Make a component a permanent piece of object

I am just starting to use components. I have a 2d (x,y) part that I use in several different locations and slopes on the main 2d (x,y) object. Is it possible to use a component of that part as a permanent piece of the 2d object in different locations? I have made the part as a component, but am having trouble rotating it a 90 degree bend to the third dimension (z) after placing it near the correct location on the main 2d object. It appears there is some kind of conflict when trying to use the rotate tool at the concentric joiniing point of the main object and the component?


It would help if you could share your component. I expect it’s a simple fix but without seeing it, it’s hard to tell you exactly what the exact fix is.

Dave R,

This is the same piece that you helped me with before. The two 90 degree tabs at the top are the ones I am talking about.
I drew one of them in a separate instance of sketchuup , made it into a component in 2d (x,y) and then saved it to a file. Then I removed one of them from the original 2d ( x,y) drawing (drew a line where the tab had attached to the main piece) and brought in the component tab to see if I could replace the deleted one. I think I managed to align one of the corner points of the component tab with the corner point of the deleted tab, but then had trouble rotating the other point into position?

These tabs are not that hard to draw and I will explain what I am trying to do. I have a Freecad drawing that only requIres that I change one angle to obtain the other variants of the part here.That is the nice thing about Freecad - you can go back to any point in the drawing to make a change and everything adjusts accordingly. But Freecad does not have a very good bending workshop. So I brought the part (and will also do so with its variants) to sketchup so I can do the bending.
I have redesigned the tabs so that the 90 degree bend will not affect both tabs at once (the previous problem). That is the part I made a component and would obviously like to replace both tabs on the original sketch with the new design. :slight_smile:

Dave R,

I can also redesign the tabs in Freecad and then bring over the entire diagram to sketchup. I just thought as long as I was in sketchup I could make and add the tabs there.


As Dave already mentioned, add the model or an example so we can help you.
Dave is asleep at the moment but there are many others in all parts of the world awake now.

1 Like

Jerry, I was sleeping as Box said. Now I’m waiting for my coffee. :slight_smile:

I went back and found the thing you are referring to although I’m not real clear on what part you want to change. You could make a component of the part and give it gluing attribute so it would glue to any face. Also set the component’s origin at a logical point. The origin becomes its insertion point when you drag it in from the Components library. With the insertion point and gluing, you would be able to bring the component in and quickly drop it where you need it.

It would be helpful to have more visuals of what you are trying to do with the tab now. Is the angle you talk about variable over a wide range or is it just a couple or three different angles you need?

Hi Dave R,

I want to replace the two tabs on the top of the main part with the component tab. This is so there will be a cleaner 90 degree bend.

jerryforum.skp (80.9 KB)

I’m not sure how that would help.

I’m not at my computer at the moment so I can’t look at the SKP. Later, though.

Dave R,

When I bent the tabs 90 degrees, they were touching at a common point so both would bend together in a strange way.
For the prototype I am having made, I made a line on the tab a bit away from the angle line and that worked, but there was a funny nick. I looked more closely at the piece I am using for the design and there is a slight extra added rectangle as seen on the component tab. That allows the fold lines not to touch each other and thus obtain a clean bend on each tab (without a nick)…

Each variant has an angle that is slightly different, e.g., 155 versus 160 degrees. The Freecad version allows me to change that one constraint and then all other lines adjust automatically - a very nice feature.

Do you know a good company that will cut out the piece, fold it , and powder coat or paint it when I am ready?


Where did you draw the fold lines?

So can you draw the flat version with the rectangle? When it comes down to it, the real piece can’t be folded with a sharp corner anyway. Does it matter too much if the component isn’t an exact replica of the real part? If it needs to be exact, you’d need to make the bends with radii. That will get a bit more involved.

As for drawing it with the different bend angles, I think I’d just make a different one for each angle.

I’m afraid I don’t know of any companies to recommend that could fabricate the part for you. Most of the metal fabrication I have anything to do with is handled in the in house machine shop at work–mostly stainless steel, aluminum, a bit of titanium and even tungsten. No powder coating because it isn’t durable enough in surgery.

Hi Dave,

On the original piece I drew the fold lines much as the line on the component tab, but because of the angles on both sides there was a funny nick.That was sufficient for the prototype. As you can see if I fold the new tab design all away across the fold line, there is a square edge and there will be no nicks (and the tabs will not be touching at a common point). This should be better for the actual piece. I am including the prototype drawing so you can better see what I mean.

ynormand31.skp (78.1 KB)


Here is the flat drawing with the new tabs attached (although I am not sure if they are permanent). Here you can see how the fold lines do not end on the same point and how the small extra piece of rectangle allowed the folds to be uncoupled.

Jerrynormandnewtab.skp (80.4 KB)