Recreating Chicago Skyline in Sketchup... Having some Problems with Rendering & Loading

So recently I was playing Minecraft and had downloaded a map that someone had made of the Chicago skyline and it inspired me to recreate my own version of the skyline in sketchup. I’m creating the skyline similar to Minecraft, creating my own individual colored blocks that are 3x3ft (Minecraft is 1x1 Meter I believe), and every building will be built and composed of these individual blocks in lego-like fashion. I also have some other blocks that are slightly altered in dimension for finer details, but the entire city will be constructed from these individual pieces. I begin to start with the tallest building in the city the Willis (Sears) Tower. I start by building a simple pattern that will be copy and pasted several times consisting of black blocks for the steel frame and transparent grey blocks for the glass windows. As I begin to copy and paste the pattern over and over to add floor height the computer immediately began to lag to a point where the entire sketchup program becomes completely unusable. My computer freezes and when its not freezing all of the finer details of the cubes disappear when I orbit with just a black outline within the program. I don’t understand how Minecraft, a cartoonish building game can load and render a city made of blocks with such detail, (the current versions can render 32 chunks) But sketchup, a program designed specifically for architecture cannot even load and render one side of a building. How can I model an entire city this way? I have a MacBook pro with a 3.1 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 processor. The reason I have decided to construct the city out of individual blocks is because I have plans to 3D print the city with these parts and actually build it in real life. Lego parts are too expensive and it would be significantly cheaper to do it this way. What can I do to construct a city like this? Is there an affordable graphics card or perhaps tweaking the settings that could allow for me to model the city I desire?

Scale needs to be correct, also, you might want to look at actual voxel editors. You can also export minecraft structures as stl’s, but thats probably not what you want.

Since minecraft is all blocks, just print a single block a million times and build the building you want.

How big are the final blocks going to be that you want to print?

How big is the final building hoing to be when you put it together?

To me, i used 12mm by 12mm cubes that i printed to make voxel art.

I haven’t yet decided on the scale. I am unfamiliar with voxel editors but which voxel editor would you recommend for building cities and skyscrapers? Something that is powerful but yet relatively easy to use and learn

There are a few open source ones. I cant remember the names, but try googling “open source voxel editors” or whatever search engine you prefer.

Sketchup can do it but you have to find a scale. That building that you have a pic of, how big is it in sketchup? Ie, how tall? I usually build cities at the mm level or inch and then scale bigger if needs be.

Can you send me some examples of the cities you have built in sketchup? How do you export a minecraft map and import it into a voxel editor?

I do not have them anymore. They were done on older versions of su. 2016. Sorry mate. Ill have to see if i can find a good tutorial. You may want to stsrt searching yourself on importing a mc map into a voxel editor

The changing to outlines while orbiting is a normal way for SketchUp to try to keep up when working on a demanding model. I’m curious whether that happened less once you plugged the power back in, instead of working off just the battery?

You could make the model a lot less demanding, by going to View, Edge Style, and unchecking Profiles. You could also make it more Minecraft like, and a bit less demanding, by turning off Edges completely.

While edges are off some modeling tasks will become harder, so only turn them off when you want to give it the Minecraft look.

By using individual blocks, strictly, you’ll end up creating massive areas all of the same block, naturally. But you’ll also be creating TONS of extraneous geometry as a result, which will guaranteed slow down your model in SketchUp. You only NEED the front facing faces. Anything hidden will just tax your system unnecessarily, and there will be a lot hidden.

IF there’s a way you can turn, say, a building facade that’s made entirely of one type of block, into a single shape, you can in theory reduce the number of faces by a huge amount, and have the identical result. Hope that helps.