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A model of a car made in SketchUp.
Original author(s) @Last Software
Developer(s) Trimble Navigation[1]
Initial release August 2000; 15 years ago (2000-08)
Stable release 16.0.19912 (Win 64-bit), 16.0.19911 (Win 32-bit), 16.0.19913 (Mac 64-bit) / November 17, 2015; 2 months ago (2015-11-17)[2]
Operating system Windows 7 and later
OS X 10.8 and later[3]
Available in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional)
Type 3D computer graphics
SketchUp White House model

SketchUp (formerly Google Sketchup) is a 3D modeling computer program for a wide range of drawing applications such as architectural, interior design, civil and mechanical engineering, film, and video game design—and available in a freeware version, SketchUp Make, and a paid version with additional functionality, SketchUp Pro.

SketchUp is currently owned by Trimble Navigation,[1][4] a mapping, surveying, and navigation equipment company.[5] The company was independent from 2000 to 2006 and owned by Google from 2006 to 2012.

The program's authors describe it as easy to use.[6] There is an online open source library of free model assemblies (e.g. windows, doors, automobiles), 3D Warehouse, to which users may contribute models. The program includes drawing layout functionality, allows surface rendering in variable "styles", supports third-party "plug-in" programs hosted on a site called Extension Warehouse to provide other capabilities (e.g. near photo-realistic rendering), and enables placement of its models within Google Earth.[7]


@Last Software[edit]

SketchUp was developed by startup company @Last Software of Boulder, Colorado, co-founded in 1999 by Brad Schell and Joe Esch.[8][9]

SketchUp debuted in August 2000 as a general-purpose 3D content creation tool, and was envisioned as a software program "that would allow design professionals to draw the way they want by emulating the feel and freedom of working with pen and paper in a simple and elegant interface, that would be fun to use and easy to learn, and that would be used by designers to play with their designs in a way that is not possible with traditional design software. It also has user friendly buttons to make it easier to use."[3]

The program won a Community Choice Award at its first tradeshow in 2000.[10]


Many different 3D and 2D exporters are available in SketchUp for uses such as rendering. This model was made in SketchUp and rendered with Kerkythea.

On June 8, 2005, Google announced Google SketchUp, a free downloadable version of SketchUp, without some functionality of SketchUp Pro, but including integrated tools for uploading content to Google Earth and to the Google 3D Warehouse. A toolbox enables a viewer to "walk around" and see things from different viewpoints, and supports labels for models, a look-around tool, and an "any polygon" shape tool.

Neither the free version nor the professional version was available in a native format for Linux, or Mac OS earlier than 10.5. SketchUp version 8 use under Wine has been rated "Gold".[11]

Geolocation information is always stored in the KMZ file.[12] The building designs themselves are saved in SKP.

Google acquired @Last Software on March 14, 2006 for an undisclosed sum,[13] attracted by @Last's Software's work developing a plugin for Google Earth.

On January 9, 2007, SketchUp 6 was released, with new tools and a beta version of Google SketchUp LayOut. LayOut includes 2D vector tools and page layout tools allowing presentations to be produced without the need for a separate presentation program.

On November 17, 2008, SketchUp 7 was released, with changes intended to make it easier to use, integration of SketchUp's Component Browser with Google 3D Warehouse, LayOut 2, and dynamic components that respond to scaling. Windows 2000 was no longer supported.[3]

On September 1, 2010, SketchUp 8 was released, with model geolocation with Google Maps and Building Maker integration. Mac OS X Tiger was no longer supported.[3]


Trimble Navigation acquired SketchUp from Google on June 1, 2012 for an undisclosed sum.[14]

In 2013 SketchUp 2013 was released. A new site was provided, Extension Warehouse, hosting plugins and extensions for Sketchup.[15]

3D Warehouse[edit]

SketchUp 3D Warehouse screen shot

The SketchUp 3D Warehouse is an open source library where anyone using SketchUp can upload and download 3D models to share. The models can be downloaded right into the program without anything having to be saved onto your computers storage. File sizes of the models can be up to 100 MB. Anyone can make, modify, and reupload content to and from the 3D warehouse free of charge.[16]


