Where Is SketchUp Headed?

SketchUp was an instant success when it was released by startup company @Last Software in August 2000 mainly because of its extremely intuitive and easy to use interface. In fact it holds a patent for its Push/Pull technology. Although SketchUp is widely used in the architecture community, from the download statistics of our SketchUp plug-ins I can see that it has proliferated just about every industry that uses 3D.

In March 2006 @Last Software was acquired by Google. At that time people wondered why on earth Google was entering the CAD software industry. Actually it wasn’t. Here is the thing with Google. Its business model thrives on user generated content. Google had Google Earth and it wanted to populate it with 3D buildings. So it bought @Last Software with the intention of offering SketchUp as a free tool so that people could create and place their 3D buildings on Google Earth, among other things.

At the time Google took over SketchUp was at version 5. In January 2007, Google released SketchUp 6 which had new tools including a beta of Layout, the 2D vector drawing product. Obviously these were in development before Google acquired @Last Software. In November 2008, almost two year later, Google released version 7 of SketchUp, which in my opinion did not have enough new features that suggested that a respectable number of people were working on it for two full years. We are now in July 2010, more than a year and a half since version 7 came out and I can hear some talk of version 8. I am hoping that this time, Google will show that it still has some real interest in taking SketchUp forward.

Take a look at this notice on the SketchUp SDK download page:

Before you begin, we have one word of caution. Both the SkpReader and SkpWriter APIs were written prior to SketchUp’s acquisition by Google. Neither API is under active development. However, we do make bug fixes and provide limited support through the Google SketchUp Developers discussion group.

Personally I don’t find this encouraging at all.

  • Jim Nance

    Sketchup was a poor joke when @Last had it; it was a small joke when Google bought it; it is now a bad joke in Google’s possession. If Google hadn’t bought the product from @Last in a sucker deal (for Google) its safe to say it would be dead by now – surely a victim of the bad economy. These design toys, not real life tools, are dime a dozen.

    To think that people will use Sketchup to create 3D buildings to add to Google earth is not very different from the far-fetched, cockamamie idea that Adobe could do “3D CAD”. I would attribute this thinking not to Google’s hubris, but rather to the misguided and poor strategic decision making, without a good understanding of the market. For those watching the Adobe 3D train wreck, the writing on the wall for Google Sketchup has to be unmistakably clear: Sketchup (or suck ketchup as I call it) is dead dead dead. RIP.

    I believe both Adobe and Google have demonstrated they made a very important, but wholly wrong, underlying assumption in their forays into the 3D world. Both companies assumed (were convinced?) that common folks are not adopting and gravitating to 3D for lack of – this is the key here – simple and affordable 3D tools for content-building and dissemination. WRONG.

    It should come as no surprise that neither of these are CAD companies may have considered that maybe, just maybe, 3D is simply inherently hard to do, its not meant for the common folk and that simple design toys just wont cut it. Take Google’s premise for Sketchup that ordinary folks will generate content to be added to Google Earth. Really? Is this the sum of their strategy to acquire this lousy product?

    I believe that only the building design folks are really capable of generating such content. Given the slow 3D adoption by these folks – who have the most to gain from such adoption – is it any wonder that Sketchup hasn’t contributed anything worthwhile to Google’s “3D” vision?

    There is a much cheaper way to do this. All Google really has to do is to wait for the AEC industry itself to catch up to using 3D everywhere, adopting products like Revit, and then can offer a simple way to get (highly simplified representations of) the building 3D data into Earth format. Amazing what simple plug-ins can do. One doesn’t need a useless product like Sketchup in the middle gumming things up.

    In the mean time, another one bites the dust. Wonder which product is up next? Any ideas?

  • Deelip, I wonder how many SketchUp tools are in the university / college / schools? If this is good enough for entry level, GOOG may start having their influencers (this is similar to Google Apps, Apple etc.)? Google normally is having long plans… Just my thoughts… Oleg

  • @Oleg: “Google normally is having long plans”

    Yes, their plans are usually very long. That's why I'm still hoping to see something nice in version 8. The “problem” for Google is that SketchUp already does what they wants it to do. And that is let people draw boxes with or without sloping roofs and place them in Google Earth. Most of the “new features” that has been added to SketchUp ever since Google took over have been better communication between SketchUp and Google Earth and Warehouse. So the real question in my mind is what exactly are these long plans that Google may have. Make SketchUp more useful to Google Earth and Warehouse or make it more useful to its users. I guess time will tell.

