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May 01, 2012



Autodesk is like OPEC, Microsoft or any monopoly. They do nearly zero innovation until the monopoly is 'medium' threatened ... hence sketchup... after 20years of Autodesk, I welcome their long awaited death

Kevin E.

(I copied the comment below from the comment I left on Ralph Grabowski's site)

I read Roopinder's article and it got me curious. So I downloaded and installed Autodesk 123D and gave it a try.

123D seems to be a repurposed Inventor Fusion. The UI seems to be designed for the DIY crowd, but the core of the products seems to work and feel a lot like Fusion.

So did Autodesk really have to spend millions on this? Maybe, I'm not sure. But in some ways this seems to make more sense than buying Sketchup.

If Autodesk had purchased Sktechup, would they have made it fit the rest of the Autodesk design products? How much would it cost to make those under the hood changes?

So it seems they could have approached this in 2 ways. They could have bought Sketchup for the userbase and then spent the money to integrate the product into the Autodesk family. The other way is to use your already developed core tech, put a new UI on it for novice cad users and try to win the base over by builing a better product.

Both routes are challenging to pull off.


I agree Sketchup seems a more logical fit for Autodesk than where it ended up. However, I see the whole 123D/maker thing as a totally different ballgame. Given it was spun out of tech (platforms/previews) already in-house probably easier to deal with.

Now Sketchup is of the table maybe Autodesk will address that market. Kinda take Sketchbook designer sketching into a Project Vasari world and you'd have it.

Or, maybe they will resurrect (now the hardware and bandwidth has caught up) the long dead Architectural Studio?

I thought that could have been a sketchup killer back in the day, Wrong! :)

For thouse who don't remember Autodesk's conceptual digital drawing board:

Ralph Grabowski

I think AUtodesk would only have bought SketchUp to shut it down. The 3D modeling technology in SketchUp is too simplistic (facet surfaces) for Autodesk; they see full 3D solids and mesh modeling as the proper solution for beginners.

However, they don't seem to realize that we'll use the handle of a hammer to measure a piece of wood, and so faceted surfaces works sufficiently well for 30 million people.

Account Deleted

Dear Roopinder,
for a CAD insider you are not exactly well informed. otherwise you would know that only a small part of Sketchup's user base fits into the category of DIYsts or hobbyists. much on the contrary, Sketchup is used professionally all over the world for modeling complex stuff, rendering, animation and even for making construction drawings in 2D (using its companion app LayOut).

Jeff Hammond

"Why did Autodesk not outbid everyone?"

I guess one has to wonder if Autodesk were being offered in the first place?
Maybe Google didn't want them to have it?

"DIYers sure jumped on it to make whatever whirligig, gizmos, low-riders, furniture, or whatever crazy contraption that was in their head"

oh those wacky diy_ers :-)
fwiw, i think (know) there is much more being created with sketchup than what you can find in the 3D warehouse..

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