All versions of SketchUp are proprietary. SketchUp Make (formerly SketchUp for Home and Personal Use), for non-commercial use, is free of charge.[17]

SketchUp Pro provides additional features for professional use and costs $700. Users purchase the program for $700 fee, and thereafter optionally pay a $120 annual license-maintenance fee for continuing support and upgrades.[18] There is special pricing for students and educational users.[19]

SketchUp Pro licenses are valid for a specific platform, Windows or Macintosh.[20]


SketchUp holds U.S. Patent 6,628,279, granted in September 2003, on its "Push/Pull" technology.



The under-construction Jeddah Tower and Google imagery used for it, designed with Sketchup Make 2013

Sketchup Make, introduced in May 2013, is a free-of-charge version for home, personal, and educational use.[citation needed]


SketchUp Pro 2013 has an improved LayOut 2013 module, and introduced Extension Warehouse, a source for plug-ins and add-ons.[21]

Software extensions[edit]

SketchUp 4 and later support software extensions written in the Ruby programming language, which add specialized functionality. Such extensions may be made available to others on the SketchUp Ruby Forum.[22] SketchUp has a Ruby console, an environment which allows experimentation with Ruby.[23]


Modelur is a parametric urban design extension for Trimble SketchUp, developed by Urbs. It is available free-of-charge while in Pre-beta.

Modelur's primary goal is to help the users quickly create conceptual urban massing. In contrast to common CAD applications, where the user designs buildings with usual dimensions such as width, depth and height, Modelur offers design of built environment through key urban parameters such as number of storeys and gross floor area of a building.

Modelur calculates key urban control parameters on the fly (e.g. floor area ratio or required number of parking lots), delivering important urban design information while the development is still evolving. This way it helps taking well-informed decision during the earliest stages, when design decisions have the highest impact.

Model Viewers[edit]

Cubits viewer for iPad rendering


Cubits for iPad and iOS is a 3D interactive model viewer/renderer.[24] It can view .kmz files from SketchUp either as attachments through e-mail or via Dropbox.

SketchUp Mobile Viewer[edit]

SketchUp Mobile Viewer is an app released by Trimble.[25] It's available on iOS and Android.


Kubity is an online rendering platform for desktop web browsers and mobile devices (iOS and Android).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Trimble Navigation to Buy Google's SketchUp". Reuters. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  2. ^ Release Notes
  3. ^ a b c d "SketchUp Hardware and Software Requirements". Trimble. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  4. ^ Bacus, John (2012-04-26). "A New Home for SketchUp". Trimble Navigation. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "Linking Positioning to Productivity". Trimble Navigation. Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Features: Help & Ease of Use". Trimble Navigation. 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "Features: Context Modeling". Trimble Navigation. 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "@Last Gets 'Googled'". March 15, 2006. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  10. ^ "DigitalMediaNet Announces DigitalCAD Community Choice Award Winners". November 16, 2000. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  11. ^ Zhao, James. "SketchUp 8.x". Retrieved 2015-07-01. 
  12. ^ "Can I Export My SketchUp Models to Other Programs or Formats?". Google. February 19, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  13. ^ Martin, Jeff (2006-03-14). "A New Home for @Last Software". Google. Retrieved 2015-07-27. 
  14. ^ "Trimble to Enhance its Office-to-Field Platform with the Acquisition of Google's SketchUp 3D Modeling Platform". PR Newswire. Sunnyvale, California: Trimble Navigation. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  15. ^ "What's New In SketchUp Pro 2013?". Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Trimble SketchUp Make License". Retrieved May 27, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Upgrade, Maintenance, and Support Program Details". Retrieved May 27, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Licences for Education". Trimble. Retrieved June 2013. 
  20. ^ "Cross-Platform License". Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Introducing SketchUp Pro 2013". Trimble. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Google SketchUp Developers". Google. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  23. ^ SketchUp Ruby Documentation Page 1.
  24. ^
  25. ^

External links[edit]