 times its actual price) and it’s the last time. To stay compatible with serious offices and companies, I will orient myself toward ArchiCad (I have AutoCad and CadWork) and Revit.

Bye bye SU!


I am not sure this is the whole picture.
If as you say you are competent with Revit and your business is solid and viable - does not have to be earning millions just viable, then the only reason not to use Revit is an ideological one, (which I can relate to) but fundamentally, Revit is on another planet to SketchUp. I am not meaning to knock SketchUp - I really like SU Pro for what it is and agree the 3rd party stuff has meant the vendors don’t see themselves as developing the program like most people want.

The reality is you need to be realistic about what SU can do and how fast it can achieve these things but to be fair, you also need to accept the 2 years learning curve where you work hard to learn the program then get more rewards in production. No one gets flash in any program overnight - it always takes a long time and applying yourself and far too many griping on the forums want everything NOW and have not or are not prepared to put time in to learn the program, its foibles aside (every program has them).
Plus look at the huge and generous community here and on you tube - it is staggering how generous people are on every BB for every program.

I probably agree the development is not good enough and I am prepared to pay a very modest amount more IF, things were improved, but I doubt that will happen.
To compare Revit and SU is impossible.
I know because I have been using Revit since 2002 and I spent years learning intricacies and workarounds in and out of Architect practices.
If you want a mature full featured, efficient and sophisticated tool to do your architecture and construction work, that is a joy to use, go and get Revit, pay the outrageous costs and presumably cover that in your annual business model/plan.

But SketchUp Pro is still able to produce good quality permit/consent/construction documents if you are methodical in your approach, create, save and re-use everything you can in your custom Scrapbooks just as you would AutoCAD blocks/dynamic blocks, or Revit families, and detail views, plan normally , use a template and try to avoid re-work, you can get everythihng you need out of the program - it just takes a lot longer than an AutoCAD/Revit/ArchiCAD commercial construction /architecture software.

For me, the primary weakness in SU Pro is the re-work / changes in scope or program during the project. Where Revit 2020 or ArchiCAD22 can make and update those changes in an instant, even being scrupulous about your Components, Groups and Dynamic Components, Layers and Scenes, you are still faced with a lot of wasted time or say non productive time re-working Sections or Plans when it comes to drawings that are on sheets ready to go out - things like Electrical Plans, Drainage Plans, reflected ceilings etc.
Potentially, you could double your time on a 50-70 A3 sheet job if you are unlucky enough to have multiple revisions and for sure, clients start to see the clauses in your fees agreements sparking significant numbers, where a Revit or an ArchiCAD can handle that stuff in a vastly different way and time frame and hassle free almost.

So yeah I get it that there is a vast difference between an SU and those other commercially dedicated applications, but they all cost more than SU Pro.
Either suck it up and learn the program better to give you a much better workflow and self aware of your current workflow program, or give it up and find something else.
we all know it ain’t perfect or even close, but it was never intended to be a Revit, and it never will be.

Good luck and good learning


Yes, Eric, but that community support was baked into SketchUp from the beginning. With all of the back & forth with licensing types and online vs desktop that has gone on with Trimble, I too am concerned for SketchUp’s future. I was somewhat concerning when Google took over, but that at least encouraged the original creative mindset. This latest iteration seems much more corporate & aloof in it’s communication, and much more proprietary. A lot of that may be the sheer size & scope of the corporation and it’s broader responsibilities for satellite imaging. The culture does seem to be changing, and as an individual user I am feeling the pinch of less accessibility.

1 Like

So refreshing to see positive feedback regarding SketchUp. When I clicked this link, I was expecting typical hate speech that appears to be the norm recently, since Trimble SketchUp opted for subscription plans (still not my personal choice - humans should be able to own things outright instead of being enslaved for life). Maybe it’s because I’ve been using SketchUp since @last days but I’ve always felt it’s a brilliant piece of software and achieves far more than one would expect at face value. Sure it doesn’t have some of the “nice things” that other programs have. However if one considers the cost-to-value ratio, it is by far the best option currently available (my opinion of course) and I’m still constantly amazed by how much can be achieved using this simple software. I have a presentation that I do and at a certain point the participants make me stop because of their sheer amazement. I wish I had the time to get into the scripting potential as well. This could easily makeup for many “deficiencies” if one really has to compare against other packages.

1 Like

As I’ve read through all of the comments in this thread and the one thing that jumps out at me is that people need to realize that SketchUp exists in the real world just like everything else. The one thing constant in the real world is CHANGE.

Licensing models will change, corporate owners will change, the product will continue to evolve etc…

As a developer all of this change does create some difficulties but that is part and parcel of being a software developer, you need to roll with the punches.

If you are unable to adapt then you have essentially “retired”.

I do have certain things I would like to see happen within the SketchUp universe, especially with regards to Layout however I’ve come to the realization that I simply have no control over those things and never will. The solution then becomes what can I do as a developer to provide a workaround or solution that overcomes these perceived limitations.


“I recently had a normally dependable optimization extension destroy my project the morning before a meeting with paying clients.”

