Opening large files

There have been a number of posts about people having difficulties with large files and I have just encountered it myself. This actually is a follow up to an earlier post about exporting from Tekla (also part of the Trimble family): Tekla TBP files

The file I have been sent is 64MB and much larger (by a factor of about 10) than files I tend to generate in SU. SU will happily import the drawing and what I see on screen looks expected, but then I just get perpetual beachballing and enquiry reveals the SU is no longer responding. It could be a limitation of my hardware, I guess.

I have uploaded the file to Dropbox. It would be interesting to know if anyone else can open it and, if they can, what hardware they use to do it. Here’s the link:

Perhaps I should mention that Tekla’s advice for exporting to Sketchup when files are large is to do it in portions. Thing is, I don’t think the drawing in question would be that large if it were made in SU originally as it is full of what are (or should be) components with multiple repetition.

can you upload the tekla model as well?

opening in SketchUp (mid 2015 macbook pro, 2,8 Ghz i7 16Gb Ram,AMD Radeon R9 2GB,Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB)
took about 2 minutes.

No Component or Outliner panel.
Switching of profiles handles it smoother.

You are right about the way it imports, every bolt and beam that is geometrically(?) the same imports as a Unique component definition instead of an instance of one definition.
Besides, every component has the same origin, regardless. This causes serious troubles in SketchUp and needs to be taken care off.

Slightly over 1M edges, you could take a shot in exploding them.

By the way, uploading to Trimble Connect also took about 2 minutes and runs fine in the browser…

I have been successfully opened, within 20 sec or so. Some fix done after:


I can use the orbit and pan, line, rectangle… without so much lag, however it is not “butter smooth”.

When I want to “generate” the in model components in component tray, SU is not responding for about 10 minutes… and still no responding yet. I think ~16000 component defs are too much…

Dell Precision 7530 mobile workstation
i7-8850H @2,6GHz 6 cores (12 logical processors)
Nvidia Quadro P2000 with 4GB/16GB dedicated/shared VRAM

I can try it on my less powerful home computer too later today, if you wish…

Same experience as dezmo

Dell XPS
i7-9700 @ 3.00GHz
GeForce RTX 2060 6GB

I don’t have the Tekla model. I might be able to get it although the firm who produced it would have to be happy to share it. I can ask.

I don’t know enough about Tekla to know whether this is a drafting issue or something inevitable. I find it odd if Trimble have not addressed it if it is software based.

I think most people here have faster processors and higher memory video cards than me, so that might explain why my system just hangs.

I have just received a simplified version of the file with bolts, welds, and surface treatments removed. It’s now down to a much more manageable 10.5MB. It still takes a long time to load. Also, everything comes in on a single layer although things are imported as components. The odd thing from a SU POV is that each component seems to be unique even though many are actually identical copies.

In case anyone wants to take a look, I have uploaded it to Dropbox with the same name as before:

I do have a Component and Outliner panel unlike @MikeWayzovski.

I just opened your file. It took 28 seconds. By comparison, it took about 19 seconds to get a new session of SketchUp open from selecting the template. Lots of extensions loading, though. Opening your file in an already open session of SketchUp took about 3 seconds.

I need to unpack that, Dave.

Which do you mean by “the template”?

Are the extensions something to do with the file?

If you can open the drawing in 3 seconds, that’s way faster than me.

When SketchUp opens there is a Welcome screen that give you a choice of templates or previous files.

After selecting the template, it takes about 19 seconds to get SketchUp open and all the extensions loaded so I can start to model.

No. Just the extensions I have installed all the time.

That may be a PC/Mac thing. On the PC, if SketchUp is open and you just select a different file, you just switch to that file. There’s no waiting for extensions to load again.

OK, understood.

I’m guessing the main difference between us is that you maybe have more powerful hardware.

I don’t suppose there is anything I can do to slim the file down further within SU is there? All those unique components seems a little daft.

or the IFC?

I’ll look. I expect you could select and replace using the Components panel. Then purge unused.

No, all insertion points are the one of the Master Component (0,0,0)

Ah, yes. I hadn’t checked that. That makes it a PIA, doesn’t it?

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pinging @john_drivenupthewall who might have some wizard stuff for that

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Could it be that the Tekla system is designed to ensure that the position of every component is related back to a single common point? In theory, you could get someone to hold a bolt in the air and wait whilst the rest of the structure is built and it would still align perfectly with holes on the steelwork it is designed to secure. Providing his arm never tires or moves.

That seems reasonable.

I wonder what the reason is for the location of the model, though.


I just thought I’d try saving the file and re-opening. Lo and behold, it opened in seconds. And as @MikeWayzovski has pointed out, turning off profiles speeds up navigation. It flies, in fact.

So I think I have a solution. So long as I can put up with the length of time it takes to load the initial exported file, everything should be cushty after that. Thanks all.

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@simoncbevans did mention ‘it flies’


At first I thought the height must relate to height above sea level but the site is in Norfolk UK which means even Dutchmen wouldn’t get altitude sickness.