Components: using saved files

Is it possible to have a SKP file that uses the current separately saved version of a component, instead of the component that is directly part of the larger SKP file?

Here’s my situation: I am modelling a residence with multiple (4) floors. MY 6G-RAM computer just isn’t big enough to work with the whole house at once, so I am making each floor its own saved component, and editing them until they are right. I want a file that shows the assembled structure as the individual floor files stand.

When you load a saved component from a collection into a new model file, the geometry is copied into the new file. If you subsequently edit the component’s file, you can update the new model by right-clicking the component and selecting “reload”. However, the full load of the geometry is added to the new model; this will not reduce the size of your whole-house model. If you are getting “out of memory” errors, this won’t fix the problem. But if you are just getting bad performance on the whole house model, there is a way:

Create simplified per-floor models with just enough detail to place them accurately in the whole-house model (i.e. match key locating points). Build the whole-house model using those proxies. Then when you are happy with both the per-floor components and the arrangement of the whole-house model (so you won’t have to suffer with sluggish performance while manipulating it), replace the proxies with the finished per-floor components. There are some plugins that facilitate this kind of proxy substitution. for example http://sketchucation.com/plugin/772-proxy

No out of memory errors, but “Not Responding” for extremely long periods of time. Evidently, my single floors are also too memory intensive.

Take a look at Model Info->Statistics to see how complex your model has become. When the number of edges or faces approaches a million or more, even a high-powered CPU will start to choke. If that is the situation, it’s time to examine whether you are modeling items at excessive detail. For example, could you use fewer segments in curves? Do you have small objects such as building contents (dishes, lamps, plumbing fixtures) that use large amounts of geometry? Excessive detail in small objects is a common problem if you import furnishings from the 3D Warehouse. Can you make groups or components and use layers to hide them while you work on the rest?

There are also some basic settings that could help. Try setting the Face Style to hidden line and turn off shadows if they are on. Close the outliner window and see if that improves response.