What makes a great 3D Warehouse model? We have developed a checklist and also an article and a video series that digs deeper into what each item on the checklist means and how to hone your SketchUp skills to achieve the desired results. These resources can be found here.
The image below shows how two armchars can look excatly alike, yet the other armchair (on the far right) is significantly smaller in size and optimized to be used in the context of a larger model.
The product model size (i.e. polygon count) is a very important factor for Architects and Interior designers who use product models in the context of a larger design and need the total model size to stay at a manageable level.
A good rule of thumb is to try to keep the product model file size below 700 kB.
The image below shows the results of two polygon optimization tools and the polygon result when modeling the object natively in SketchUp.
How to optimize your existing high-poly CAD models
Here is one workflow that may help you optimize your existing CAD model in a more efficient way. There are times when just drawing the product model from scratch (e.g. by tracing the existing CAD model) can be just as efficient, it really depends on what your working on.
Before you export your model from the CAD software, simplify the geometry as much as possible, removing any unnecessary details that the architect/interior designer do not need to see.
After import check the model size (polygon count). If further optimization is needed, follow the next steps. A good rule of thumb is to try to keep the product model file size below 700 kB.
The MeshWrapper tool can be used to simplify the product. Split symmetric models in half before using MeshWrapper to get a better mesh coverage.
Fix any seams and holes or details that the MeshWrapper missed.
Consolidate any flat surfaces created by the MeshWrapper into a single face.
Use polygon optimization tools (such as MeshLabs) to optimize more complex geometry.
If you split symmetric models earlier, now is a good time to make the model whole again by copy-mirroring the optimized half.
Reduce image sizes that are used as textures to a minimum.
Note: You can also use the 3D Warehouse Tools to clean up your model before upload.