SketchUp (software)

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Basic data

developer Trimble Inc.
Current  version 20.2.172 (Win x64) 20.2.171 ( macOS )
(Win: August 10, 2020 / macOS: August 10, 2020)
operating system Windows 7 , Windows 8 , Windows 10 , Mac OS X 10.12-10.15
category 3D graphics software
License Proprietary
German speaking Yes

SketchUp is software for creating three-dimensional models. The name alludes to the hand sketch because of the fast working method .


The software was designed by the company "@Last Software" for the architecture sector and released in August 2000 for the Windows platform. On March 14, 2006, “@Last Software” was purchased by Google .

With SketchUp, Google wanted to promote the efficient creation of building models for Google Earth and offered a functionally reduced version free of charge. Google released version numbers 6 (2007), 7 (2008) and 8 (2010). On April 26, 2012, SketchUp was sold by Google to Trimble Navigation because Google had switched 3D creation to photogrammetry . Until October 2013, the created models could still be uploaded to Google Earth; they were spotted by the Google Earth team before they were released.

Sketchup 2013 was released in May 2013, followed by annual versions.

Application area

SketchUp model

The area of ​​application ranges from building models to first draft models by architects for the representation of architecture to illustration and product design .

The free SketchUp version (only as a cloud offer) is available free of charge for non-commercial use by private users, the commercial Pro version includes advanced functions such as configurable line styles, terrain modeling, advanced volume tools, high-resolution raster interfaces and additional interfaces for data exchange with CAD systems. SketchUp is also suitable for stage design and level design (flight simulations or 3D games). With the appropriate plug-ins , models can also be converted into various formats supported by game engines . However, as a wireframe modeler , SketchUp can not replace a full-fledged 3D modeler, as it lacks important functions for the design of complex free-form surfaces and solid bodies or a construction history.


SketchUp model

Special features are:

  • a particularly simple and patented extrusion function,
  • an optics based on pencil sketches,
  • the possibility of inserting your own pictures into the program, which can be pinned to the wall of a building, for example
  • the ability to script using Ruby ,
  • Shadow studies,
  • the import and export functions to Google Earth (.kmz) and to Collada (.dae)
  • in the Pro version further export formats:


SketchUp Pro

SketchUp Pro includes the LayOut and Style Builder programs and is available for a net price of 695 US dollars (≈ 580 euros) including one year upgrade entitlement. The demo version of SketchUp Pro runs for 30 days and requires the entry of license data for each further use. The SketchUp Make version (discontinued in 2017) ran for 30 days with the full range of functions of the SketchUp Pro version and then continued with a reduced range of functions.


Layout is part of the paid SketchUp Pro version. With layout, for example, floor plans for buildings can be created on maps and printed out. The idea is reminiscent of presentation programs such as B. Powerpoint from Microsoft.

Style Builder

With the Style Builder, user-defined line styles can be defined and assigned to the model; Various predefined style definitions are available. This also includes dashed variants where drawings look like they have been drawn by hand.

See also

Web links

Commons : Trimble SketchUp  - collection of images, videos, and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Release Notes
  2. Approval 2000 ( Memento of December 7, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  3. Takeover by Google
  4. Takeover by Trimble
  5. Why Google Doesn't NEED Sketchup Anymore
  6. User generated 3D model pipeline has been retired October 1st, 2013
  7. SketchUp Pro 2018