Dynamic Components in SketchUp
When components are dynamic, they can have a lot of power and automate a variety of properties
As you probably already know, SketchUp is a powerful tool for woodworkers. I’ve shown in numerous blog posts over the years how you can leverage native features and extensions like CutList to get the most out of your models to make you more efficient in the shop. One feature that isn’t commonly talked about as far as SketchUp and woodworking is concerned is Dynamic Components. When components are dynamic, they can have a lot of power and automate a variety of properties. They can also hold a great deal of useful information which can be retrieved using SketchUp’s Report Generator.
Dynamic Components can be set to animate things like doors opening or you can set them up to show your projects in a variety of different materials. Have a look at the sample components that are included with SketchUp or troll through the 3D Warehouse to see the kind of possibilities that are available.
Admittedly, I don’t use all that many Dynamic Components myself. Most of the projects I model in SketchUp are one-off custom things for which Dynamic Components aren’t all that useful. I do use a few of them in certain models, though. For example, a cabinetmaker for whom I do design and plan work uses prefers to purchase drawer boxes from a supplier. He also uses the same undermount drawer glides in all of his projects with drawers. The manufacturer of the drawer glides offers a calculator to make it easy to size drawers based on the opening dimensions and the depth of the cabinet. The drawer box manufacturer prices their drawers based on the area of the bottom and the area of the sides. I created a dynamic drawer box component that eliminates the need to use the calculator and presents the information my client needs to get pricing and order his drawer boxes. This video shows how the drawer box component works.
Creating Dynamic Components requires SketchUp Pro but there are loads of dynamic components available when can be used by SketchUp Make users.