Best practice for adding sides to a box without new parts sticking to old parts?

I am modeling a .25" X24X47X47" Plexiglass enclosure.
It has 5 sides (no bottom) with a door in front
I had no problem getting 3 of the sides and a top to become components without sticking issues, but cannot create (i.e. draw in a rectangle, push-pull and convert to component) the door without the “sticky” problem…

Can someone share how they would draw and “component-ize” this door, or their workflow for creating these types of boxes?


If you need each side of the box as a component, draw it that way. I’d start with the left side, draw a rectangle on the ground plane for the thickness of the material and the depth of the box. Pull it up to height with Push/Pull. Then make that side a component. Copy it to the right side position. Use the top edges of the two sides as guides for drawing the top. Pull it up to make the thickness, select all of the geometry of the top panel and make a component. Repeat the process for the back and then for the door.

Do you mean that I should be able to draw new sketches directly on top of existing components and they should not stick?

(OR, is that a horrible practice, and new sketches should never touch existing components?)

Once you create a component of the geometry you’ve made, you can draw additional geometry outside that component that is touch it and it won’t stick.

Some people like to draw the parts for their models separately making each one a component and then move them around to “build” the project. I think that’s too much work. I prefer to draw the parts in place. I’ll hunt up a video I did that shows it for you.

Here’s the link to the video. It’s a few years old but the process hasn’t changed. In the video I’m drawing a cabinet made of plywood so things are pretty similar.

Thanks Dave! Will take a look at it.

Separately, how many times should I click a newly extruded rectangle to component-ize it?

If you triple click with Select on some part of the geometry, all connected geometry will be selected. If you stay vigilant, you can make sure that the only geometry that gets selected belongs to the part you’re drawing. If you wind up with other edges or faces, stop. Go back and figure out what you missed. It’s easy to get going and forget to make a component for the part you’ve just drawn before you start the next part. Stay on top of that as you go to keep from making your model a pain to work with.

Does that mean u can accidentally connect an abutting Component if u click one too many times, using my draw-in-place method? (or are existing Components protected from accidentally being included when selecting with the Click method?

Think of creating a component as putting a transparent wrapper around the selected entities. That wrapper, like Saranwrap around a sandwich, prevents stuff outside of it from sticking. So when you lay that great big dill pickle on top of the sandwich, the juice doesn’t soak into the bread.

If you want to make changes to the geometry within the component, you have to open the wrapper first. Either double click with Select or right click on the component and choose Edit Component from the Context menu. So when you want to put mustard on your sandwich, you need to open the Saranwrap.

There’s an option to explode a component. This is taking the Saranwrap off and throwing it away. That should not be the common way you access the geometry. Opening for editing is good enough. Click out in space or right click and choose Close component to close up the wrapper again.


A delicious explanation!
(Actually, that multi-sensory explanation should make the concept stick).

Thanks again Dave!

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If I do explode a component and I want to later re- link it to its original sister components, Is there a way to do this?

Exploding can be reversed only immediately afterward while the operation is on the undo stack. Otherwise you have to erase the exploded parts and replace them with a new instance of the component, which you can drag from the component window and place on the model.


New challenge:
When I create construction lines using the Tape measure tool near a component, they are becoming part of the component…
I have to explode my entire component it just to delete these construction lines later…
Any hypotheses as to what I’m doing wrong in this work flow?

con lines made when the component is open for edit will be part of the component. Delete them before closing the edit.

If guides are becoming part of the components, you must not be triple clicking on the geometry to select it. Try that.

You don’t need to explode components to get rid of the guides. Edit>DELETE Guides.


In practice you’ll find you rarely need to explode components to do anything to them.

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