It’s no secret that using groups and components in your sketchup models makes modelling a ton easier, but did you know that depending which you use will also affect your sketchup file size? I took a look comparing the size of files that all contained the same rectangular prism. The three files contained either ungrouped, grouped, or component of the exact same count of identical rectangular prisms. The results are below. Any cell with the word crash in it… Well… Crashed sketchup repeatedly.
Sketchup File Size Comparison
|6 faces||24 faces||96 faces||384 faces||1,536 faces||6,144 faces||24,576 faces||98,304 faces||196,608 faces||393,216 faces||786,432 faces|
The results are pretty strikingly clear. Not only do ungrouped faces make it cumbersome to model, they also dramatically increase your sketchup file size. Oddly enough, groups created consistently slightly lower file sizes than components.
How should this inform the way you model to reduce your sketchup file size?
- Ungrouped elements should be avoided whenever possible. They make it difficult to sift through files and dramatically increase file size
- Groups should be used when building your sketchup model library or creating complex components you want to upload to the 3d warehouse.
- Components should be used whenever you’re creating copies of the same object -especially if there’s a chance you might want to go back and change that copy-. Even though components save at a higher kb than groups, the benefits of components (ability to save as…, edit many of the same item, possibility of making dynamic, etc.) vastly outweigh the slight impact to file size. Additionally, sketchup seemed to be able to handle duplicating components much easier than groups. For your standard models, components are simply a must.