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I guess it's like undoing a subdivision, except it's not always neatly subdivided into even quads. How can you merge a surface made up of multiple triangles and quads/gons into a single one?

Since I'm dealing with a 500mb obj file I'd really appreciate if there's some fast way to do it for the entire model automatically.

Edit: I tried googling "merge coplanar faces" and I got the suggestion to do a "Limited dissolve (object mode: press x, then limited disolve) but this crashes blender. Any other ideas maybe?

I'm running 16gb ram, ryzen 5, nvidia tu116

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  • $\begingroup$ Limited Dissolve crashing Blender probably means that Blender can't allocate enough memory, in this case RAM to work out the instruction (even 16 GB). In addition to given answer to use modifier try to check if all RAM is available and include some screenshots of geometry if possible; maybe someone can come out with another suggestion $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Dec 25 '19 at 17:10
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There is the Decimate Modifier, with it's Un-Subdivide option.
Very useful for undoing unwanted subdivisions.

Set the number of iterations as needed.
Use 2 iterations to undo 1 subdivision step.

enter image description here

To better see the end result, you can enable wireframe overlay in the 3D viewport.

enter image description here

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Enter edit mode, press 3 for face select mode, select all the faces you wish to join and press F.

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Since they're coplanar circle/box select vertices inside and remove them. In your case many edges share a single vertex so removing one vertex you remove several edges at once. It gives you better control as you choose what to remove. And the size of your file suggests decimate would need many iterations which could freeze/crash Blender.

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