Well, to be fair it’s free and it’s written in interpretive Ruby which can be slow in loops dealing with text strings. (The OBJ format is a plain text format so all the values in the file need to be first converted to floats, and then since they are all in “world” coordinates, those for groups need to be transformed into local coordinates. So there is a lot of work to do.)
Compiled libraries are always faster which is what the “native” importers are. But there may be some 3rd party compiled libraries out there.
I think this very unfair. Importers and exporters need maintenance, especially for those formats that are still “alive” and undergo revision. And then each and every time the
.SKP format and SketchUp itself is revised (each year) every importer and exporter needs to be checked to see if anything is broken.
Forcing ALL buyers to support old, dead, limited formats like OBJ, FBX and 3DS does not make sense.
This is one of the reasons why SketchUp dropped support for the
.epx (Piranesi) format.
We have seen the supported file converters (exporters mostly) being implemented in the cloud for SketchUp for Web. Going forward this may be a better solution as the server-side converter can be updated or fixed at any time, and later a pay-per-use (over some basic yearly amount) could be implemented to offset maintenance.
Many home users have need for Shop, but no need at all to export to any other format.