    I doubt Google got into this to provide better CAD software to people. They got into this mainly to get people to build their 3D world for them and giving good CAD software to people was part of the plan.

  • Martyn

    SketchUp is endemic in architecture, hardly a failure. For all its faults and inabilities it pretty much turned die-hard 2D architects onto 3D. It has a special place in CAD history.
    Google doesn't quite know what it's doing with it. THere were musings of selling it off as it was no longer their 3D solution for Google Maps. Having kept it, I can only assume it's because it has millions of users and must have some potential. They are obviously trying to convert many to the paid pro version.
    Even without rapid development or supported APIs it does enough for many architects.

  • Matryn: “Even without rapid development or supported APIs it does enough for many architects”

    Yeah, I believe that “enough” is precisely the problem for the lack of enthusiasm on the part of Google.

  • Bohdan

    Don't forget about SU plugins ..
    Although the core application developes slowly, this is more than offset by the parallel development of plugins

  • Bohdan,

    That is precisely my point. If the SketchUp C++ SDK is not actively developed by Google then what hope do plug-in developers like myself have to add greater things to SketchUp. I happen to have experience in the SDK's if just about every CAD vendor and I find the SketchUp's C++ API extremely limiting as compared to them. There is a lot of scope for improvement in that department only. In my opinion, the CAD vendors interest in its API is a good measure of it interest in the CAD system itself.

  • ralphg

    I would argue that development of Picasa is similarly stalled; sure, there are upates, but most of them are of zero interest, like face finding and more languages.

  • Dmitry Ushakov

    I agree with you, Deelip. Our Driving Dimensions plug-in has limited GUI possibilities since some key SketchUp features are not accessible via its API. And almost nothing changed in version 7. Looking for 8 with hope…

  • Tell me about it. The number of hoops we had to jump through to make SketchUp talk to our Windows DLL's is no joke. That is probably one of the worst SDK's that I have ever worked with. And the fact that Google is openly saying that they have not worked on it since they took over and provide limited support on some Google group just makes me more frustrated.

  • Bohdan

    I meant all the ruby scripts written by community enthusiast.
    These scripts-plugins give SU enough power to do almost anything I need (I am architect.. )
    Sometimes it's instable, or slow, but it works. And that's probably why Google don't feel pressure to improve SU rapidly …

  • Kevin Quigley

    OK Deelip, as usual I have an opinion 🙂

    It just so happens I know SketchUp very well indeed (and I suspect the Martyn above is also someone I know as well…)

    Jim's opening comments are totally WAY off the mark. So far off the mark that I wonder why he is commenting like that? SketchUp is for most consumers the seminal 3D application – the very application that enabled 3D usage and simplified 3D CAD usage.

    SketchUp is used in millions of homes across the globe, hundreds of thousands of schools, and tens of thousands of professional deign businesses. A failure? Sure, and I bet if Google hadn't stepped in in 2006 Autodesk would have.

    SketchUp is the application that gets used. Period. Why? Interface. I have had this argument time and time again on 3D CAD beta forums with established experienced users of established professional systems- SketchUp has no power, SketchUp doesn't do this, SketchUp doesn't do that, SketchUp is a toy. One word. Bollocks.

    SketchUp is possibly my favourite 3D application. It is direct. It is easy to use, it is easy to learn, it REWARDS the user. I have used 3D CAD for over 25 years Deelip – starting with command line ROMULUS through SolidWorks and other mainstream systems and my continuing mantra is INTERFACE, INTERFACE, INTERFACE.

    Applications succeed for two reasons. Ease of use and price. SketchUp succeeds on both scores. Ease of use because my (then) 6 year old son sat down and modelled up a Star Wars spaceship, and a Medieval castle (populated with catapults from 3D Warehouse) from scratch with no help. Ease of use because a 30 year experienced architect who shuns computers can pick up SketchUp and within a few days be modelling complex building solutions.

    Price – it is free for personal use. and low cost for professional use (like £240), and that comes with Layout – which is a fantastic layout application that puts Adobe products to shame for working with 3D models.

    Quite frankly the only people who moan about SketchUp are people who don't use it. I do use it, I see kids using it, I see teachers using it. They all love it.

    So does it matter the API is not under development? No. because the the user base SketchUp is aimed at is not interested in customising to the nth degree. They want to buy it and use it out the box. SketchUp 7 was in fact a major release (under Google ownership). Dynamic components, better integration with 3D warehouse and loads of other productivity enhancements – and Layout.

