Google Sells SketchUp!

By on April 28th, 2012 in Corporate, Software

Tags: ,

Big news! Google has sold off the hugely popular SketchUp 3D modeling tool to Trimble. Wait, who are Trimble, exactly? They’re a “leading provider of advanced location-based solutions that maximize productivity and enhance profitability”. In other words, they leverage GPS and other location tech to develop point products for quite a few different industries. 
What does this mean for SketchUp users? Perhaps not too much – the press release indicates the team and technology will persist, and that there will always be a free version for people to use. However, when products change companies there’s often a reason behind it, so we must watch carefully over the next few months to see what develops. 
Is this a big change for 3D print operators? We think not so much, because SketchUp just isn’t the best tool for modeling solid objects. It doesn’t even output the STL format used by all 3D printers unless you install a special plug in. 
That said, SketchUp has often been the very first exposure to 3D modeling for a great many people. Some even try using it to develop simple 3D models, but nowadays there are plenty of better (and still free) software and service options. 

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!


  1. Probably a coincidence, but of the three "You might also like:" articles linked below this post, one showed a 3D printer designed in SketchUp and the other talked about replacing the STL file format 😉


  2. I've been using Google SketchUp for a few years now and actually you can produce some pretty complex designs for 3D printing. It is better for architectural designs rather than curved 'mathematical' objects, but once you have installed a suitable STL exporter there are no problems. You can view some of my designs by searching for 'Nathan Edmunds' on the site

Comments are closed.