Sketchup File size: The Impact of Groups and Components


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
Ungrouped 10kb 17kb 31kb 91kb 283kb 1,154kb 4,994kb Crash Crash Crash Crash
Grouped 11kb 14kb 20kb 30kb 51kb 154kb 547kb 2,033kb 3,981kb 7,949kb Crash
Component 11kb 14kb 20kb 31kb 68kb 166kb 507kb 2,037kb 4,014kb 7,953kb 15,884kb

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.

sketchup file size

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.

Hope this helps! Happy modeling!

Have your own observations for sketchup file size? Leave a comment below!


  1. How to Use Groups and Components in Sketchup to Create a Fence - August 13, 2014

    […] If you liked this, you might enjoy the designer hacks library of sketchup tutorials.  If you’re still not convinced on the benefits of groups and components, checkout this study on how groups and components affect sketchup file size. […]

  2. How To Speed Up Sketchup - May 29, 2014

    […] are huge resource hogs and will significantly increase your file size.  Don’t believe it?  Check out this study we did or try it out for […]

Leave a Reply