I've only ever done 3D work for educational purposes. Now I need to do some for work and not sure what exactly constitutes commercial in this realm.

We manufacture two pieces of architectural equipment. If we model the equipment to put in the Google SketchUp Warehouse so architects/contractors have free access to them is that considered commercial use?

This is the TOS from SketchUp Make (the new name for the free version):

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. If you are a for-profit organization of any kind, or an employee of a for-profit organization using the Software or Services in that capacity, you are engaged in commercial activity; therefore, in order to use the Software and Services, you must purchase a SketchUp Pro license.

I'm certainly not selling, renting or leasing any output. I have no idea what "lend the output" means. Is giving away an object for free considered "lending?"

  • Looks like you will be ok as long as you don't sell, lease, rent the output file. If you are giving it away on a server, then you are within your right to use the software.
    – ckpepper02
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 18:51
  • 1
    The only sure answer here is to email Trimble Navigation Limited and ask them this very question. That said, since you state you are a manufacturing firm, that's commercial use.
    – DA01
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 19:37

1 Answer 1


Traditionally, commercial use for artwork refers to using the art in a manner designed to inspire a purchase or sale.

In other words, if you are making money, or hope to make money, from the use of the artwork, that is commercial use.

Noncommercial use would be for personal satisfaction, display, or other uses which are not part of a direct sales path.

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