SketchUp 2021 Slow to Load 3D Warehouse Models

Hi there

I bought the new MacBook Pro specifically for a better Sketchup experience and I have found since upgrading to the 2021 version it is taking so long when I load furniture into my model, one Component which was only 1k took 2 minutes to load. I’m presuming it’s a Sketchup issue rather than laptop as it’s brand new and 16 GB so thought that’d be plenty for Sketchup.


I am trying to figure out a number of different issues. One of those is to do with slow loading of 3D Warehouse models. It isn’t to do with the M1 computers in particular.

If you start a new document and try loading some furniture, does that work quicker?

Yes just tried it in a new blank model and the same component loaded right away.

The model I am trying to load components into is only 143.2MB, so not huge. And each individual component is taking around 2 minutes to load and none of them are over 10k in size.

I had a really awful laptop before with only 4GB ram and and was using Sketchup pro 2020 and these same components were loading right away.

Thanks for your speedy reply :slight_smile:

In my world that is enormous. I just finished a model of a 5000 m² building together with enough entourage to achieve tolerable renders. The file is less than 9 MB.

Actually what matters is the total amount of faces and edges in the model. When that runs in millions any model becomes slow, whatever your hardware.

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oh really!! all my models are usually 300MB +
I am an interior designer so require a lot of components to fill the rooms with ‘decor’ items so I suppose that is how my files get so large. I just looked and have 2 million edges and 1 million faces (oops that is a lot isn’t it)

my old laptop which was about 5 years old, with only 4GB Ram on the 2020 sketchup would load from the 3D warehouse faster than my new MacBook with 16gb ram on sketch 2021 that’s my main concern.

I am relatively new to SketchUp so still learning new tips and tricks so will definitely see if there is a way I can reduce my file sizes :slight_smile:

Interior furnishing and decor components can often be overly heavy — especially those downloaded from the 3DWH — so when you fill a room with them, the file size can inflate by an order of magnitude.

I just picked up a Skimp subscription and it is amazing for simplifying and reducing component file sizes, particularly for organic models (eg. cushions, curtains, draped fabrics, etc):

Would definitely be worth checking out for you, given the work you’re doing.

For the problem where a component downloads slowly, my suspicion that it’s to do with the number of components being used in the model. It may also be to do with the number of component collections you are using. Each downloaded component has to be checked to make sure it doesn’t clash with an existing component, and that seems like it can take some time.

When I try the same test (with a customer’s problem file), components add instantly. If the customer tries to download a component using SketchUp 2019, into the same problematic file, it’s instant. There was a change in 2020 that seems to affect downloading of components, but only on certain computers.

I had a case once where it would take 10 minutes from choosing a template for a new document, to the point where the document window would appear. That was on Windows 10, and the problem turned out to be he had a lot of component collections, and those collections were hosted on an iCloud Drive, so that he could work with the same components on his Mac. Disconnecting the collections from iCloud completely solved the problem.

Something like that is going on, but I haven’t figured it out yet.

thank you, will check that out!! :slight_smile:

ok thanks, perhaps I will do one room at a time in different models then rather than doing the whole house in one model for now and see if that makes things a little more bearable. As 2021 SketchUp is made for intel on Mac do you think when a specific software comes out for the M1 the performance will be better?

SketchUp appears to already be working better on M1 in Rosetta 2 than it does on a compatible speed Intel machine. If it was to be made native you would think that some things would become faster.

Here’s what often happens. I took an old piece of furniture I made long ago. This is what the original, 212 kb file has inside it:

I then did what many modellers do - I rounded the edges of the wooden legs and the cushion, with 8 and 12-edged curves.

In a render these would look practically identical, but the second one is 25 times heavier.

1st off a very high percentage of models on the warehouse are very poor, far too many times have I downloaded the likes of a toilet only to find there’s an entire bathroom there but hidden, the geometry is poor and needs purging/cleaning, the material names are generic material1, material2 etc. So…
NEVER import a 3dw model directly into your working model, import it into a new file, clean it up and then copy-paste it into your working file.

As for the slow loading, I think I may have an idea:
I’ve noticed that when I have a lot of materials in a model, copy-pasting a new component into it can be slow, if I have the materials panel open I can see it flickering.
My thinking is that each material in the new component need to be checked against all the existing materials to see if it already exists and then either added to the list, renamed and added to the list or not added as it already exists, each time the list is reindexed.

Following JQL’s comment below I should say that the vast majority of my materals have 2k x 2k texture maps along with their associated bump/nornal etc in the Enscape materials dialog. If my guess about materials slowing an import/copy-paste is true then texture maps would definetly have an influence.


This is the best advice for dealing with 3D Warehouse. Issues will happen with most models.

Materials are usually only slow if you have 2k+ (2048px*2048px) materials in the model.

I use photogrammetry for my models and I have some projects with 32K textures. These textures have to be dealt with and I usually reduce them to 4k as 2k is just too blurry.

I still need the original textures for rendering but I use Thea, so I create a Thea material based on the 32k texture, rightclick on the texture slot and send to Sketchup. Thea downgrades texture quality for the sketchup material while keeping the high resolution texture when rendering.

This can be done manually with any photo editor. You just have to remind to keep the original textures in a folder for later use, if needed.

The same thing can be done for models that you need to render without quality loss. You can usually have a proxy model in your sketchup model, which is a simplified version of the original full model, and still use the full model for rendering.

I honestly only like the high detail models I can find in 3d warehouse, because the proxy, placeholder models are really easy to create, while the high definition rendering models are not.

The problem with 3d warehouse is the amount of models that are neither low poly nor high definition and don’t serve either purpose. Those will never look good in a render, while will still drag sketchup down.

Finally, if a model is very heavy, Sketchup can still manipulate it if it is grouped. Exploding it or editing it’s raw geometry, is where most perfromance problems arise.


My normal process with a model for 3dw is as I mentioned above to open it in a new file and explode it back to its base parts, regroup etc, rename materials or import my own std’s such as chrome, glass, plastics. and run the CleanUp plugin at least a couple of times.
Only then does it go anywhere near one of MY models.

Often I’m looking for something like a door handle only to find either something so lo-poly it’d look blocky in Minecraft or so detailed I can tell the manufacturer of the screws. In those cases, I essentially trace the hi-poly model to get what I need.

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that is a great tip! thank you
as I said I’m very new to SketchUp, only been using for 6 months or so… still learning all these things so thanks a lot :slight_smile:

Having the Outliner open will also slow imports down as the visual list is being rebuilt as the elements of the import are being imported. If the Outliner is closed its faster.
I wonder if we have the materials dialog closed, ie not on screen at all imports would be faster? I’m not going to do it as Materials is probably my 2nd (if not 1st) most used dialog.

thank you! that is helpful

Some good news. I received a replacement MacBook Pro on Saturday, and with this new machine, and working on a demanding customer file, it is taking a minute to download a file from 3D Warehouse. In a new document it’s very quick. At least I can now try to find out what is going wrong.

Highly recommend not downloading 3D Warehouse models direct into your model. Do as you did second - download into a new, separate model. That way, if there are any issues with the download, it wont bugger up your work. You can examine, see any obvious erros before then moving into your prie and joy.

Just a thought…

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