« Windows keyboard shortcuts I find useful | Main | How to update Linux Mint without losing your CAD license »

Jul 14, 2014



I hate the be the bearer of bad news... SketchUp (at least as long as Google had control of it) has never been free for commercial use. You had to buy the Pro version to produce commercial work. The disclaimer might have been slightly buried in a larger terms agreement, but it was there and IT departments in large firms have been struggling with designers breaking the terms frequently.

Pro means what it means. Which is why several years ago they disabled some of the export features in the non-Pro version. All that has happened is a name change, and he Pro version is a little more expensive, although still reasonably in the reach of anyone who wants to call themselves a 'Pro'.


In response to the comment above, yes you always needed a Pro version for commercial use, but you were able to use the "free" version when the pro license was unavailable. This was the case up through the early builds of SketchUp 8, and then the software was modified to no longer allow this fallback to the free version. It essentially meant that a company would need to buy a copy of Pro for anyone that wanted to use it simultaneously. And since the networked licenses are sold in a minimum batch of 10, a small company really had to buy individual licenses for all their users if they had 9 or fewer that ever needed to use the software.


actually Google SketchUp Free can still be used for commercial work:


everything with 'Make' in name is non-commercial only.


I LIKE my Sketchup version 8.... I am a hobbyist who like to make stuff and I don't have the brains to use these complicated programs or the newer versions of Sketchup.... What happens to people like me?


I guess there is no answer for me....great.... :(


Some are saying that Google's free version of SketchUp (Version 8) is not for commercial use. Can anyone here elaborate?

I've read the user license. It says:

"Google gives you a personal, worldwide, royalty-free, non-assignable and non-exclusive license to use the object code of the Google Software. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling you to use and enjoy the benefit of the Services as provided by Google, in the manner permitted by these Terms and Conditions."

The rest of the license simply deals with the privacy policy, automatic updates, rectrictions on export and reverse engineering, etc.

The installation package for Google SketchUp 8.0.4811 is available on FileHippo.


Answering Catherine, maybe, I started on 5, kept it while using 7, because 5 could import ACAD, 7 couldn't, Then got 8 which was sufficient for a while. 2014 was great until Trimble decided to slash it's FAN base.to make profit which I predict will dry up and blow away for its disloyalty. I mastered all the functions of SKP and Vray some time ago, and agree that it's better than 3ds Max because it accomplishes the same thing for a skilled modeler and the smoothing of SKP is better than 3ds Max, simpler , cheaper MO BETTA. Trimble could maybe survive its treachery if it drops the price of its Pro version. That would position it to knock out 3DS ...IF Trimble gets their heads out of their asses; apologizes to the 30 million followers they cast off. They could come out on top. A lot of us created a SHARING CONCEPT that Trimble doesn't give a rat's ass about.

Anyway as for my rant ...., Catherine I use SKP to access terrains with high detail and GPS Locations with accurate scaling. I have the modeling aspects and the rendering down. If your use is to make objects smaller than a room or files less than 30 Mb then the old 8.0 is probably all you need. Wish I could do that. But I've moved onto cityscapes and 300 Mb files. and I'm going to have to bite the bullet but believe me I'm going to let Trimble know right where they can stick a rusty thimble.

Md.Deloar Hossain

Sketch up for personal works.


I used Sketchup/ Sketchup Make for many years as a hobbyist and intended to try to sell my skills in semi retirement with a Pro license. However Trimble (IMHO) have lost the plot. They've made a commercial but short sighted decision alienating a huge pool of people who might have transitioned to the Pro version. There's just too big a jump between the very limited, slow, internet speed shackled "Free " version and Pro. What they've removed is accessibility.

In typical American style (I mean that kindly, Americans live in a different world...) they imagine that fast internet access is universal so the online "Free" version will be fine. But then they believe they lead the world while still using imperial measurements... Don't get me wrong, I spent a lot of time in the states. I totally get why they love it so much. It's easy to get insulated from the rest of the world when you could spend a lifetime exploring your own country. I'm writing this in rural England btw on a stuttery 3mb/s connection.

So just in case anyone reads this in 2019, could I suggest you take a look at Blender 2.8 currently in late but very stable downloadable beta - see blender builds. The blender interface used to be like the dash of the starship enterprise but 2.8 has made it way more approachable.

Blender *IS* free for commercial or any other type of use. It has much better and more accurate snapping and positioning than Sketchup. The free addons make hard surface modelling (3D CAD to you and I) wonderful. Add a couple of paid addons (were talking 30 pounds/ dollars) and it flies. The lighting/ material/ texture options for visualisation blow Sketchup out of the water.
Yes it takes longer to learn than Sketchup but stick with it, check out the thousands of free tutorials on Youtube and the endless support community, Be happy.

If there is a downside to Blender (from a hard surface modelers point of view) is that it is so powerful, so configurable that its very tempting to get into it's other features - sculpting, animation. Hours disappear.

There are many great free things in life - add Blender to the list.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


Search This Blog



Thank you for visiting!