Ask an Expert: How to BugSplat!

You know what’s cool about components? If you keep your main model full of components and you get something like this panel that is tricky - you can copy the panel off to the side, scale it up 10,100,1000 times - do your work, and the original component, that you have left in the proper position and proper scale in your main model, will update properly with any changes you make to your copied and scaled model.

So you could, for instance, draw a rectangle for the panel, draw the circles and copy them in an array, make it a component, then copy it over to the side, scale it up some number 10,100,1000 times - then work on the extrusion / subtraction / geometry part. If you ever need to ‘do maths’ - you can go to the original and make some guidelines or add geometry at the proper dimensions - then go back to the scaled version and continue with your modeling.

I do this often with airstream trailer shells that are being renovated. I have approximated the shell and the curving shape - I make it as a solid, then model the windows and doors - and before I do any subtraction I scale copies of it all up - do the work, magically watch my original change and update as I work…


This is absolutely a vital technique to me - the “Dave Method” of using scaled-up components to deal with SketchUp’s limitations with closely-spaced points. There is never a need to scale anything back down (which runs the risk of invoking the wrath of SketchUp’s close-points/short-edges anti-god).


I hate that guy.