Group vs. Component

Hi guys, i would like to know what is the difference between GROUP and COMPONENT because they are similar in making objects in to solid one.All i know is when you copy an object that make into a COMPONENT and edit it, all other copied object will be edited to.

I need more specific explanation of them. Its not only me will benefit for this but also other Sketchup users here. TIA


Components can change axes.
They can also be dynamic components which gives you a many other usage (Search Dynamic Components): animation, options, attributes, etc.

Hi , Groups as the name suggests is used to group , groups and components together . This can be used for quick hiding and moving. eg, you could group all the plants in a drawing and put them on a layer for quick visibility and hiding . If a model is getting large this can help the speed of the program. A group is also a quick way to isolate geometry temporary without filling in the properties window .


for isolating, grouping will also duplicate geometry whereas a component won’t… allowing you to extract individual sections/edges/surfaces from a larger object.

if you draw a box, you can select a face then group it and move it aside (the face edges will remain on the rest of the box and the edges are in the group too)

doing that with a component won’t work.

another difference is that a component instance will remain in the model even if you delete it… you have to purge to really delete one… a group will delete without doing that.

[quote=“quantj, post:2, topic:6550”]
Components can change axes.
…[/quote] Groups have only one way to have their axes redrawn which is in edit mode. Components also have the ‘right click’ > (context menu) ‘Change Axes’ option available.

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oh, didn’t know, I always used the right-click way, so assumed group didn’t. thanks.

I don’t understand what you are trying to say here Jeff. You can certainly turn a face into a component without the rest of the box falling apart due to lack of edges.

oh… right… you can… my bad.
forgot about that option.


it’s not that it will fall apart… it’s that the component won’t form in the first place… unless, of course, you replace selection with component.

Hello there, small world. I just shared some info you provided a short while ago. Your YouTube video/tutorial for working with textures. Not drawing the cushion but the Texture option from the drop down // right click. Being able to edit, aline after it is placed in the model, Thanks for your info…Peace…

Yeah, I think I would add that to the plus side for components, the fact you can select geometry and make it a component, stored for use later without actually making the raw geometry a component.

it’s cool… i don’t use the feature but if my workflow were conducive(?) to it, i’d be glad it’s there.

maybe a little know thing due to the name ‘Dynamic Components’ but…

you can make dynamic groups too.

here’s a dynamic group

dynamic_Group.skp (19.7 KB)

(Window-> Component Options)

One other thing to consider is that when making a component, all instances of that item are affected in the same way, if it is edited (unless Make Unique is selected). . Multiple instances of components do not significantly increase model size while repetitive groups of the same entity do in fact increase model size. So as a general rule of thumb, if you expect to use an item more than once, make it a component. If the item is essentially one of a kind, then it probably should be part of a group.

Glad it helped , thanks

I just saved three skp files, each contained 505 12" cubes.
File #1 was loose geometry size, 539 KB
File #2 used components, size 95.3 KB
File #3 used groups, size 85.8 KB
I’m not sure if this holds true for any group or component.


@shep Copied but unedited Groups act similar to Components. You would need to open each group for editing. Or create the groups using a script.

I recommend always use Components in DCs. Groups don’t always behave well. They have trouble redrawing when scaling, or something I can’t exactly recall. There are some threads on the scf dc forum.

ha… right.
i was just saying it’s possible… but adding to it->
I always use components for dynamic components :wink:

(for one, the component creation dialog has two important items for dynamic components… naming and axis… and since all(most) DCs require a decent naming scheme as well as proper axis position, might as well set them as they’re created)


  • Can be reused - as you make copies and edit one instance it affect them all.
  • Is listed in the Component Browser by the name you give it.


  • As you edit group copies they are made unique so that editing one doesn’t affect any other copy.
  • Is not listed in the Component Browser.

My personal workflow is to group things by default unless I know I will be reusing the item elsewhere in the model. This keeps the Component Browser list short and lean. When I find I need to reuse an object I convert it from a group to a component.
I am also very careful to name my components (and materials and layers) as I find that having the component browser and material browser set to display only the text names instead of the thumbnails to scale better with larger models. Visually scanning thumbnails that look almost a like is time consuming. Picking the component or material I need by going after an alphabetical list is snappy.

group is like you make a solid group as copy
component is that you make a solid group as instance.

for example you make a group of vray light . you group it as copy but if make a component group it will group as instance :smiley: and also you can have change axes.