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Google SketchUp Cookbook by Bonnie Roskes

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Chapter 7. Components: Efficiency in Repetition

An essential feature of SketchUp, components can greatly increase your modeling efficiency as well as keep your file size as trim as possible. Components are geometrically similar to groups in that they are “sealed” and protected from other geometry and are selectable as a single object. Because components offer additional features, however, you can do much more with components than with groups.

If you’re unsure about when to use a component versus a group, the general rule is that groups are mainly used for keeping objects separate from other objects, and they generally do not repeat. Components are the better choice for the following objects:

  • Objects that will be repeated at least once in the model

  • Objects that will be saved into their own file

  • Objects that have specific alignment or insertion properties

  • Objects that will cut faces, such as windows and doors

  • 2D objects that are to always face the camera

The best-known feature of components is that they can be used for repeated objects; if you edit one, all copies of that component change as well. Components can also cut faces, align to specific faces, and always face the camera. Using repeated components, rather than copying faces and edges, can greatly decrease your file size, because SketchUp has to recognize only one set of geometric objects, and needs only location and size information for each component instance.

This chapter delves into the many uses and features of components, which ...

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