“Components” in SketchUp
A reader recently sent a note saying:
I started learning Sketchup today for a bookcase I am going to build. I created the box of the bookcase, used the push/pull tool to create the inside of these boxes and when I went to put the face frame on, I had lines on top of lines which I know is not the correct way to do it, but what is?
I immediately questioned the reader whether “components” had been used in creating the bookcase design. As suspected, components were not implemented causing this problem of “lines on top of lines”.
As Dave Richards and I have repeatedly reported, the use of components is essential for success in SketchUp. Otherwise, the modeling is a bunch of lines and faces which interact and interfere with one another. And there is no way of working the model with pieces of “lumber” that represent each part of the furniture assembly.
Also, we have recommended making these components right up front in the beginning, even before the “piece of lumber” is entirely processed with moldings, joints, or other embellishments.
To make a component, simply draw a select box around your graphics (edges and faces) that represent a part of the furniture assembly (e.g., a leg, top, shelf, rail, slat, side, bottom, back, drawer front, etc.). Right click on the selection, and choose Make Component from the pop-up menu. Another box will appear, asking you to name the component. Type in the name – that is, side, front, leg or whatever – and click on the box “Create”.
After creating the component, click your mouse on it and the whole piece is selected, not just a single line, edge, or face. To change a component, remember to right click on it and select Edit Component from the pop-up menu. To save the changes, right click out in space and select Close Component from the pop-up menu.
Components are extremely useful in many ways. You can move and copy parts of the furniture connecting them precisely into an assembled whole. When you change any one copy of the component, all other copies are automatically updated with the change. You can also quickly make exploded views by using the Move/Copy Tool to pull apart the assembly, as shown below for a loft bed.