SketchUp Make usage in commercial architectural practices


Recently I did some research with the regards to the legality of using the free SketchUp Make software in a commercial environment. Reason being is that I found many users with the companies in our sphere of influence that are indeed using the free SketchUp Make software.

For those of you that do not know SketchUp. It’s an easy-to-use 3D drawing program widely used by architects to present and visualise projects in 3D.

You can learn more about SketchUp at

You can also do enquiry on doing a SketchUp Essentials level training at Micrographics at

As you know you can download a free copy of SketchUp Make from the SketchUp Website. As part of the download process you have to select what you plan to use the software for.

If you select any other option than “Personal Projects” then the screen changes away from the free SketchUp Make.


Also you need to tick the option to agree to the License agreement before downloading the software.


Reading thought the Software license agreement that is also on the website found at: I found that under section 2.2 about the usage of SketchUp Make. It goes like this :

“SketchUp Make Software is licensed only for non-commercial use for your internal business purposes. Non-commercial use means that you may not sell, rent, lease or lend the output of the Software. Any other use requires the purchase of a SketchUp Pro license. For example, if you are a for-profit organization of any kind, or an employee of a for-profit organization using the Software in that capacity, you are engaged in commercial activity; therefore, in order to use the Software, you must purchase a SketchUp Pro license. Government agencies are considered to be commercial users and must purchase a SketchUp Pro license.”

How I understand this is that you may use SketchUp Make for you internal design and visualisation processes within an architectural practice but as soon as you show the output to a customer then it becomes illegal to use SketchUp Make and you need to purchase SketchUp Pro.

If you need more information on this or you want to purchase SketchUp Pro please leave a comment below.