Basics of moving components

Is there a guide to the basic positioning of components? It takes me forever trying to get them into the right place onto surfaces and I feel I must be missing some obvious controls and tips for placing them. E.g. how to move them onto a face, how to move them along a specific axis.

At the moment I am spending forever moving around the 3D space nudging them into position only to find I’m way off on an axis from another view.

Key is that you wait long enough (split second) for SketchUp to tell you where it is going to place your component: On Face or On Edge or On Axis or whatever. What does it place there? The handle that you grabbed your component by. If you just grab a component a t a random location, placing will be just as random. (That random location will be where you place it).

A component picked from the component browser will be (in general) “grabbed” by its insertion point, its local axes origin.

Grab a component by a meaningful endpoint as handle to be sure to place it by this handle on your target location.

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Have you watched the tutorials?


Also, a great way to move components, is with guides. Hit T on the keyboard and select and edge, then move it to where you want the component to snap to. Use the arrow keys to tell it which axies to move along; left arrow = green, right arrow = red, up arrow = blue:

Notice how it says intersection. thats good:)

also, use the x-ray style or view to see through objects to better place them. In the clip below, i am moving a window seal but i want it centered on the guide:

As mentioned before, try to model components where they need to be. When i made these window seals, thats exactly what i did. I always try to model and draw in place.

Whenever possible, create components right where you want them, so you don’t have to move them at all. Build your model one component at a time, working pretty much the way you would in real life. I think it’s a good rule to follow, whether you’re modeling a three-legged stool or a three-story house.

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I created a video that sort of breaks down the fundamentals of moving objects in SketchUp, and shows you several ways to move. It’s talks about moving along axis, moving a specific distance, aligning objects, etc. Written tutorial here if you’d rather read