Back in the days of DOS, one of my employees entered, “Del star.star.” “Are you sure?” “Yes.” “No, no, no, no.” Too late. Fortunately he didn’t lose much because we backed up religiously at least once a day. In those days we used tape drives. Man, was it slow. Now I use external hard drives and a batch file that replaces only newer files. Done in just a few minutes.

I think much of it is very right, I’m not sure what you’re missing, or maybe what I’m missing, but a lot of evidence is on the layout petition post I made. There is so much missing in sketchup and layout and the rate of development is INSANELY slow in comparison to other software, like blender. If we look at the release notes history of sketchup and layout in the past 6 years and compare one of those years to blender, it’s pretty pathetic. I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time there was a new sketchup tool added, a new major generate report tool change added or new entity info attribute options added. It’s been a long time, the programs are SERIOUSLY behind and there is no opinion there I don’t think, I’m not sure how anyone can look at blenders improvements each year and compare it to sketchup and be impressed with sketchup, the plugin developers are literally holding this company up.


I’d use the phrase “the plugin developers are SHORING UP this company.” because “holding up” can have an ambiguous meaning.

Actually I feel there is little in plugins that belong in the basic structure of SketchUp. There are some things, but little. There are clearly some improvements to make in SketchUp / LayOut besides more tools and complexity.

I think, from the forum discussions, that many want LayOut improved more than anything. I agree but don’t care so much as I don’t try to use LayOut for any but the basic function of exporting images.

I decided to try a render in Blender (again). It all went fine until I found the camera was not pointed right and, since my last trials, I’ve forgotten how to point the camera (whereas in SketchUp the camera is what you are looking at --seems like an obvious idea). I wish I had time to learn Blender–not for everyone, and possibly all the development is what keeps it at an extreme everything-and-anything complex level.

Sketchup is definitely more intuitive. The evidence in what blender is doing for the past few years, now getting into bim and trying to mimic sketchup a bit, I think there is evidence showing that blender is trying to cater to architects now. I think if blender tried to mimic a lot of sketchup native tools and tried to be a big player in the architecture industry, I think blender would than totally crush sketchup and layout capabilities if trimble keeps up their rate of improvement for the sketchup and layout programs. Sketchup will either be a player in this game and ramp up their development or will get completely anilhated if their rate of development continues on this path of theirs. The only unkonwn I think in my points will be to see how committed the developers for sketchup and layout will be (once layout allows developers). If trimbles path continues this way, the amount of plugin developers and their rate of development for sketchup and layout will certainly be the deciding factor of how sketchup and layout will compete with blender and other programs that are getting WAYYYYY more done each year and truly trying to be cutting edge, in comparison to trimble.

1 Like

When it comes to architectural modeling I think it is the plugin developers like myself who really need to step up our game. The only real deficiency on SketchUp’s side is the current state of Layout. If we can get some improvements to Layout I don’t think Blender or anyone else can come close.


Totally agree… the development speed of SketchUp is INSANELY slow and so pathetic in comparison to ALL 3D softwares! And please don’t jump at me to just tell about the hidden “under-the-hood” developments because all other companies naturally do it besides introducing new or missing useful features such as dark theme which is very simple to implement!

SketchUp may still, for now, offer a reasonable-enough value for what it offers, but it is still SERIOUSLY lag behind the competitors in term of features! When SketchUp sadly become subscription-only, development speed did not increase as expected and remained EXTREMELY slow! If this doesn’t improve dramatically, I don’t know for how long it will remain relevant!

Reducing the current subscription price may help keep SketchUp become more relevant but not for long if development does not improve dramatically. Also the dependence only on 3rd party extensions and plugins will not help in the long run.


It is true though that development has improved quite a bit in the past 2 years, in fact maybe more than ever in the history of sketchup and layout, atleast within the last 10 years. It is getting better, particularly since the layout petition that went up and the results that have come from that. Some exciting new features are coming out for Layout and I am constantly pushing for change and a faster pace of development. It is all getting better, day by day now.

I, like so many other users though do share a similar frustration so I totally understand how you feel. Fortunately, things are heading in a better direction in the past 2 years like I mentioned and as of late especially.

Which competitors are those exactly?


I saw by chance that it was technically possible to transform Blender tools similar to those of SketchUp, for example the rotation tool, by script.

I don’t think you have to “emulate” SketchUp, Blender also has some great tools of its own. But by providing some tools that speak to architects … Blender will be able to replace SketchUp Make perfectly and without regrets.

I no longer believe in this story of SketchUp’s “under the hood” development, or that the problem would come from Google … after almost 10 years, it’s impossible. Blender’s spectacular development shows reality.

1 Like

What is it you want? For Sketchup to be Autocad and Fusion 360 in on package for the same subscription price?
Remember you typically get what you pay for. Pony up some more cash and get a more robust software for your needs.

1 Like

I discovered a method to produce parametric objects in Blender which does not exist in SketchUp and which meets architectural needs very well, and which greatly improves the workflow.

1 Like

How do those Blender models work in Layout? :wink: