The rotating blue wheel of death

I have been using Sketchup to create models from topography and some of the files are very large, running into the 20-30 MB range. In the many of the processes, particularly Sandbox, it takes minutes and even hours to complete. I have found that if I try to rush it or go to another program, I get the “rotating blue wheel of death” resulting in the crash of Sketchup and the demise of whatever I am doing. Fortunately, Sketchup saves backups, so in most cases I lose a minimal amount of work.

My question to the group is, How do I avoid getting that annoying rotating blue wheel? Is it a Processor issue or a graphic card issue? I welcome any

Make sure you have checked the graphic card site for the most up to date driver. Don’t rely on Windows update for that, win 10 updates are known for breaking things.
Unfortunately the very thing you like about backup could also be partly causing your issues. The Auto Save function can be problematic, if it cuts in when your model is trying to do something complex it can cause crashes or lags.
Many users actually turn off the autosave function and just get in the habit of saving early and often, and always before and after doing something major.

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Some operations in SketchUp just take a long time to complete. We can’t give you a progress bar, because the operations are computationally irreducible, and so all we can do is show the system default ‘wait… still working’ cursor.

Unfortunately, this is the same cursor your system shows when something is running that may never complete, or may eventually run out of memory and crash. There’s no way to differentiate. And so it is easy to give up hope and assume you’re seeing the last dying breath of a process that is doomed to failure. Which may or may not actually be true.

More memory always helps in these kinds of situations, as will a faster processor. But the best thing to do is to try to make a smaller model. With a big terrain mesh, that may be tough to control.

I have had decent luck preprocessing big meshes in MeshLab before bringing them into SketchUp. You can remesh, collapse verts and other such things there on very large models. And it is free. Though you aren’t going to like the UI, and you have to read academic papers to really understand some of the features. YMMV.

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Thanks for the helpful suggestions. I am helping a Vietnam group come up with better access to their memorial. It is a labor of love. I will certainly try some of the suggestions you have given me.

Yes, the size of a mesh makes a big difference. I am even taking the mesh apart, making the model and then putting the pieces back together again. As frustrating as it can be, I am gaining a great deal of experience by trial and failure.

Thanks Again!

if MeshLab is to cumbersome give Skimp f. SketchUp ($) a try:

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