SketchUp 3D modeling software sold to Trimble Navigation

Google sold the popular SketchUp 3D modeling software to Trimble Navigation. Both parties assure users that the free versions will remain available. Google will maintain the 3D Warehouse for the foreseeable future.

We’re cautiously optimistic that the free version will remain free, though we’re concerned about monkey business with the licensing. For example they could limit the free version to personal, non-commercial use and still call it free.

You can check out our 3D model posts, or download the models from our 3D Warehouse collection, or our SVN.

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  1. I don’t believe big G would sold it if it made money so it obviously requires some changes in order to become profitable – the major change is differentiation, this in any case means that free version will be crippled way more then today, so either the will mess up the licence, or they will stop adding features to free version or … not good from what ever point we look at it….

    On the side node, there’s now zero chance of sketchup ever running on Linux :(, with big G there was a remote chance, with trimble, even most optimistic of us give up on that idea :(

    I think open community should stick with open tools like Blender, openSCAD, AoI … Blender is professional tool that could easily be used in cooperation with Eagle/KiCAD/gEDA or any other EDA tool. It has powerful scripting engine, huge user base, great documentation … it’s not idiot friendly like sketchup but we’r not idiots in open community, let us leave sketchup for architects and other “artist with technical handicap” and let’s concentrate on tools for real professionals :D

    1. Totally agree
      technical handicap —> thats a nice phrase store for later usage ;)

  2. Uhhhh
    not good

    put it simple: Trimbles mainpage has a menu entry for “Investors”. None for Community. There is nothing like “Forums” or other community relevant stuff.

    Guess this is not a good sign. Even if they plan to get more open it will take a long way until the management agree to even the simplest standards of a community centric development.

    Guess I can stop to dream of a Sketchup Linux version (there was always a little chance it would happen under the Google umbrella ;) )

  3. arhi, I fully agree. It leaves me a little bit sad how the open hardware community is talking a lot about open stuff, but still everybody seems to use Eagle.

    1. Hey Torsten (strange to write my own name ;) )
      As much as I like FOSS software, I think we have to distinguish here. CadSoft is a company which is well listening to its community. It provides platforms and support for community activity and gives a (limited) version for Windows, Mac and Linux free away.
      It is “open” in a certain sens for most of the usual users concern (they recently switched to a open XML-based file format).

      I have no problem if they want to do money for a living on the other side and the prices seems rather fair (see how much you pay for Matlab, Labview or Orcad).

      Thus I can see why so many people stick to Eagle. In fact if we would like to have some FOSS replacement, it would have to be better or at least equal to Eagle. Taken that it should run on all major OS, gEDA is out already. This leaves it to KiCad and I have the feeling this is not on pair with Eagle yet.

      Actually, Eagle is a nice example how a company can run a business with proprietary software but still be acknowledged within the community as a contributor. This politics allows them to be on top and the quasi standard. Even free software has a hard stand to fight against this business model (mainly because of missing valid arguments).

      1. Eagle earned it’s place in the community. I might not like it personally, but I respect that team a lot! KiCAD team has some serious issues in attitude that is shown trough the product and that makes working with it (both as end user and as developer) painful… but that’s story not relevant to sketchup. I personally never seen sketchup as usable tool for anything other then “try out the new furniture layout in the appt” as for 3D printing it’s not nearly as good as other free solutions (CoCreate/Creo is best free solution attm imo, AoI is rather limited but still better solution then sketchup if you are not technically challenged, Blender is great for non technical stuff and openSCAD is the best tool out there for simple machine parts (sprockets, racks, pulleys, brackets, holders etc etc) just check thingiverse and see what all good parts are designed in :). Yes solidworks or solidedge are super cool but they are different league :(.. Anyhow, for 3D printing – sketchup was really lousy solution.

        For visualizing pcb’s it was pretty interesting because of extensive model database and some interesting scripts, but, you can find STEP/IGES of almost all parts available on-line, professional tools like Altium use STEP/IGES models .. IIRC there are plugins for Blender to import step/iges .. it can for sure import 3ds, obj, bin .. Blender for sure renders 10000x better image then sketchup and can be linked to external renderer also if one likes.

        On top of all that, the pre-sketchup scripts there was an easy way to export scene from eagle and render in external renderer so the whole sketchup frenzy anyhow started only recently, maybe we should kill it before it gets out of hands :D :D :D

      2. I’m not doing hardware for a living, otherwise I would probably use Eagle too. I have nothing against it. They have a respected software and can make money with it. That’s cool.

        I just see the point that if everybody only produces new libraries for Eagle, the FOSS tools can’t get enough users to make a difference. And FOSS can mostly only live with lot’s of users. Calling something OSHW but locking it to a non-FOSS is just sounding a bit strange to me.

        Maybe the XML file format will change that as it would not lock the designs to a single software anymore.

    1. I’m not doing hardware for a living, otherwise I would probably use Eagle too. I have nothing against it. They have a respected software and can make money with it. That’s cool.

      If I did hw for living I’d be using Altium or Cadence and would not waste time with seriously feature lacking software like Eagle. Eagle is “enough for hobby”, but even for hobby it lacks features (just like gEDA or KiCAD or many other free/cheap solutions). If you do hw for life productivity is seriously important and what Altium/Cadence can provide pays off very fast :)

      1. Ahh, just as well :). As freelancer I’m used to work with the tools the customer wants anyway. But I guess I’m going to stay on the software side.

        For the electronics hobby stuff, I’m quite ok with gEDA even if that means I have to create some footprints myself.

  4. Why is the measurement box is inoperative on latest update on sketchup 8 downloaded 9/8/2012, from trimble navigation? The un-updated sketchup 8 works fine on two other pc’s.

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