I've been having issues with Illustrator crashing and lagging on my new PC for months.
I'm not sure if it is an Illustrator issue, computer issue, or user error.
I've talked to my mentor about the issues I've been having and he doesn't seem to have the same issues. We have the same PC and the only difference I can think of is that I use the Shape Builder tool to cut out shapes and he uses process white shapes instead of spot color shapes (white doesn't print in screenprinting) to essentially make certain aspects of the designs transparent.
So I'm wondering if it is a shape builder issue since I use this tool frequently. I've noticed the more I use it, the more the program starts to lag. Sometimes when I'm editing a logo made by someone else, the first click using the SB tool will freeze AI, I'm assuming its because more layers or shapes are being created or are already there because designers tend to leave a lot of invisible layers and shapes in their designs but as a screenprinter I can't leave those there. I use this tool a lot to "clean up" logos because I don't like having extra layers and shapes hanging around, as it makes it harder to make the logos print correctly on garments. Sometimes pre-made logos will be so laggy that I'm better off screenshotting them and image-tracing, which isn't ideal when I want precise shapes. But I just dont understand what the cause of the lag is. Once I get through the grueling lag (sometimes takes hours) and the logo is complete and all the unecessary shapes are SB'ed away, the logo tends to stop lagging. I've also noticed, when applicable, I can use the eraser tool or pathfinder tools instead and this never lags. But at the end of the day, the SB tool is perfect for what I need to do. Is there another way?
I've looked through the Fix Illustrator Crash Issues forum and reset my preferences, checked for PC and Illustrator updates, GPU updates, driver updates, checked my compatibility, checked my scratch disk, toned down the graphics, etc.
The shape builder tool calculates intrinsic contours/ paths to determine convexity and intersections and of course this can take time and crash on overly complex artwork even under the best conditions. Using it to "clean up stuff" sounds like one of the weirdest ideas I have heard, as of course this may just have the opposite effect of the tool producing more "islands", i.e. isolated leftover paths and stray anchor points, even if they may be visually hidden. Inevitably this will only contaminate the internal structures further and make things even more complicated with every consecutive step. Again, this realyl sounds like a bad workflow. I'm not saying that the SB tool or for that matter similar tools like the fill bucket shouldn't crash, but your procedures appear less than ideal and you may want to reconsider your approach. Everything outside that would require some real crash info and screenshots of one of the artworks pre and post SB, including the layers palette, to understand its structure and find potential problems.