SketchUp Make is licensed for non-commercial work only. This includes the output from the software.

Trimble Navigation Limited and/or its affiliates ("Trimble") gives you a personal, worldwide, royalty-free, non-assignable and non-exclusive license to use the executable version of the Software for non-commercial use only. Non-commercial use means: you may not sell, rent, lease or lend the output of the Software or the Services.

The above retrieved 2016-02-07. The full SketchUp Make license can be found on the SketchUp website.

In what ways does this restrict my use of SketchUp Make generated material with sites that allow the sharing of models (and deisgn files)? This would include sites such as Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory and 3D Warehouse.

For example, must I always set a non-commercial license for my designs? Thingiverse allows several different license choices to be selected.

Can I permit the design to be printed by someone for money?
Thingiverse has links to 3D HUBS and Print a Thing which can be disabled per model.

Obviously the SketchUp Pro license makes many of the restrictions on what can be done with the output go away, which would be much simpler. However I do not expect to generate anywhere near the costs of purchasing a license ($695 US at the time of writing) by tweaking a few designs now and then.

I want to comply with the licenses but I need to understand the limits of what I am permitted to do with SketchUp Make in order to do that. It may be much more prudent for me to invest my time in learning other tools that have no restrictions on what can be done with the output.

As this is a legal question it might matter what jurisdiction I am in and what jurisdiction the sites I may share to are in. I am based in the UK. Thingiverse is based in the State of New York. MyMiniFactory uses the Laws of England as a base. 3D Warehouse selects the State of California.

  • $\begingroup$ I have asked the same question on the SketchUp Community Forum forums.sketchup.com/t/… If any definitive answers turn up on either site I will try to cross post them. $\endgroup$
    – TafT
    Feb 6, 2017 at 12:50
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe I should be asking this question on Law rather than 3D printing? Some aspects of this are context specific though. $\endgroup$
    – TafT
    Feb 7, 2017 at 12:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ask on Law, and refer them here for a perspective from printers. Law should provide a more accurate reading of any formal aspects of the language. $\endgroup$ Feb 8, 2017 at 13:57
  • $\begingroup$ As @SeanHoulihane suggested I have now raised the same question on Law law.stackexchange.com/q/17013/10851 $\endgroup$
    – TafT
    Feb 8, 2017 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ Please do not cross-post questions. I would suggest deleting your question on SE.Legal as it hasn't got an answers. $\endgroup$
    – Greenonline
    Feb 25, 2022 at 3:32

2 Answers 2


Again, I'm not a specialist in intellectual property law (or any other sort of lawyer), but I have a different interpretation.

There is a potential difference between the use of the product, and the use of the derivatives of the product. For example, GCC has a restrictive (open) license, but its OK (in some contexts) to use the compiled code in a commercial product.

Generally, you (as creator of a work) will own all of the rights to a work. The supplier of the tools you use does not usually gain any rights to the resulting work.

So long as you don't gain from your use of the tool, it is probably OK for other people to profit from the use. Sharing with non-commercial should be your safest option if you're worried - but be aware that this doesn't prevent people from taking your design to a print service indirectly.

Their license says:

Non-commercial use means that you may not sell, rent, or lease the output of the Software

This implies that they are not making any claims to restrict how other non-connected persons might use your works. Its specifically talking about use as part of employment, or you making a gain.

I would also note that to me the language in the license does not look to have been drafted with a clear understanding of intent on this issue.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This doesn't have anything to do with transfer of rights of the works. If they say "you can't distribute what you make with our app" then distributing what you make with their app is a violation of the license and you would be liable for damages - even though they do not have any rights to your work. $\endgroup$ Feb 6, 2017 at 19:48
  • $\begingroup$ @TomvanderZanden Agreed, but I don't see a no-giveaway clause in the license. $\endgroup$ Feb 6, 2017 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ @SeanHoulihane I am never that sure if 'sell' does not include the idea of 'sell for £0.00'. It is still a permanent transfer of a good, rather that a temporary one which would be covered by rent or lease. $\endgroup$
    – TafT
    Feb 7, 2017 at 9:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So unlike Carl Witthoft's answer below @SeanHoulihane believes that I do not have to apply a non-commercial license to my output. All I must do is refrain from selling the output or possibly agreeing to print one of my works as a service for which I receive an income or gain. I am glad it is not just me that sees multiple readings here. $\endgroup$
    – TafT
    Feb 7, 2017 at 9:11

IANAL, naturally, so take this with that in mind.

From what I've read and been instructed, any software which is licenced as non-commercial cannot be redistributed or incorporated into any commercial software product. The other thing about "noncommercial" software licenses is that they can't be used for corporate design work -- as opposed to home user hacking.

Now, all you need to do is ensure that the license restrictions remain with the mixup files you post. There is no doubt that, so long as you do that, you are free from any legal problems that a downstream vendor may incur upon trying to sell the hardware produced.

  • $\begingroup$ So your interpretation would be that I am OK to share the works as long as they carry a 'non-commercial share alike' style of license or more ideally refer back to the SketchUp Make license. $\endgroup$
    – TafT
    Feb 7, 2017 at 9:08

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