3D Warehouse components are big


Hi all,

Certain components I download from the 3D warehouse are way too big when imported into the model. This LED is the right size, but this drumkit is about 6 metres tall.

I’m using the “woodworking” template, although surely that shouldn’t make a difference.

Any idea why this is happening?




It has nothing to do with the template you are using. It’s due to the size the author drew the model/component at. You need to be discerning about the components you get from the Warehouse. Anybody using SketchUp can upload to the Warehouse no matter their skill level.


I recently used a warehouse BBQ for an idea of sizing a structure, it must have been 10 meters high!

I looked up some approximate dimensions and scaled it down to suit what I needed. The strang thing was that the BBQ was incredibly detailed, but the author didn’t bother simply to make sure it was an accurate size…odd.


Another possibility is that they worked at a larger scale and made components. Then they might have scaled the model down for their own use but failed to scale the component definitions before uploading to the warehouse. Unfortunately poor and sloppy modeling is all too common. On the other hand, you might say, “You get what you pay for.”


Thanks Dave. I usually know at least one dimension of the imported model so I can use that to scale it. I have to think it was some kind of mistake, the drum kit model has some good detail otherwise (and the sizes of the drums are even in the description)


Makes me wonder whether the unit of measurement it was modelled in makes a difference, and whether it’s converted to the current model units correctly if they are different from the original?
Don’t know, I only use things for illustration purposes on rare occasions, but would never trust the accuracy of the model itself.


No. Internally SketchUp always works in inches regardless of the model’s units setting. All the units setting does is control formatting for display and input of values.


Thanks, that’s that one cleared up then. Wasn’t sure as other programs I know do rely on import in the same units. It’s different in this case it turns out, something I never knew too.


Understand, this is a particular situation. A SketchUp model is saved to the 3D Warehouse and then imported into another SketchUp model. The model’s units are saved with it and will be used again on import for display and input, but there is nowhere along the way that requires conversion of the internal database from inches to anything else.

The situation is different when you import from some other filetype. The importer has to create SketchUp entities in SketchUp’s internal inch units. To do so it has three choices: read units from the input file and calculate inch equivalents (possible only if the file format includes a units specification); have the user set options to specify the units and again do calculations; or use the values in the file as-is - which assumes they are inches.


Yes, I understand now what is happening. I didn’t know that the units (in) are always the same within SU.

Thanks for the detailed response.


Short answer: people upload crappy models to the 3dwarehouse.

Long answer: people upload crappy models to the 3dwarehouse that can be quite tricky to sort out from the not-so-crappy and good models. Personally I almost only use SketcUp’s own components in my projects because they are always really nicely modeled. Sometimes however I’m forced to use third party models, e.g. for specific pieces of furniture, but I’m really reluctant to because they usually have an insane polygon count and takes up more disk space and computing power than the whole architectural project itself, or are just plain bad.

I don’t know how this could be solved. SketchUp is both a professional tool and a toy for enthusiasts and I think it’s important to make both user groups feel welcomed. I’ve made tons of rather crappy models myself while learning the software and it was really good fun. One addition that could be really useful would be a more sophisticated 3dwarehouse search that lets you specify spans of polygon count and physical size (bounding box). This way users could easily filter out things that are obviously not drawn to scale, or that are drawn by amateurs or that are drawn as super detailed stand alone objects and not suitable to include in a bigger project.


SketchUp has a program to achieve this. May be that content which is developed by CCD’s get a special search-mode like featured catalogs have now ( e.g. Search only featured catalogs, search only content by CCD’s)
Also : the advanced search option in the 3D Warehouse gives you the possibility to search on polygon-count number.


We were just discussing this issue in another post. I think most of the reasons as to why models can be huge or tiny have been covered already. I just want to suggest the RubySketch scale tool as useful tool for this issue. While there are many ways to scale a component, this tool allows you to quickly draw a line on the component and you can input the size you want it to be and it will be sized accordingly, unlike the regular tape measure which will scale the whole model relative to that…


When uploading a scaled model , SketchUp already gives you a warning when uploading a non-default-scale model , but I am not sure if it is consistent in displaying or when exactly this pops up. A brief description ,explaining that most user’s work in SketchUp according to real-world size could be added, gently pointing out that other user’s might encounter some problems. Mostly , however , people just ignore warnings like ‘do you agree etc’ , they just want to upload the model.
The tape measure tool works perfectly for scaling groups and components only too , and I prefer this over the RubySketch-extension. By editing the group , and using the tape measurement tool you are saying :" I only want this group to be scaled properly , my model is perfectly real world- size". It will give a better understanding of how your model is related to the real world.
Just recently I had some issues with a Batman logo from the 3D Warehouse which had a span of appr. 3000 KM ! The horror…


In the previous topic I was suggesting that prior to saving/or uploading a
model to the wharehouse a dialogue box pops up to ask if it is scaled
correctly. While it may get ignored, it might work for some people…even
myself, who could do with a reminder now and then , like “do you want to
save this model before closing!”


To me it seems very odd to ask specifically if a model is correctly scaled prior to uploading it. Why not also ask if all layers are properly named, if reoccurring geometry is properly drawn as components, if the components are properly named etc etc etc. The list just goes on and could easily fill up a whole blog post.

The CCD program seems really interesting! I have never heard of it before but searching for CCD content only would certainly help a lot!


Ideally all those things would be correct in an imported model, but the biggest complaint (according to this post, or at least that is the subject of the post) was the size.


In that regard, you can search for “is:catalog”. If it’s for collections, you get only official catalog collections. If it’s models, you get only models that are in those catalogs.

Suggestion for 3D Warehouse: 'Sort by Size'!