    If you really want Solid modelling power and SketchUp like functionality check out this:

    http://www.bonzai3d.com

    Oh, and did I say it runs on macs and windows? Funny that.

  • Kevin,

    I have to agree with just about everything you have said. As I mentioned earlier, as far as Google is concerned, if they didn't touch the source code back in 2006, it would still be used like it is being used today. This is equivalent to saying that Google is not improving its search algorithm because users are already getting that they are looking for. My views are really from a developers perspective, not a users. As a developer I would like to offer more solutions built over SketchUp and am continuously frustrated by its SDK.

    As far as whether SketchUp is being used or not, I will only say this. I just pulled out a trial key report for my products for the last thirty days. The number of trial keys that we gave for SketchUp 7 was more than those for AutoCAD 2010 and SolidWorks 2010 put together.

  • Bmayer

    Interesting passions on both sides of the comments!

    SketchUp’s UI isn’t just for architects, but also for space planners, interior designers, lighting designers (with rendering plug-ins), with theater and film production.

    The lack of apparent development? Before the product was purchased by Google, the long-term vision of the founders had already been met. They weren’t looking for full-on CAD; they wanted “sketching tools” for conceptual design, and a platform for other development. That second implies APIs and an SDK, neither of which are as robust as one would want. Never-the-less there are well over 10,000 plug-ins available, most for free, that extend SketchUp’s capabilities.

    Also, with @Last there was no free version. They wanted to, but couldn’t afford it. When Google employed this viral strategy, SketchUp became endemic to the AEC market.

    As users enjoy the product more and more, many of them push the envelope. They are taking things beyond simple sketching, creating bigger and more complex models. Consequently users have pushed the boundaries of SketchUp’s capabilities and that is why much of the work that has been done is under the hood.

    SketchUp 7 included not only a major leap forward for Layout and Style Builder (a great, underrated tool for Architects), and important tools like Dynamic Components, but a new drawing engine. They found ways to stay true to their vision of “3D for anyone” by bringing performance even to lower spec’d machines, and not simply high-end CAD systems with specialty graphics cards.

    Interestingly, this same dev. team has been integral in the growth and expansion of not just Google Earth, but the 3D Warehouse. With Dynamic Components there are now enormous amounts of professionally designed parametric versions of real-world products from companies like Whirlpool, Kraft, and others. They also worked with the Chrome team to allow features such as 3D viewers in the browser.

    We’ve always seen SU as a ‘CAD agnostic’ platform, that fits perfectly into the workflow of Conceptual Design to Precision Drafting and Detailing. We’ve tried to optimize that workflow with our CAD products by continuing to develop better interoperability between SU and our titles. We’ve also worked with the SketchUp team to develop a successful photorealistic rendering and lighting plug-in to SU – something that required a fairly robust API.

    The impact of Google may not be so much on the desktop application as on web-based tools. As such, one could imagine SketchUp being the first widely adopted and used cloud-based application, should Google wish to push development in that direction.

  • John Bacus

    Hi guys,

    I think you may be confusing the SketchUp SDK with our Ruby API. The SDK is only used for reading and writing SketchUp files, whereas the API is for extending SketchUp with new tools &etc. The SDK (as you pointed out in your quote) is not under active development at this time.

    On the other hand, our Ruby API (http://code.google.com/apis/sketchup/ ) is a full production-quality API that Google actively supports. It is the foundation of a rich and diverse community of developers who use it to build all kinds of plugins for SketchUp across a range of industries.

    I'm reading the comments here with great interest, and sharing them with the rest of the SketchUp gang out in Boulder. I'm always gratified by the passion that SketchUp inspires in folks who use it. And also in those who don't. 😉

    If any of you have questions about SketchUp or comments about where you think we should go next, I'm happy to answer as directly as I can. We're somewhat outside of the CAD mainstream these days, but we do enjoy a very large and prolific user community that is doing amazing work with SketchUp every day.

    john
    .


    John Bacus
    Product Manager | SketchUp
    Google, Inc.
    Boulder, Colorado
    (303)800-2708
    jbacus@google.com

  • Jim Nance

    In all of the above posts, I read how good the SU product is, with a million people downloading here and another million downloading there. If you go by the download statistics alone, Sketchup is a resounding success and there is no disputing it. It may even be a seminal 3D app for many people, as Kevin points out. But none of this refutes my thesis that Sketchup is a ‘dead product walking’. When all is said and done, it does not have legs to go any further with or without Google’s help. It is simple business 101.

