I think rasterize is the correct term. I have a vector logo I created in InDesign. It does have a handfull of vectors but one thing in there has the bevel/emboss effect added. I have had similar problems with drop shadows also. These dont make very large file sizes at all but when sending to a printer, or maybe converting to PDF's, it just seems to take much long than normal, sometimes even crashes things. When I have enlarged to several feet for making a sign, it cramps things even more. Its not just one computer either. So I am assuming the effects have something to do with it. If so, is there some way to rasterize the effects to be more permanent so they wont hog memory as much?
When you print have you tried different flattener presets in the Adanced tab? Medium or Low resolution defaults should take less time to print than High. When you export are you flattening? Keeping the transparency live (PDF/X-4) might result in a faster export.
When I print, by default the transparancy flatters has always been set to medium. I tried it at low and there wasnt any change. I tried saving as PDF using X-4 and that also goes very slow or crashes ID all together. It doesnt let me change the flattener settings either, none of the PDF presets let me.
I did notice something else, when I send this to one of my slower printers, it shows it as about 12mb being processed before it prints at whatever transparancy setting. When I send the same thing through with the emboss effect turned off, its just a few kb