My Model Suddenly Crashes SketchUp

My Model Suddenly Crashes SketchUp

It is not uncommon, particularly in the final stages of developing a Sketchup model, for it to become unstable. This is not necessarily the fault of the software.


Typical Scenarios

  • The model/design is almost complete
  • The model has been stable until this point
  • During the final stages of building the model, the user looks to embellish the environment - through the application of plants/trees/seats/neighbouring buildings
  • 3D Warehouse models are used to embellish the surroundings


Typical Problems

  • Model crashes when opening.
  • Model crashes when sent to render
  • Model crashes when view is rotated


Possible Causes

Almost always, this is caused by the last few items/objects/materials that were added to the model. It's extremely common for badly made 3D Warehouse files to crash out Sketchup. It's worth noting that a badly built tree model from 3D Warehouse can contain ten times more polygons than your primary model. Therefore, adding many of these - for example trees to populate a garden, or chairs to populate a restaurant - can instantly complicate the model to the point it becomes unstable. This then manifests in increased RAM and processor usage and places greater demands on the graphics card to render the drawing to the screen.


  • Sometimes it's possible to open the drawing in Sketchup on a machine with more powerful hardware (graphics card, processor & RAM). However, this is not always possible and isn't resolving the underlying issues.
  • Unpick the last few stages of the model. Turn off layers with 3D warehouse objects in, turn off or remove complex objects (especially those which have been repeated). (Obviously it's not possible to do this without having a previously saved file or being able to open on another machine.)
  • In short, the problematic geometry must be removed or at least hidden in order for the model to behave correctly.


Best Practice

  • Always save files at various stages of progress, to allow roll-backs.
  • Be extremely wary of using 3D Warehouse models for scene population. Choose models from reliable sources, such as your own objects or Dosch Design libraries wherever possible.
  • Ensure hardware is up to spec for the tasks you require. Use Task Manager on Windows and Activity Monitor on Mac to see how much RAM and processory usage Sketchup is demanding.


More Info

Sketchup Crashes When I go to Render



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