    For those who believe that everything Google touches turns to gold, I present to you evidence number one – the Nexus One (phone). Just 200 days after it was released, Google decided to kill it. This in a market (smart phones & related apps) that Google has to absolutely own for obvious reasons to compete with Apple, Microsoft and a whole host of others. The bean counters saw the writing on the wall and promptly pulled the plug, as is the wont at many public companies.

    I do expect the product manager for the Sketchup to stand up for it. No surprise there. It is also quite possible that Sketchup may have added valuable technology to other Google products (Chrome browser). But I have no doubt that Google could just as well have developed or purchased these technologies, without incurring the cost of building and maintaining a 3D content builder application. There are way too many in the market to do this. And just GOOD interface is a flimsy excuse for a products raison d'etre.

    Sketchup development, maintenance and integration cannot come cheap. This in contrast to the fact that there is no attributable source of revenue now or in the future to this product that can actually make a difference to Google. I don’t know how much they paid @Last for SU, but I cannot imagine Google has even recovered that money, directly or indirectly from this product.

    If you think that a $200+ subscription to SU Pro can pay for this development, you are kidding yourself. The many free-loaders of SU will vanish into thin air if asked to buy any SU product at any price, let alone $200 worth. Today, the monetization value of the entire SU community to Google is pretty close to zero. OK, I exaggerate but you get my point.

    With no obvious way to support its operation, no meaningful business model that will work, and vague notions about how this particular 3D app is helping Google the company, how long do you think even the “do no evil” Google will keep funding SU? How long do you think the bean counters will allow funding someone’s pipe dream? Any guesses?

  • John,

    To be fair, SketchUp's Ruby API is more of a scripting tool like AutoLISP of AutoCAD. Of course, just like AutoLISP it can be used to do complex things. Also you can scramble your scripts so that you don’t need to give out your source code. All this is good. But coming back to the SketchUp SDK, for example, you don’t offer 64 bit versions of your DLLs. So for our SKP Import plug-ins for 64 bit AutoCAD/SolidWorks/Solid Edge/SpaceClaim/ProENGINEER we need to jump through hoops and push the limits of what Windows will and will not allow us to do. Frankly, as a developer I am not too happy with how I call your 32 bit DLLs in 64 bit AutoCAD. It's not safe at all. But I have no choice.

    My only point here is that a little more interest on the part of Google for the SketchUp C++ SDK would be nice. I believe apart from rearranging the SDK once in the past few years, nothing much has been done to it.

  • Kevin Quigley

    Jim you clearly have an issue with Google for some reason. I thought we were discussing SketchUp? The fact is that SketchUp was already a successful product before Google purchased @last – the roadmap was already in place – layout was underway and the infrastructure for most of the development was in place.

    What Google brought to the party was 3D Warehouse. In actual fact 3D Warehouse is used by many big name brands who sell into the AEC market – link that to Google Ads and other revenue generating models and you have a very nice stream of revenue.

    I think the problem is we think in terms of SketchUp does or doesn't do that. Google (and most companies of that size) think in terms of the overall bigger picture and what would be missing from that picture if they didn't have SketchUp or an in house content generation system that links in with Google Earth, maps and the like.

    Google make their money from advertising. SketchUp is just another means to leverage advertising revenue – perhaps not directly, but via the content it generates.

    Also, if you use SketchUp in a professional environment you need the Pro version – check the EUL for the free version. Every business I work with who uses SketchUp buys the Pro version. I am quite sure most software vendors would like even a tenth of the revenue that generates….

  • John Bacus

    There are ways of calling compiled C++ from SketchUp's Ruby API, so really there's less limitation than you're suggesting. We don't have a 64-bit version of the SDK. Also, we don't have a 64-bit version of SketchUp.

    I don't think ordinary users will see any benefit from a 64-bit SketchUp, but it would certainly make it easier for folks like you to work with our SDK.

    john
    .


    John Bacus
    Product Manager | SketchUp
    Google, Inc.
    Boulder, Colorado
    (303)800-2708
    jbacus@google.com

  • John Bacus

    Jim,

    I don't have to be the Product Manager for SketchUp to stand up for it's success, but I don't see how that hurts. We've been part of Google since 2006 and we're still shipping new versions of SketchUp every year. We've got more than a million unique users starting SketchUp every week, which is significant by any company's standards. I think we're doing OK.

    john

    .


