Model Referencing

Hi there,

I’ve be looking around in Sketchup and over the community but I couldn’t find what I’m looking for, so I’m posting a request and I hope I didn’t miss any information previously :wink:

Actually Sketchup doesn’t seems to handle model referencing meaning not importing other model but loading dynamically a model content into another and allow to reload it when requested.

If I’m not missing something the only actual possibilities are to import a model into another and this one will be store as a component whithout any link to the original model. That lead to :

  • be unable to make it reload later on if the reference source have been modified.
  • make the container model size growing as it contains all the entire other model data.

My apologies if there is a existing solution that I missed, in other cases it would be great to have that kind of feature and we are not far from it with the components.

Thanks !

There are at least two plugins that I know of that will do this:
Xref Manager
Cross Reference Organizer.

The first is free from the SketchUcation Plugin Store.

The second is paid for, and obtainable direct from the authors at

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I think those are pretty good, but they still don’t do this CAD-like referencing, as they are still importing models into main model. SketchUp doesn’t natively do it also.
It’s a feature I’m missing a lot too. I need to put a bunch of 3D plants in my models and it extremely increases the file size.
@milmandre have you already found the solution to this?

Sketchup as you say includes referenced models in the main file, not just a link to one or more external files.

To minimise file size, you may have to reduced the complexity of plant sub-models. Most of the ones on the 3D warehouse are colossally over detailed for inclusion as entourage, often with millions of edges and file sizes in multi-megabytes, and detail down to individual leaves.

You get more manageable ones with 2 1/2D versions - images with transparent boundaries, perhaps in two or three intersecting planes, showing a view from different directions.

Search for XXXX low poly where XXXX is the kind of plant you want

Using “xref” plants might reduce file size on disk but it would have no (or an adverse) effect on model performance, as it doesn’t alter in any way the number of faces and edges SketchUp has to process when the model is opened.

I use Cross Reference Organizer. It’s an excellent tool and it works like xref in CAD
it tells you if you need to update the reference…I use it everyday.

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