Use com­po­nents to build a model

Com­po­nents can save you lots of time when cre­at­ing SketchUp mod­els. Dis­cover how to use them ef­fec­tively with Mark Roosien

ImagineFX - - Studio Profile -

Com­po­nents help save time when cre­at­ing SketchUp mod­els, says Mark Roosien.

Com­po­nents are mini-mod­els that can be used in SketchUp to build larger mod­els. A com­po­nent is a repet­i­tive el­e­ment, which only needs to be cre­ated once and can then be du­pli­cated as nec­es­sary. As such, com­po­nents are the great­est time-sav­ing fea­ture in SketchUp (the free ver­sion, SketchUp Make, is avail­able from For ex­am­ple, when de­sign­ing a car, cre­ate one half, then du­pli­cate it to pro­duce the other half, or cre­ate one wheel and repli­cate it three times. When mak­ing a sym­met­ri­cal model you may only need to pro­duce only one quar­ter of the fi­nal ob­ject.

1 Cre­ate a com­po­nent

I want to make a large container that can be used as a repet­i­tive el­e­ment on a space­ship. I de­sign one quar­ter of the container by us­ing the Line Tool and the Push/Pull Tool. Now I use the Se­lect Tool to cap­ture the quar­ter model in a se­lec­tion box. All lines and sur­faces will now change colour. I se­lect the Make Com­po­nent icon, then choose Cre­ate.

2 Make a container

The first com­po­nent is ready, but I’ll need four to com­plete the container model. I se­lect the Move Tool and click the com­po­nent. Then I move the com­po­nent while hold­ing Ctrl (or Cmd) to cre­ate copies. Some of the com­po­nents need to be mir­rored to make them fit prop­erly. To do this, I se­lect the com­po­nent, right-click, se­lect Flip Along and choose the de­sired flip ef­fect.

3 Con­struct a space­ship

I se­lect all four com­po­nents and se­lect the Make Com­po­nent tool again to make one big container com­po­nent. I can now du­pli­cate lots of con­tain­ers for my space­ship with only a few mouse clicks. It’s pos­si­ble to cre­ate com­po­nents to pro­duce all sorts of el­e­ments for the ship model. In this ex­am­ple, the con­tain­ers, so­lar pan­els, an­ten­nae, sup­port beams, ra­di­a­tors and crew mod­ules are all du­pli­cates.

Mark is a self-taught artist who jumped from tra­di­tional me­dia to SketchUp seven years ago. He spe­cialises paint­ing nuts and bolts sci-fi art.

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