    John Bacus
    Product Manager | SketchUp
    Google, Inc.
    Boulder, Colorado
    (303)800-2708
    jbacus@google.com

  • Jim Nance

    Kevin, I don’t have anything against Google, and I am trying to present the business case for why I believe the SU product is going/will go nowhere, and why Google’s strategy for creating this product in the first place is ill-conceived.

    Most readers would agree that 3DWarehouse is perhaps the biggest publicly available repository of SU models. When I search Google for SU models, I don’t find too many independent content developers making and selling SU models of any significant quantity. If SU is indeed used by millions and millions of people, I would expect content SU models upto wazoo. If such content was so popular, as suggested by the enormous popularity & usage of SU based on downloads and starts, then it is conceivable that some enterprising people can actually make a business from this. I can find no one has done this in a reasonably big way.

    Yet, the number of models in 3D Warehouse is perhaps in the 1000s. My best guess-timate is it is about 5000 models. Don’t flame me for this, maybe John can settle this one. Nevertheless, it is in the low 1000s. If one were to draw a histogram of the number of models added each year since Google purchased the product and made it wildly available, my guess is that the vast majority of those models were created/added in 2007, with ever-decreasing counts for each year thereafter. I see this as one indicator of SU’s penetration in the 3D content space. Now compare this with the explosion of content added in YouTube and you get one clue as to where SU is headed.

    I don’t doubt for a moment that many architects and others find SU useful. Hey, its free and easy to use. No arguments there. Unfortunately, that alone does not make it a viable business. In my last post, I misstated the cost of Pro at $200+ when it is more like $495. Take whatever potential that may have existed at $200 and divide that by 100. A million starts a day doesn’t mean much if there is no way to monetize it. That in essence is SU’s problem. In this space, converting free-loaders to paying customers is nearly impossible. Google should try it.

    My thesis was that Google does not need SU app but only needs to define the infrastructure. Much like they do with the Android operating system, the Chrome browser and the Youtube video platform. They should leave the apps to the market. Only time will tell if they will, but my bet is that they will sooner than later.

  • Ekab777

    I was totally disappointed when i installed sketchup 7 on my computer. Just asking myself what happened beeing a former user of the @ last software sketch 5 which by the way i am still using along with revit 2011 (making an object in sketchup taking less time than revit). Where did the interface go??? i mean seriously, if you want to make a software easier to use, it is not by pulling out important icons of the old interface like the ones 'step forward, step back', the 'look around' tool and much more. It has become more difficult to navigate in the project, making this version for me useless as i spend more time in commands that took only one clic in version 5.
    Sketchup 5 was very simple, but not simplist like version 7!!!

  • Bohdan

    I don't know Ekab … , but all these icons and functions are still there see – Viev – Toolbars – …

    You can easily customize your workspace by arranging toolbars and palletes..
    And the best way to quickly call commands is to use keyboard shortcuts …

    http://www.youtube.com/user/BrightIdeasConsult

  • John Bacus

    Jim,

    We don't share the total number of models in 3D Warehouse publicly (I'll see if there's a way to do that in the future), but your estimate is low. If you were to search for a common term like “chair” in today's Warehouse, you'd find that there are over 11,000 results for that term alone.

    john
    .

  • Bohdan

    car – 33480
    jet – 3258
    boat – 5012

    building – 163788
    🙂

  • Ekab777

    Thanks for the tip Bohdan

    Indeed they have to be activated. Nevertheless i was expecting much more of sketch coming from version 5 to version 7. New genius tools like the follow me (which was the tool that made me so happy 🙂 )… but instead there are much more palettes for rendering aspects that we dont really care about since our models are exported to rendering engines such as artlantis and 3dsmax. Useless to my way of working with 3D.

  • John Bacus

    H Ekab,

    It may be that you've got all the tools you need in SU5– if so, I don't think there should be any pressing need for you to upgrade. On the other hand, we have all the same tools still in SU7… and we've fixed a few bugs and made the whole thing perform one heck of a lot faster.

    We are seeing some problems with SU4 and SU5 users re-licensing SketchUp after upgrading to Windows 7. You may want to head over to our support forums if you start having the same problems.

    john
    .

  • DF

    SketchUp – speaking as a CAD manager – is a wonderful product, as we could see even back at version 3. I know of nothing else that acts as such a gateway drug to get CAD-phobic older users into comfortably and easily working in 3D.

