(re)Introducing SketchUp Make

In 2006, just a few weeks after we closed our original acquisition by Google, we introduced a slimmed-down new version of SketchUp that allowed people to quickly and easily build 3D models of the buildings that mattered to them for representation in Earth. One of the biggest features we added was actually something we took away… the price tag. This new version of SketchUp cost nothing to use—and because SketchUp is SketchUp—anyone could learn how to do so in almost no time at all.

As most folks probably now know, the free version of SketchUp has been a huge success. In the past six years or so, its user base has grown into the millions and spread around the world. Today more than 30 million people a year use SketchUp in a dozen different languages, at a rate of almost 40 starts per second. Read that again if you need minute for it to sink in… SketchUp is used almost a billion times a year. And still that number is growing.

While there are certainly communities of folks who still use SketchUp as a “geo-modeling” tool for Google Earth, the reality is that that this kind of use has only ever represented a small subset of all the things people are actually doing with it.

We found that SketchUp has been used to plan structures at Burning Man. It has also been used to launch ocean cleaning drones. Not only has it become a tool of choice for 3D printing enthusiasts, it’s been used to design the printers themselves, helping to kick off a broader revolution in personal manufacturing. On top of it all, SketchUp can be used by kids to design the best pinewood derby racers ever. Truly we’re seeing “3D for everyone” playing out at a grand scale.

SketchUp Make: Used by people who make things (sometimes even to make things that make things)

As it turns out, there’s now a name for this diversely creative and inventive group of folks who have been using SketchUp for years. We call them “Makers,” a term coined by Dale Dougherty and his gang at Make:. We’ve been a part of Dale’s movement since the beginning, and we’re in it for the long run. And it is in honor of the Maker movement that we’re re-launching our free 3D design tool under the new name “SketchUp Make.”

But really, there isn’t much else changing here—SketchUp Make is still free for non-commercial use, still powerful and still under active development. We’ve added a batch of new features to the 2013 release of SketchUp Make (check out our new STL import|export extension, for example) and we’re looking forward to developing and supporting it well into the future. Let’s go make stuff together!


Posted by John Bacus, SketchUp Team

Have questions about SketchUp Make? We'll be listening here and on this thread in our help forum.

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43 comments :

dedodeouro said...

congratulations google crew!

Jacob Williams said...

I think this is a wise decision. It's good to distinguish the two versions like this. That way people get the idea of SketchUpFree out of their heads. People assume they're getting half a program. When really, SketchUpMake is a full fledged program capable of running a business with. I did purchase the Pro Version once revenue was made.

I noticed the Pro price increase from $500 to $590. This is fine. SketchUp is worth at least $1000. They're barely keeping up with inflation anyhow.

Keep up the great work. I would love to be apart of the testing development team. I have a business with three modelers on the program. We'd be thrilled to give feedback anytime. We're all huge fans of your team. Even the writer and editor of the blog. I dig the new SketchUp Website design. It's fresh and clean. I love the dropdown tab to diffferent industry examples at the top. Very good consolidation guys. The tabs are easy to navigate as well. Very amped and jazzed about everything going on. Kudos to Trimble so far. -Jacob Williams

Macker said...

Whilst I applaud updates and ultimately progress, given the ample time between updates I can't help but feel somewhat disheartened that all I got was essentially a browser and installer for ruby scripts that I already have. I consider myself an advanced user, and that I use almost every bit of the software (with the exception of layout) and I'm finding I have no need to upgrade because there is NOTHING new on offer to me, and I'm sure thousands of others feel the same way too.

As for the comment above; the idea that Sketchup (my most beloved & favourite of modelling packages) is worth $1000 you sir are out of your tree. For that kind of money you are getting into some serious modelling application territory with far better render options and such.

|z|y|x| pedals said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dale Murphy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dale Murphy said...

Too many versions.

What's the difference between Sketchup Make and Sketchup 8 or Sketchup 2013 (free version)?

Your download page doesn't say anything about them, and I don't see a page that offers a checklist comparison of the different versions.

John Bacus said...

Hi Dale,

There are two versions of SketchUp 2013— this year's release of SketchUp. SketchUp Pro and SketchUp Make.

We typically keep a few previous releases available as well- SketchUp 8 is now the 'old' version of SketchUp.


john
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|z|y|x| pedals said...

where i can get SketchUp Make? i got SketchUpWEN.exe 72MB which is a trial version of SketchUp Pro not SketchUp Make

Jason Noble said...

Same problem here is |z|y|x|.

I tried to download Sketchup Make but the version on my machine seems to be a trial version of Sketchup Pro with an 8-hour timer on it. Is Make no longer free? Is the download tool not working properly?

