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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Default Sketchup question

I've finally gotten some time to start learning Sketchup, thanks to the Arctic Circle moving down to the Ohio Valley recently. I had been working some with the tutorials from Matthias Wandel and Jay Bates. Matthias' videos are great, but a little more information than I could process at a time.

Jay's are good too, I especially like that he has them broken down into individual tasks. But in his listing, there's no indication of the order you should follow when watching them.

I remembered having gone through a couple of Rob Cameron's lessons (Sketchup for Woodworkers) back when I first got Sketchup, and recalled that they seemed to be more basic and uncomplicated than the others, so I decided to go through all of that series before starting the Dave Richards Sketchup Guide for Woodworkers that I got for Christmas.

I'm only 3 lessons into it, but it seems that Rob Cameron strictly uses "Make Group" instead of "Make Component". I did a simple drawing to see if you could make scenes and layers with grouping, and found that you can.

So my question is this: Does making components have an advantage over making groups? Are there times when one would be better than the other? Would I be better off picking one and staying with it? Wait, that was 3 questions.

Anyway, any insight or experience with the issue will be much appreciated. Thanks. Jim

It seems I never finish what I
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 06:31 PM
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I think the advantage, Jim, is that when you make a component it is available for use in other places in your project. For example, if you need five shelves and make the first shelf a component, you can easily place the other four shelves. Then later if you need to change the shelf dimensions you only need to change one and all the rest change automatically.

With a group you could duplicate and move the first shelf to create the other four but could not make changes to all by changing one. Components can also be shared with other files. So, if you were making kitchen cabinets where the sides are always the same height and depth, you could make one side component and use it over and over again to make various width cabinets, even in a new or different file.

I occasionally group several components if I want to move or rotate them as a unit.

I also recall reading somewhere that using components can reduce the file size vs making everything a group.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 06:36 PM
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I think the advantage, Jim, is that when you make a component it is available for use in other places in your project. For example, if you need five shelves and make the first shelf a component, you can easily place the other four shelves. Then later if you need to change the shelf dimensions you only need to change one and all the rest change automatically.

With a group you could duplicate and move the first shelf to create the other four but could not make changes to all by changing one. Components can also be shared with other files. So, if you were making kitchen cabinets where the sides are always the same height and depth, you could make one side component and use it over and over again to make various width cabinets, even in a new or different file.

I occasionally group several components if I want to move or rotate them as a unit.

I also recall reading somewhere that using components can reduce the file size vs making everything a group.
Yeppirs. What Ollie said.

Need to make a mortise in all four legs. No problem. Edit one and VOILA! done deal on all four.

And that part about resizing shelves is the cat's meow!

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Yeppirs. What Ollie said.

Need to make a mortise in all four legs. No problem. Edit one and VOILA! done deal on all four.

And that part about resizing shelves is the cat's meow!
Oliver and Mike.....Great explanations from both of you. I now see the need to be able to use both methods. Thanks a lot. Jim

It seems I never finish what I
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 07:47 PM
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Thank you Oliver! That helped me clear up that issue also.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 09:31 PM
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Yeppirs. What Ollie said.

Need to make a mortise in all four legs. No problem. Edit one and VOILA! done deal on all four.

And that part about resizing shelves is the cat's meow!
Just another point to add. Sometimes the component is close but not exactly what is required. For example, the front legs on a workbench are the same as the back legs except for additional fittings for vices etc. In this case, you can copy the component and then make it unique. Changes made to the new component then are not replicated in the original components. Another situation I can think of like this is the mid shelf in a cupboard. This can be copied from the bottom shelf, made unique, and then adjusted as required.

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Escaping to the workshop to create things out of slabs of wood by day or by night , to save my own sanity.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 11:09 AM
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Just another point to add. Sometimes the component is close but not exactly what is required. For example, the front legs on a workbench are the same as the back legs except for additional fittings for vices etc. In this case, you can copy the component and then make it unique. Changes made to the new component then are not replicated in the original components. Another situation I can think of like this is the mid shelf in a cupboard. This can be copied from the bottom shelf, made unique, and then adjusted as required.

Darryl
Yes, I use this a lot. But if you have components inside components, you need to make each component unique. For example, I will make a set of drawers. I start with sides, back, bottom, front and false front each as a component. Then make the whole assembly a component. For different size drawers, I
  • copy
  • unique the copy
  • open it
  • each piece that needs to be changed, I make unique and then change it
This way, I can keep backs, bottoms, and so on the same while changing other parts to meet my needs.

Also, you can change the name by editing the entity info/name field. So instead of drawer#1, I can have small drawer. This helps when using cut list to get a list of your components and sizes. Each is listed by their entity name.

Last edited by PhilBa; 01-29-2015 at 11:12 AM.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 12:43 PM
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Good info. Thanks Phil.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 03:06 PM
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Yes, I use this a lot. But if you have components inside components, you need to make each component unique. For example, I will make a set of drawers. I start with sides, back, bottom, front and false front each as a component. Then make the whole assembly a component. For different size drawers, I
  • copy
  • unique the copy
  • open it
  • each piece that needs to be changed, I make unique and then change it
This way, I can keep backs, bottoms, and so on the same while changing other parts to meet my needs.

Also, you can change the name by editing the entity info/name field. So instead of drawer#1, I can have small drawer. This helps when using cut list to get a list of your components and sizes. Each is listed by their entity name.
Agreed.

Phil, you have reminded me of something else when changing a copy of a component. Check for unintended side effects of the change, particularly if you change the dimensions. Back at the factory every once in a while we had to throw away pieces because the designers had shortened or lengthened a drawer or cupboard. The pieces were the correct dimensions overall, but any holes or other shaping moved in proportion to the change in size and were not where they were supposed to be. E.g a drawer was lengthened, and screw holes that were supposed to be 6mm from the edge turned out to be 10mm and unusable. Most of us don't have CNC's so we would correct that as we were cutting, but there ate some things that can catch us out. In one drawing I did for myself, I resized bench legs from 100 x 100 to 90 x 90, and the mortises for the rails changed size and position as well.

Darryl

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-30-2015, 10:26 AM
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good point darryl. That's why you turn on xray mode (er, hidden geometry) so you can quickly see what's going on. A lot of times as I go through several design refinement cycles things get out of whack.
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