SketchUp is a 3D design and modeling CAD software by Trimble. It is used in a wide range of fields including mechanical engineering, landscaping, video game design, architecture, and civil engineering. SketchUp allows you to design, visualize, analyze, document, collaborate, and share models. All these make the software program the preferred choice of many students, hobbyists, and professionals. Before also making it your preferred choice, there is another factor which you must take into consideration. This factor is cost.
Because there are various SketchUp products and license types, the question – “How much does SketchUp cost?“, does not have a straightforward answer. This article covers everything SketchUp cost. We will be exploring the different SketchUp products, their licensing options, where to purchase them, and any alternatives they have.
Table of Contents
SketchUp has a lineup of products that differ by level of functionality. This is to ensure that there is something for both hobbyists and professionals alike. We must know what each of these products offers before we explore their cost. The following are the different SketchUp products in ascending order of capability.
This is a subscription-based, web version of SketchUp that can be accessed through web browsers. It comes with limited functionality but still allows you to create, edit, and view models; import and export data; and collaborate online, anywhere, and on any device. All you need are a Trimble ID, an internet connection, and a compatible browser. Although SketchUp Shop can be used on any device, it works best on a laptop or desktop computer. A SketchUp Shop subscription is independent of any other SketchUp product or plan.
SketchUp Pro comes next in terms of functionality. Unlike SketchUp Shop, it is a desktop version and has to be downloaded and installed on a desktop computer or laptop. In addition to the features of SketchUp Shop, SketchUp Pro allows users to carry out to 2D documentation and advanced visualization such as VR (Virtual Reality) model viewing. You can also geo-locate models, export animation videos, and produce construction drawings.
This is an advanced version of SketchUp Pro that has some additional industry-specific features for the architecture and construction industry. It has an easy-to-use user interface, as well as intuitive tools that help you design your building easily. SketchUp Studio’s advanced features allow you to design energy-efficient buildings. You can analyze HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning), energy use, daylighting, and occupants thermal comfort, before you build. This product is a package that includes SketchUp Pro, Sefaira (a building energy analysis program), VR/AR (Augmented Reality) apps, collaboration tools, and cloud storage.
SketchUp license options
Trimble offers several license types for SketchUp. These licenses are classified according to the period of use, and number of users. They are as follows.
A subscription license allows you to use SketchUp for one year. It is best when you intend to use the software short-term. When you subscribe, you pay upfront for the full term (one year) of your subscription. Currently, only annual subscriptions are available. Upon expiration, your license automatically renews if you have activated auto-renewal; otherwise, your access to the product ends. Subscription licenses are available for SketchUp Shop, SketchUp Pro, and SketchUp Studio. They can be used offline but have to be connected to the internet every 28 days to maintain the license.
Classic (perpetual) license
Also known as SketchUp Pro classic, this license is only available for SketchUp Pro. A classic license is a perpetual license that provides lifetime access to SketchUp Pro. However, if you purchase a classic license for SketchUp 2019, this does not automatically grant you access to SketchUp 2020. To upgrade, you need to contact your reseller. To make things easier for owners of this license, the license comes with an optional upgrade, maintenance, and support plan to which you can subscribe. Subscribers to this plan can have their classic licenses conveniently upgraded to a more recent version.
Single user license
Both subscription and classic licenses are available as single-user Licences. A single-user license is allotted to one individual and can only be used by the user. That person can install the license on any two computers with which they work. For example, a work desktop computer and a laptop. These licenses can either be bought from the SketchUp store or an official reseller.
A Sketchup network license is more suited for small companies with at least ten employees. Using this license, SketchUp can be installed on as many devices as possible but can only be simultaneously used on as many seats as are available in the purchase agreement. For example, if you purchase a network license with 20 seats, and your company has 40 computers, you can install it on all 40 computers, but only a maximum of 20 people can use the software at any given time. A computer making use of a network license has to be connected to the internet. This is because this license is stored in the clouds.
For large companies with at least 200 employees, Trimble offers Enterprise licenses with a minimum of 200 Seats. Because network and enterprise licenses are customer-specific, you have to contact the SketchUp Pro sales team to purchase them. These licenses are available as both subscription and perpetual options.
Upgrade, maintenance, and support (UMS)
This is an optional, subscription-based plan for owners of SketchUp Pro classic (perpetual) licenses. This plan gives you access to not only updates and support, but most importantly, to upgrades. As soon as the latest version of SketchUp Pro is available, subscribers to the UMS plan receive an email containing new license information. They can now proceed to download, install, authorize, and use the latest version. UMS is available to both single-user and network classic licenses. The plan is automatically added and billed to your first time purchase. This means that for the first year of your classic license purchase, you are automatically subscribed to the plan. After this, you can either renew your subscription to the upgrade, maintenance, and support plan or cancel it. It is important to note that this plan is an independent and optional subscription for classic licenses only.
As with many other CAD software, while you can purchase single-user licenses by yourself from the SketchUp store or an official reseller, you have to contact the SketchUp sales team to inquire about the price of or purchase network licenses. The table below contains the process of single-user licenses for SketchUp products. All prices are in US Dollars.
SketchUp Shop (Subscription)
SketchUp Pro (Subscription)
SketchUp Pro classic (Perpetual)
SketchUp Studio (Subscription)
The upgrade, maintenance, and support plan costs $120/year for single-user licenses and $400/year for network licenses. However, if you allow your subscription to this plan to expire before renewal, then you have to pay an additional $60 and $200 re-enrollment fee, making it $180 and $600 for single-user and network licenses respectively.
SketchUp discounts and free products
Trimble offers many free products as well as discounts. Some of these are as follows.
SketchUp for higher institutions
SketchUp offers a fully functional educational version of SketchUp Pro at a discounted price. There are three ways of acquiring this.
- Personal single-user licenses. This is a personal single-user license for students of higher institutions. It costs $55 per year per seat.
- Network lab licenses. Higher institutions purchase network lab licenses. They are meant for installation on desktop computers in computer Labs and cost $15 per seat for one year.
- Institutional laptop licenses. Institutions also purchase these licenses but for installation on the individual teacher and student laptops. They can be used both on and off school network and cost $39 per year, per seat.
SketchUp for schools
This is an online browser-based SketchUp for secondary and primary schools signed up with G Suite. Considering the level of students that will be using it, SketchUp for students has limited features.
For those who prefer multiple classic single-user licenses to a network license, SketchUp has the following volume discounts for bulk single-user classic license purchases.
Number of units
Cost per license + UMS plan
Discount (Amount you save)
1 – 4
$575 + $120
5 – 15
$550 + $120
4.3 % ($25)
16 – 25
$530 + $120
7.8 % ($45)
26 – 50
$510 + $120
51 – 75
$490 + $120
$465 + $120
SketchUp Free is a free but limited web version of SketchUp. It offers limited 3D modeling, in addition to mobile viewing and interoperability.
This is a free online resource where users of SketchUp can either download ready-made models created by users or upload their creations. This doubles as a kind of forum as users can comment on each other’s models.
Similar to the 3D warehouse, the extension warehouse is an online resource for 3rd party extensions and plugins that enhance your workflow process in SketchUp.
In terms of cost, SketchUp is more competitively priced than its famous counterparts. However, when considering capability, you may want to consider the following.
- Vectorworks Landmark and Vectorworks Architect pricing
- AutoCAD pricing
- Revit pricing
- Solid Edge pricing