Please purge your models before uploading to 3D Warehouse!

I know that most of us are aware of this problem – that many Warehouse contributors don’t follow some of the basic modelling guidelines – it’s a problem that has been discussed before; I also know about the Certified Content Developer Program and other methods in place that attempt to curb the problem. But I found such an extreme example, I thought to share it here, and hopefully impress the importance of the concept on other new contributors’ minds.

I won’t share the identical model, cause I’m not trying to slam its author, I am just trying to illustrate a point. This simple hook showed up on the Warehouse page as 24.7 MB. I downloaded the file, assuming that the hook had been imported from a manufacturers model and had like 3,000-segment curves. Turned on hidden geometry, and the model was clean!

Well…until I checked out the Materials, Components, and Layers!

It’s crazy! Whoever posted it had been working with all sorts of downloaded models, and never purged before uploading the file. A simple Purge Unused brought it down to no materials, 1 layer, 3 components.

Fullscreen capture 08082017 205429

Now the file is 107 KB!

The moral: Always purge your files before uploading to 3D Warehouse.


Would it be cool if the 3D warehouse could auto purge all components or surfaces that have 0 instances in the model they are attached to?


That would be the optimal approach for every model that is going to be inserted as component, and should be feasible since 3D Warehouse has been able to process .skp files for some years (remember before, when preview images where done on the client side?).

But: Not every model author would be happy if 3D Warehouse automatically modifies their files (at least the online copy of their files). There may be reasons to keep layers that are empty or materials that are currently not used. But these reasons apply mostly to work-in-progress and collaboration. And probably one cannot just throw out all non-component models, or require that all other models fulfill rules specific for component usage.

SketchUp needs to distinguish more clearly between collaboration sharing (Trimble Connect) and component sharing (3D “Component” Warehouse). See also eneroth3’s comments in this thread. I think for a specifically created components section one could enable automatic purging. But who is going to work through all legacy models and add those that fullfill the component criteria?


Very good points. Thanks.

You already get a question when uploading whether you want to purge the model, at least when uploading from within SU. Are you also prompted for that when uploading in the browser? Otherwise that might be a good idea. However, just as Aerilus explains, I don’t think purge should be automatic. There are many cases where you want to keep materials you later need to apply or keep layers that are referenced by scenes even if they have no geometry yet. As Aerilus also says it all boils down to whether it’s a component model or a working model.

Perhaps if the default was Purge, but you could choose not to.

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This is what it looks like when sharing from within SU2016. I believe it’s the same in SU2017. Something similar when uploading in the browser seems to be missing (as the purge is currently made client side) but might prove useful.


Hi all,
A bit late to the discussion but just wanted to chime in to say that I am enjoying reading this and other discussions around 3DW, model quality, search quality, etc over these past few days and to chime in with some thoughts…

Regarding the question of whether to purge or not to purge?:
This particular subject is something we’ve discussed, many times, internally. As @eneroth3 pointed out, we are able to detect, and then ask users whether they want to purge unused stuff from models before uploading to 3DW from the client. We don’t ask the same question when uploading via the web. We looked into it. Wasn’t feasible. So, do we go through and force-ably purge? No. In my opinion that crosses the line of the license end users grant to us when uploading models to 3DW and I have no particular interest in trying to move that line.

Regarding the question of how “bad” it is that models on 3DW have unused stuff?:
I look at this question differently. Most folks who think it’s “bad,” are frustrated by the misalignment of expectations. They think they’re downloading some simple wall hook, and BOOM! the file size explodes. WTF!? So, what have we done to help with that. We have stats on 3DW that tell you about file size, polygon count, and material count. We’ve recently added the nested component count, and made it possible to look at the nested components and materials contained in a model. And we have a 3D viewer on 3DW that lets you preview the model before you download it. We also have an advanced search page that allows you to define a host of criteria for filtering out models you might not want to bother with. We think it’s a good start but I would be the first to agree with anyone who argued that we still have work to do and again, I’m enjoying reading through the ideas that you all have on the subject.

The other issue, in my view, is that it’s still just too dang hard to clean up messy components once you have them in your model. One of the best ideas I’ve seen come across these forums was an option import flow that would give users the ability to put imported components through the car wash on their way into a project file. A similar dialog that says “Hey, it looks like that thing you’re trying to import has unused stuff, would you like to purge it before you import it?” – or a wizard that allows you to modify the layering of the entities of a component during the import process (most notably, to shove everything onto Layer 0, or some other layer), etc. I am an avid proponent of these sorts of ideas. There are also, clearly gaps (many of which have been addressed by members of our super amazing developer community have addressed) to more efficiently clean up after components have been imported.

I’ll also say that I think my.sketchup offers a whole host of possibilities for giving component authors options for “cleaning up” models they’ve previously uploaded to 3DW, and for giving 3DW users the ability to modify 3DW content in the browser before downloading into a project file. We’ve only just begun to brainstorm ideas around those flows and already there are some very obvious and very exciting possibilities that we’ve tossed around.

I could keep going for a few more pages, but I’ll end by reiterating that I am in favor of the idea that we might some day introduce a formal set of objective, qualitative criteria against which we would evaluate models and designate them as having passed some sort of certification. The dream state would be for those efforts to result in the creation of tool sets that could be made available for giving users the ability to put their models through an automated validation and correction pipeline for addressing common qualitative issues, such as those outlined in the What makes a quality 3D Warehouse model checklist which was made available from this blog post on the subject a couple years back. Reading through the checklist, some of the items are more objective than others, and therefor more appropriate for an automated pipeline, but anyhow.

Thanks again for taking the time to weigh in on these subjects! Looking forward to continuing the discussion and even more so to developing some stuff to address the things that are causing frustration, problems, etc.


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