Any advice welcomed.

John Bacus said...

SketchUp Make installations begin with an 8-hour trial of SketchUp Pro. At the end of that evaluation, you will revert to SketchUp Make's simpler feature set... which you can continue to use for free as long as you like.

We'll push some new marketing info soon that helps new folks through this transition, but SketchUp Make, as announced in this blog post, is still free.


john
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Leo Gaggl said...

Now I am just waiting for the LINUX version of this .....

|z|y|x| pedals said...

yaya ... SketcUp Pro revert to SketchUp Make. but first I have to install .Net Client Profile and .Net Extended which is 208.04MB plus 174.00MB SketchUp Pro ... that's 382.04MB compares to my SketchUp6.4 which is only 52MB ... :)

Marie Meyer said...

Thanks for the info sharing, based on the information I'm going to stay with SketchUp 8

Nahshon Graumann said...

Agree with the prior post that a side-by-side comparison chart between older versions and newer versions in all their iterations would be incredibly helpful in making the choice to upgrade to a newer version.

Still a little leary of upgrades ever since I made the switch from SU 7 to SU 8 and discovered after the fact that one's ability to import .dwg & .dxf files had been reserved for the Pro version exclusively. This was a powerful feature which some believed no longer belonged to those with a "free" version.

Still, love SU and look forward to it one day, possibly, just maybe, competing with the likes of REVIT.

Frank Fong said...

Hi John,

Just upgrade my SU Pro8 to 2013, Layout looks great. Some plugins like Fredo's don't work on SU, is that only plugins in extension warehouse work well?

Frank F.

J. Schlackman said...

Can we please get an installer that does NOT include the trial for Pro? I want to install Make for our students (we can't afford any amount of money for a Pro licence) but I don't want them getting used to Pro features and then not being able to use them later.

|z|y|x| pedals said...

I have 382MB SketchUp Make installed, and noticed that SketchyPhysics doesn't work :(

Unknown said...

Can we just download Make? I am using it at the office and they will NEVER buy Pro so there is no point in my having to hassle with all of that. Or should I just download it at the end of the day and let it work out the time limit overnight?

John Bacus said...

J. Schlackman: Let me see if there's a way we can build a new installer for SketchUp Make that includes no Pro Trial. I can't offer that to you today, but it is possible we may be able to in the future. If you don't mind, could you cross-post this question to our Feature Request forum (http://goo.gl/8S76t) where we can better track progress over time?


john
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John Bacus said...

|z|y|x| pedals: SketchyPhysics isn't developed by the SKetchUp team, so I can't speak to the reasons why it doesn't work with SU2013. I would be happy to work with its developers, however, to get a new version built that works with SU2013. Until then, it still works great in SU8.


john
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JDD ARCHITECT said...

Can you have both SU 2013 Pro and Make installed on the same computer, therefore allowing for two sessions to be running? How about SU8 & Make?

I have a single seat license and I've not upgraded to later releases of SU8 Pro because the reversion to Free capability on the second session was removed...and you can't have Pro and Free installed on the same computer.

Fran Greenaway said...

I am also rather cross to see trial version of Pro before you get to SketchUp Make as I need to use this in schools that don't want or need the Pro version and it will be extremely confusing to the children.

Allyson McDuffie said...

To all the EDU users out there, thanks for your feedback on the need to install SketchUp Make without the 8 hour Pro trial. As John Bacus stated, we are working on a resolution to build a new installer for SketchUp Make that includes no Pro Trial, or the ability to opt out of the Pro trial. Stay tuned.

- Allyson McDuffie
SketchUp for Education Program Manager

Joy G said...

I personally keep an older version that still allows me to import dwg/dxf files. Save that new file and then open it with the newer version. I hate going about it this way, but I cannot afford to purchase Pro at this time.

John Bacus said...

Hi JDD ARCHITECT,

SU2013 and SU8 can be installed side-by-side on the same computer. You cannot, however have Pro and Make installed side-by-side.


john
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anon said...

So is it the case that dwg files ONLY work in the Pro version?

John Bacus said...

anon: Yes- that's correct. Full import|export support for the DWG file format is found only in SketchUp Pro.


john
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Luciano José Lima Silva said...

Excelent program. I'm using Sketchup under wine on Linux and ist's runing good. I wish you could develop a native version for Linux users. What do you think about it?

Description said...

Here, here! Sketchup has been a part of my art classes for over 6 years now, and I want kids to learn on the software they can download at home!

GogogoStopSTOP said...

