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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; 14 years ago (2000-08)
Stable release 15.3.331 / February 5, 2015; 4 months ago (2015-02-05)[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 (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,[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, etc.), 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.


@Last Software[edit]

SketchUp was developed by startup company @Last Software of Boulder, Colorado, co-founded in 1999 by Brad Schell[7] and Joe Esch.[8]

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."[9]

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


Google acquired @Last Software on March 14, 2006 for an estimated US$15-45M,[11] 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 a price less than $100M.[12]

In 2013 SketchUp 2013 was released. A new site was provided, Extension Warehouse, hosting plugins and extensions for Sketchup.[13]

Sketchup 2013 Released on 5/21/2013.

Sketchup 2014 Released on 2/27/2014.

Sketchup 2015 Released on 11/3/2014.

Sketchup 2016 Released on / /2015.


All versions of SketchUp are proprietary. SketchUp Make (formerly SketchUp for Home and Personal Use), for non-commercial use, is free of charge.[14]

SketchUp Pro provides additional features for professional use and costs $590.00. Users purchase the program for $495.00 plus a $95.00 fee, and thereafter optionally pay a $95 annual "License Maintenance Fee" for continuing support and upgrades.[15] There is special pricing for students and educational users.[16]

SketchUp Pro licenses are valid for a specific platform, Windows or Macintosh.[17]


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

Google SketchUp[edit]

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.

The free version of Google Sketchup can export 3D to .dae and Google Earth's .kmz file format. The Pro version extends exporting support to include the .3ds, .dwg, .dxf, .fbx, .obj, .xsi, and .wrl file formats.

Google SketchUp can also save elevations or renderings of the model, called "screenshots", as .bmp, .png, .jpg, .tif, with the Pro version also supporting .pdf, .eps, .epx, .dwg, and .dxf.

Neither is available in a native format for Linux, or Mac OS earlier than 10.5.[18] Sketchup v.8 use under Wine has been rated "Gold".[19]

Geolocation information is always stored in the KMZ file.[20] The building designs themselves are saved in SKP.

Trimble SketchUp Pro 2013[edit]

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

SketchUp Make[edit]

This skyscraper was designed using Sketchup Make (2013). The picture shows the under-construction Kingdom Tower and google imagery used for it.

Sketchup Make, introduced in May 2013, is a free-of-charge version for home, personal, and educational use.[22]

SketchUp and Ruby[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.[23] SketchUp has a Ruby console, an environment which allows experimentation with Ruby.[24] The free version of SketchUp also supports Ruby scripts, with workarounds for its import and export limitations.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Trimble Navigation to buy Google's SketchUp
  2. ^ Release Notes
  3. ^ a b c "SketchUp Hardware and software requirements". Trimble. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  4. ^ Bacus, John. "A new home for SketchUp". Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "Linking Positioning to Productivity". Trimble Navigation Limited. Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "What makes SketchUp great". Google SketchUp website. Google. March 25, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "@Last gets 'Googled'". March 15, 2006. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Sketchup to IMVU Exporter - beta". Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  10. ^ "DigitalMediaNet Announces DigitalCAD Community Choice Award Winners". November 16, 2000. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  11. ^ "SketchUpdate". Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Trimble to Enhance its Office-to-Field Platform with the Acquisition of Google's SketchUp 3D Modeling Platform". Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  13. ^ "What's New In SketchUp Pro 2013?". Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "Trimble SketchUp Make License.". Retrieved May 27, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Upgrade, Maintenance, and Support program details". Retrieved May 27, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Licences for Education". Trimble. Retrieved June 2013. 
  17. ^ "Cross-platform license.". Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  18. ^ 2012-05-23
  19. ^ 2012-05-23
  20. ^ "Can I export my SketchUp models to other programs or formats?". Google SketchUp Help. Google. February 19, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Introducing SketchUp Pro 2013". Trimble. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Google SketchUp Developers". Google Groups. Google. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  24. ^ SketchUp Ruby Documentation Page 1.

External links[edit]