SketchUp Pro 7 or not?


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First off, I’m a hobbyist woodworker. For now, I’m financially obligated to stick with SketchUp 7 (i.e. free) for drawing and designing my woodworking projects. However, for future reference I need to know if it would be worth the $500 to upgrade to SketchUp Pro 7. What would I gain by going to SU Pro 7 that I don’t have in SU 7? Also, if there is an advantage to such an upgrade, then for the same money I could purchase bonzai3d instead. Which would be the preferred upgrade from SU 7?

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Let me first say that I am not a pro.. I use sketchup for just the same as you, for designing projects. I guess an easy way for me to answer this is, look here and compare the SU free and SU Pro. If you understand what the difference is, and know what those functions are that it provides, and those functions are something that you can use, then I would say think about it. If not, then I would say no. But like I said, I am no pro. I think that it has things that you would only need if you were using it for a living.. Just my couple pennies..

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If all you plan to do with SU is model your projects to visualize them, then the PRO version may not give you much if anything at all.

The advantages of PRO are mainly 3:

Exporting - export your models to other CAD and formats.

Dynamic components - allows you to add data to your components, and fine tune the components to different scenarios (great if you need to speed up kitchen cabinets design stage as you won't have to recreate the cabinets every time around)

Layout - allows you to create full plans/presentations etc from your model - if you are working with others and need to share that type of information, or present it to a client etc.

So, Unless you are using this professionally to run a business (woodworking or design business) I can't justify the PRO version. although for those that needs those features, it's priceless.

As for Bonzai3d - to be honest, I prefer it to SketchUp for modeling, but it does not have the mentioned (except for the exporting) features that SU pro have. it is more for rendering and modeling, but for those it's an excellent choice (yet still comes at a price).

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Sac, thanks much for the comparison link. I can't say I understood all of the options, but I do see that many of them would not apply to my use of SU.

PurpLev, I appreciate the break down. I think based on your explanation that SU Pro 7 is definitely not for me. As far as bonzai3d, I'll have to wait and see.

Dave, I can see the advantages don’t relate to my use of SU 7. By the way, what is "LO"?

I guess I was hoping for some greater efficiencies in SU 7 than what I've seen and read about so far. Is there a SU 8 on the horizon?

Thanks all for the comments.

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LO = LayOut.

What sort of "greater efficiencies" are you looking for. There are a lot of strategies that can make your working in SketchUp (free or pro) more efficient than the way a lot of folks appear to work. That's judging by the number of woodworkers I talk to during the personalized tutoring I do with them. If you give me some ideas of what you want to improve as far as efficiency goes, I bet I can come up something for you.

Dave, thank you for your generous offer. I'm embarrassed to say that I'm still working my way through Woodworker’s Guide to Google SketchUp 7 by Robert W. Lang. I may find that as I get past the halfway mark that he may get into some of the efficiencies that I speak of. However, after I complete the course I may be back with some questions on things that he may not cover. Thanks again Dave.

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