Any SketchUp Pro users out there?

I’ve been using the free version for a few months now to do some landscape drawings and the like, but I’m starting to feel the limitations (especially printing to scale), and so I’m thinking about doing the upgrade to the pro version.

Anyone out there using the pro version? What do you think? Is it worth the $500? If not, do you have any suggestions for alternatives?

I have it, but I don’t use it much (or do much 3d work at all). I find the interface a bit nicer, and the additional export options are especially nice. The free version supports very complex scripting, though. You might want to check if plug-ins have been written to ad the features you want.

Printing to scale is a big deal. And being able to export to .dwg format, too.

I don’t think the free version can do either of those. Printing is possible, but it’s not very good if you want to print anything large.

Sanders: I sent you a private message.

I have intimate knowledge of the ins and outs of Sketchup pro…basically I bought ArchiCad and LandCad from AutoDesk in 2005, not going to tell you how much that set me back…When Sketchup and Sketchup Pro hit the market I was thoroughly impressed but slightly irked because they made seemingly difficult stuff I did with ArchiCad and LandscapeCad easy and simple to use. I actually phone AutoDesk and they were in a legal battle with google over the rights to this technology.

Sufficed to say I need to be able to do complex scale work, elevations and must be able to save to .dwg. I own a small in home business aside from my regular job designing living spaces and fun eclectic landscape themes - think rock walls, treehouses/offices, koi ponds, brooks etc…etc… and I need the ability to draw and render things to scale with precise accuracy. Well long story short I use Sketchup Pro because it costs me a fraction of what the autodesk stuff costs and I can do everything I need. Email or IM me about specific questions if you’d like. I wish I knew abou this stuff before spending thousands on licenses and software for my autodesk stuff… Oh Well, lesson learned.

I’ve learned to use DynaScape for landscape drawings, but I’m thinking about switching to SketchUp because it is Mac-friendly (I have to use BootCamp and Windows XP to use Dynascape on my Mac, but it does work okay). DynaScape does make some nice landscape designs, I have to say, and it isn’t frightfully expensive. It’s for landscape designing and quoting, and that’s it - no other functionality.

What problems are you having with printing to scale? Dynascape prints to scale just fine with larger paper, but it has some definite limitations with figuring out what part of your drawing you’ve already sent to the printer, and lining up the next section (for a test run on your home, 8 1/2 X 11" sheets before you send it out to be plotted on the large paper).

Do you have a web site for your business? I’d love to look at some your stuff. I might even have a small job for you.

I don’t really have specific questions, other than wondering how people like SketchUp Pro. I’m having lots of fun with the free version, but need to take it to the next level. Any advice on rendering software? I’ve spent some time over on the SketchUp Community MB, and they have some good links, including some free 3-D rendering software.

featherlou: Regarding printing to scale… basically, you can’t do it with the free version. You can, but it’s time consuming, and you end up having to physically cut and paste. You really can only print high quality stuff from what is visible on the screen. The Pro version, as I understand it, has easy settings for printing in whatever format you want.

The Sketchup Community MB has a wealth of info I’d stick to a lot of what they say for rendering info.

As for a website, I don’t need one, all of my work is word of mouth specialty stuff. I have quite a portfolio and can show you some pics if you’d like. I just finished a long project on a porch for a neighbor of mine. His porch is designed as a huge sign dial and by looking down he can tell what month, day and time it is by the suns shadow over the design on the wood. Really fun stuff. But I have done docks, inhome living spaces, rock work you name it…I have a lot of fun with it and if I had a full blown website I’d be inundated. It’s a nice source of extra income and a fun way to use my schooling and profession outsideof my regular job.

I have the pro version and I love it, just wish I had more time to use it. For import export it works just as it should. You may know this already, but for printing it comes with a nice layout tool called, erm, LayOut. The free trial of the pro version is very generous as I recall, something like 480 minutes. I can’t remember whether there are any printing restrictions with the trial version, but maybe you could do your modeling in Sketchup free and then just open the model in SketchUp Pro to print it without using much time off your Pro trial. It wouldn’t be very fair to game the system like that forever, but it should give you a good feel for whether it is worth it or not.

BTW, If you are into 3D modeling you might really like to get a Space Navigator. It works pretty well in Sketchup. But chances are you are also a Google Earth nut, and there the space navigator really shines. It is awesome.

That’s a great idea. So, it’s 480 minutes of use time, not 480 minutes of time with the clock starting (and running) as soon as you download it? I think I’ll try it!