Lost in component editing from 3d warehouse

Just when I thought I mostly understood SU…
I’m designing a house and have an elaborate model already created. I’ve used a lot of downloaded components from 3d Warehouse–and edited most of them to varying degrees–but my latest efforts with trying to insert double-hung and casement windows opened a whole new world of hell for me.

I was searching for divided light widows and got a plethora of useful starting points (or so I thought) authored mostly by Marvin or Sketchup. But once downloaded into my model and I tried to alter them, all sorts of craziness ensued that I couldn’t figure out how to control. As you can see in the first image, it looks basic enough, how hard can this be? First, I wanted to eliminate the glass–which is shaded. This went fine in the double-hung windows–just open up the component, select each pane of glass and delete. But the casements (for whatever reason–whether Marvin or Sketchup–are a nightmare). There are over 60 components nested in the window below, and the glass is not defined by the grid or the overall glass area–it’s broken up into 9 different areas spread across various sub-components. (I think this is an alternate grid pattern used in another window style, but it’s not part of this window–and oddly was common to both the Marvin and Sketchup casement windows). Then I tried other edits like taking some of the interior trim and reversing it and attaching it to the exterior of the window to create a basic brick-mold (not sure why all the windows I’ve searched either come with interior OR exterior trim, but not both. I don’t have that problem when importing exterior doors). But copying or moving a subcomponent of trim was like wrestling a greased pig. Parts wanted to snap to each other in ways I couldn’t stop. Nothing seemed to be “glued” based on contextual menus. A simple move like selecting a piece of trim and trying to move it a few inches along an axis to the other side of the window caused it to snap to a random point several feet away. I tried exploding some of the sub components, and ultimately all of them, but it only made matters worse because a simple square stock border trim became dozens of separate elements.

Although I think my overall SU skills have progressed fairly well over the last few years, I think I’m stumbling into an an area of SU where I’m a complete novice and lost: the inner workings of downloaded components. I thought by setting my file size and polygon count really low, I could avoid the fancy stuff, but apparently not. Do these components have hidden programming I can’t see? If not, where do I look for the parameters?

Any general advice on editing downloaded components, or links to guides and tutorials on the subject would be greatly appreciated. I just can’t find the knobs and switches to control these things.

Looks like it’s probably a Dynamic Component. Open the Component Options panel while the window component is selected. You should see the available edit options.

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Maybe it’s just broken. Look at what happens when I simply turn off “screen”.

Could be broken. Might want to contact the author.


Did you try re-downloading it to make sure you didn’t break it?

Yes, three times —the last time just to make the screenshots.

It’s worth noting the little green icon that warns you that something is a Dynamic Component.
You’ll find it in both the desktop browser and the warehouse.

That’s a good tip! I’m sure dynamic components are great for a lot of things. Is there a special process for editing them?

DC’s are a whole learning curve of their own. If the options designed into the DC work for you all well and good, but editing a complex DC can be very difficult.

Good to know. Probably a time-suck I don’t need in my life right now. But, if I were to lose track of my senses and want to venture into editing dynamic components, is there a good starting point or primmer?

It’s too bad you have to open the item and click details before you can see that icon. It’s also odd that the 3d Warehouse Advanced search feature has a toggle allowing you to narrow your search to just dynamic components, but turning it off does nothing. There’s no way to filter out dynamic components.