I noticed you said SketchUp was free to the world forever... does this include Macbook? I can't find any thing that references it?

Malenorum said...

Can't download to my Windows XP as I keep getting an error at the end. Any suggestions.

Hank Roberts said...

> SketchUp Make installations begin
> with an 8-hour trial of SketchUp Pro

Seems backwards to me.

Even assuming the trial allow 8 hours of actual use of Pro -- rather than a third of a 24-hour day -- forcing it at the very beginning means wasting a lot of it learning the basic free stuff. Not helpful.

I might take weeks or months as a dilettante, before I total eight total hours of use with just the basic Make options. THEN I'd want to see if the additional tools interested me, once I felt I'd mastered the basic tool.

I might then want to trial of SketchUp Pro, intensively, for a few hours a day over a few weeks (not that I can imagine buying it, but I could well recommend it to people who'd trust my opinion).

Odds are I'm just not your intended customer, no worries -- but if this is an unintended result of how you've defined the trial period -- bump it up to a manager to consider?

(If the 8 hours is starting from the first time it's open and running out a clock, that's -- really not optimal. Often I spent a little time with something interesting and come back to it later)


Pauleepaul said...

Is there an ETA on the SketchUp Make only Installer yet?
Would like to update, but am hesitant on upgrading to SU8 and then a week or two later upgrade to to Make...

|z|y|x| pedals said...

to Allyson McDuffie and John bacus
...
I stay tuned for SketchUp Make installer that includes no Pro Trial :)

Bruno Friedmann (tigerfoot) said...

Unhappy to see no effort to support Linux !

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Webmaster said...

s0 what is the difference between Sketchup Make and Sketchup 8 or Sketchup 2013 (free version)?

Your download page doesn't say anything about them, and I don't see a page that offers a checklist comparison of the different versions.

Webmaster said...

indeed...what is the difference between Sketchup Make and Sketchup 8 or Sketchup 2013 (free version)?

Your download page doesn't say anything about them, and I don't see a page that offers a checklist comparison of the different versions.

Toni Hari Sumantri said...

thank you, this great post.

Tanveer Oakasa said...

I have been using free version of sketchup 8 for my science/ maths class (as there seems no restriction in free license of SU 8). I used SU 8 to create virtual classroom (with seats and a blackboard) where I record my maths lecture using screen capture software.
Does the free version of Spetchup Make allow me to continue recording the lectures. The use of sketchup is only to create table chairs board where I would teach (shifting back and forth to MS powerpoint presentation giving the effect that I am teaching on board in SU).

John Clark said...

My vote is for the ability to switch On/off the 8 hr Pro trial timer and features.

That way you dont need a new separate build, beginners can get the feel of SU without wasting their Pro time, and those who might only intermittently need the odd pro feature can have access to it .. all of which increases the feeling of freedom and flexibility we associate with SU and removes barriers to sale for the Big version.

I am a retired software engineer who still loves to dabble and am using SU to model my house and rural property. I cannot consider the $540 impost on printing with Layout and to import dxf etc, but I might in future if I became competent and a paying opportunity came along.

The IT industry has for many years leveraged the education sector with free and low cost software and hardware as an investment in the future of its product. Given that people tend to stick with the tools they learned on this approach would seems to me to be wise and expedient one for all concerned.

It also seems to me the the $540 price on SU Pro is a big step and a barrier to sale for many at the edge of personal / paying usage.

Another approach, that many of the big players take, is to introduce some form of micropayment scheme for access to Pro features where we pay only for what we use.

That will have the added benefit of direct feedback as to the usage of various SU features thus directing future development and revenue streams.

Comments anyone?

Lucky Badger said...

That sounds like an excellent pair of suggestions to me. To summarise:

Have the pro features switched off on installation and allow users to switch them in and out as they need them up to a total accumulated time of 8 hours.

Allow personal users to buy additional time if they wish.

That would be easy to implement (I imagine) since the timer mechanism is already there. And it would open a new revenue stream for the developers without cannibalising the Pro market - it would always be cheaper for a professional user to buy Pro rather than buy time. To really get users onside, you could allow the purchased time to count towards the cost of purchasing Pro, so that it makes the transition as painless as possible.

Finally, can I add my vote for a Linux version (for when XP finally dies), or at least an easily accessible, easily understood tutorial on how to set it up with WINE?

Christopher Harding said...

I'm a network administrator for yet another K-12 school district looking for a version without a Pro trial. We use a software deployment portal that allows our users to install certain pre-approved software on school district computers, but we don't regularly need the full Pro version. Any update on a time frame? The last mention I see for EDU users is from about 4 months ago...