    A great low barrier solution to an old problem (now we just need a SketchUp for BIM…)

  • John,

    To be fair, SketchUp's Ruby API is more of a scripting tool like AutoLISP of AutoCAD. Of course, just like AutoLISP it can be used to do complex things. Also you can scramble your scripts so that you don’t need to give out your source code. All this is good. But coming back to the SketchUp SDK, for example, you don’t offer 64 bit versions of your DLLs. So for our SKP Import plug-ins for 64 bit AutoCAD/SolidWorks/Solid Edge/SpaceClaim/ProENGINEER we need to jump through hoops and push the limits of what Windows will and will not allow us to do. Frankly, as a developer I am not too happy with how I call your 32 bit DLLs in 64 bit AutoCAD. It's not safe at all. But I have no choice.

    My only point here is that a little more interest on the part of Google for the SketchUp C++ SDK would be nice. I believe apart from rearranging the SDK once in the past few years, nothing much has been done to it.

  • John, I don't develop for SketchUp, but reading your response makes me very sad. You can be forgiven for equating 64 bit DLLs with a 64 bit version of SketchUp, but it makes me sad to see that your uninformed decision has cost Deelip (and likely many others) countless hours and aggravation because Google couldn't be bothered to spend a dozen man-hours to build and test 64 bit DLLs.

  • Bmayer

    We have two products, DoubleCAD and TurboCAD, that can take DWG files with AutoCAD Architecture objects and convert them to COLLADA instances that SketchUp reads as Components. It’s useful for getting models into Google Earth and the 3D Warehouse.

    We also love where the Ruby development platform is headed and will actually be rolling that out as an available scripting language in upcoming versions of our CAD applications.

  • Gedw99

    Google is developed a web based version of Sketchp using webgl and nacl (Native client).
    Porting wont be that hard either.

    Ok i am joking -. but really i dont see any reason why they woudl not as its the perfect platform to do it on.

  • GordonTomlinson

    Hi John

    I represent one set of users the really would love to see a 64bit version of the C++ SDK, our customers have made it clear they want to be able to load SKP files in our 3d applications and also to be able to edit models in SketchUp Pro so we use the C++ SDK to load SPK files and to write out parts of our Scene graph to SKP so they can edit these live in SketchUp Pro, our applications gain a lot from 64 bit and our customers are increasingly wanting the 64 bit version of our software, so having a 64bit version of the SDK would be really useful to us and our customer base ( Vis-sim, GeoINT ) which is a reason size

    Gordon Tomlinson
    Product Manager 3d Technology & Project Wyvern
    Overwatch®
    An Operating Unit of Textron Systems
    gtomlinson@overwatch.textron.com

  • RV

    The only problem I have with Sketchup is it's lack of 64 bit support. I routinely run into massive system slowdowns due to SU's inability to use available memory in systems with more than 3.33gb of ram (IE: > 32bit computers). This causes even the most leading edge systems to come grinding to a halt.

    John, if you hear me, please take a note:
    The 3D Modeling community NEEDS 64 bit support. It is far beyond my #1 wish for SU, and has been for some time. Most people will argue (Incorrectly..) for multi-threading support, when in reality their performance problems are caused by the lack of 64bit support and SU's inability to use more system memory, resorting to using the hard disk for operations that it shouldn't ever be used for..

  • Nospamplease

    SketchUp 8 has a problem. I have tried the latest NVidia Quadro 5000 drivers but when I rotate the shadows turn off. Everything used to work. I’m only rotating about 200 cubes.

  • jbacus

    Hi RV and Nospamplease:

    This isn’t a place that I regularly check for support questions and feature requests- you may want to head over to our official SketchUp Help Forum for quicker responses from me and the SketchUp team in the future.

    RV: A 64-bit version of SketchUp is frequently asked for, but really requires more discussion. You can find that discussion ongoing in our forums.

    Nospamplease: If you skipped the SU7.1 upgrade, you may have missed the “Level-of-detail” modifications we made to SketchUp’s renderer. When frame rate drops below a reasonable threshold due to model complexity and your hardware capability, we turn off all but the GPU-accelerated rendering styles to keep camera motion fluid. Shadows are rendered on the CPU.

    john
    .

  • No

    SketchUp has transformed my small business.

  • Hua-Wang

    Just commented on SketchUp going somewhere… The last time I used SketchUp, it felt it is headed straight to /dev/null.