Create rooms in separate files

I am working on rendering a new building we’re in the process of building. It is a 2 story building with a third story mezzanine room. I am still pretty new to using SU, so forgive me if I am asking a question that’s often asked or elementary. I’m finding that the more work I do on my second story (separate file from my first story) it seems to be getting more and more “sloppy”. Is there a way for me to “chunk” the floor plan? Can I create different groups for each room and combine them into one file? Is that the best way to do it? Is there a way to “xRef” rooms into a single file? That seems easiest since you’d be able to just work in the file for the room you’re updating (we’re still somewhat in the process of design) and have it reload to update like you would in AutoCAD. Any thoughts on an easy way to do this?

Thanks in advance for your help!

hello, simply group one of your room, make it a component. Then right click, save as… Open the skp that has been saved, work on it as much as you want, then go back the the master file, right click on the component and chose reload et voilà !


There is no Xref linking like ACAD. it’s hard to guess what “sloppy” is exactly but it sounds like you might want to take some time to thoroughly understand groups components, and Layers. The proper use of these three features is the best practice for keeping a model clean and organized.

If your “rooms” are all identical then you can make them a component, which will auto update every instance when you edit any one. If you must work in separate files you can copy and paste-in-place to move geometry between files in the same location relative to the origin.

If you upload your file here it would be much easier to diagnose what practices you might benefit from.

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the closest you’re going to get to XREF functionality in SektchUp (currently) is with Cross Reference Organizer

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My meaning of “sloppy” is random surfaces that go missing that I didn’t realize had gone because of some other modification I made and the corners didn’t line up or those sorts of things. With it being about a 5,000 SF area per floor with no area being the same and multiple different design features that make it less cut and dry, and again I’m still working through the best ways to do various things, it doesn’t take long before it starts to get muddled. I can make it LOOK right, it’s just that modifications are more difficult because of these things. I’d rather it actually BE right, and chunking the project a bit might help me prevent inadvertent problems.

I have been watching a number of tutorials on different aspects of drawing, including layers and components, I just think at this point I need to actually do the drawings themselves. Practice it in a real world application vs. just watching someone else do it with a pre-determined set up and following along.

I am unsure of how specifically to upload a file, and right now it’s a danged mess anyways. I was essentially going to try to start fresh-ish and pull pieces from the original file to create each space at this point anyways.

Cool. Upload button is the seventh across the top in the post window, needs the be under 3mb. If you are starting fresh then the advice I can offer without context is use components and use them early and often makle everything a component or group and know the difference. Layers only control visibility, not interaction. Make everything on layer 0 and only assign groups and components to other layers.

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On MacOS it’s easy to open another model window and copy and paste (in place) back and forth all you want. For Windows, I believe you launch multiple instances of the program to get the same copy and paste ability, but I’m not a Windows expert.


Yes I came to say paste in place is my method.

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Super! You all have been immensely helpful! I will start a new drawing with components that’ll be cleaned up and if I can’t figure out what’s going on I’ll upload here for assistance.

Thank you again!

  1. I suggest you work with two or three instances of SU open at the same time, setting one of these as the primary “WORKING MODEL”.

  2. Establish the overall building footprint in the “WORKING MODEL”, noting its position relative to the origin. (This footprint serves as the location template for everything that is to be brought into the “WORKING MODEL” from other instances. )

  3. Develop your model rooms and other entities in a different instance and establish components as you work. (In my other life as a registered architect, I prefer to only use components and eschew the use of groups.)

  4. Be sure to work on RAW GEOMETRY in Layer 0, maintaining the appropriate relationship with the origin and create new layers to house your components. (Perform this as preliminary model work in an instance other than the “WORKING MODEL”)

  5. At regular intervals, save your componentized efforts and copy, then paste-in-place to the “WORKING MODEL”. (Pasting-in-place ensures that everything is brought into the “WORKING MODEL” in the precise location.)

  6. Conduct editing sessions as deemed necessary. I usually prefer to perform edits in an instance other than the final “WORKING MODEL” and then copy/paste-in-place to the final version.

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