Components with multiple insertion and receiving points

I have been cleaning up my components and find that many of them require multiple insertion and receiving points.
Currently we use a mash up of guide line, construction points, axis and the the corners of a component to locate them in a model.

As an example bracket for a shelf that is inserted into a wall standard would have an insertion point to place it into the wall standard and w receiving point so that the shelf is located in the correct position.

The shelf might have many insertion points for different applications. The same shelf component could be used in a cabinet, adjustable shelving on standards and brackets, fixed shelving on brackets, fixed shelf on cleats, fixed shelving with hidden brackets and I am sure there are more applications.

As all of the methods have pros and cons, one of the methods we have been thinking of exploring is to simply put a small line on the component that is easy to see but not so big that it looks out of place. That line could them be on its own layer. Notes could also be added on a layer so that when you go get a component you can see what line is to guide you for what application.

Have a missed the obvious solution and fallen down a rabbit hole?

Here is a simple example

Test adjustable shelving.skp (873.8 KB)


A component can only have one insertion point. That is the location of the component’s origin. In order to more easily place and align the shelf bracket with the shelf standard, you could set the bracket’s origin such that it corresponds with an easy point on the standard. Maybe at a corner of the slot it fits into.

As for the shelves, you could set their origin so that it corresponds with some point on bracket. I see you’ve added a short line segment for that. You could put the component’s origin there if, for example you want the shelf to always overhang the bracket by the same amount. Or you could set the shelf’s origin such that it lies on the wall (the components origin does not need to be one or within the geometry of the component). If you know where the shelves need to align on the wall, it would be easy to set a guideline on the wall and use it to align the shelves to.

As you stated, you could add some unobtrusive edge segments to give you grab points once the component is in the model space. Those could be useful but I would start by looking for obvious insertion points that make it easy to bring components in from the component’s panel and drop them exactly where you want them.

Great tip on setting the origin , I had not realized that.
In an effort to keep the number of components down and have them be useful in many different applications, if a component can be used in different applications by simply scaling it than I am going to keep exploring using the small line segments for insertion and receiving points. I am thinking that I will put notes about how to use them and the lines on a layer.
Thanks for all you advice and tips, they really help. You did not even have to find the problems with the model to answer question, we are listening.
Any other solutions people are using?

By default the insertion point is the component’s local origin.

But you can temporary change the insertion point to any vertex or any intersection of edge/face or intersection of guide/edge or guide/guide or guide/face or to a guidepoint. Basically to whatever specific location where you can grab the component while moving it. So not to just some unlogical clicked location in space.

Select an instance of the specific component and move it some arbitrary distance (also see*) by grabbing it at the desired new temporary insertion point.
Any new instance picked in the component browser uses this new insertion point.
The insertion point reverts to the local origin after you enter the component’s editing context and close it again.

(*) use the first instance and move it into position by grabbing it by your desired insertion point.
Next shelfs use this insertion point

Good points, I need to work that into my work flow.