File sizes when exporting

Morning, All.

Is there a way of maintaining the relatively small file sizes of models when they are exported into other mediums?

I’ve a model that I’ve been asked to share with non-users. it’s 4mb. Exported to ifc. it becomes 162mb. Added to an excel sheet as a 3D model import it becomes 153mb and my personal favorite, a 3D PDF… 262mb.

I tried opening the model in Navisworks then saving it as an .nwd… 121mb…

These are all too big to share. The model is fully cleaned and purged.

Is this ‘normal’?



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The SketchUp file format is heavily compressed while IFC is not. Your model probably has a large number of components that generate a lot of geometry. IFC doesn’t have SketchUp-type instancing and every single object becomes, in SketchUp terms, “unique”. I am not versed in the internal structure of 3D PDF but I guess it is similar and explodes all your components. It might do something similar to materials and textures. I noticed the big file size in my models too, and it makes 3D PDF not an ideal format for sharing model information online.

If you and your correspondents have access to Solibri it might be a solution. IFC files can be run through their (free) optimizer app which already often reduces the file size noticeably, and saved in their proprietary SMC format that corresponds to Navisworks’ NWD but is usually very small in comparison to the original IFCs.

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I haven’t checked whether Trimble Connect provides a way for non Trimble account holders to view SU models. Do they need to download SU viewer for this? Sorry if this is a little off-topic but it’s kind of relevant to the 3D PDF reference.

@MikeWayzovski might know. And the Web version has now a way to share your model online as a view-only version.

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For viewing in the 3D viewer (tab in browser) there is no need for having a Trimble ID.
You can share every kind of data when selecting the file on the left with the checkmark:

(Still needs a valid email address)
It will open the file in the 3D-viewer with less capabilities so, no scenes like in SketchUp, only an outliner on the left:

Check the difference:
Shared from Trimble Connect:

Shared from within the (Free) SketchUp for Web:

This is actually the same as the 3D Warehouse interface, no need for a Trimble ID, either…

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Thanks Anssi

Cheers Mike. Very useful to know.

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