Making Components Move Following a Path

I have a vague recollection of being able to set models into motion - or at least being able to set fixed movements paths and extents for components from my use of SU 5 or 6 years ago. For example, one could make a drawer slide in or out of a cabinet or table model; or, allow the component to be selected and moved but have the movement direction and extent preset by the author.

The recollection is so dim and vague that I can’t even come up with any search terms to try to find it.’ Is this another sign of (early?) dementia, or does such a thing exist?

are you referring to dynamic components?

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There are several ways it can be done. As Cotty implies, it could be done with Dynamic Components but since you are using SketchUp Make, that’s out. With SketchUp Make you can make multiple copies of the component along the path and assign a different layer to each instance. Then show only one of those layers for each scene.

Here’s a quick screen shot from a model of a steam engine. In this view I only show only two copies of the piston and other moving parts but I created many more to get a smoother animation.

Resulting animation is here.

There’s also Fredo6’s Animator extension from Sketchucation.


OK. I can see where making multiple copies of a component and placing it on a different layer and controlling its visibility could make the position of it in a model change. My next question then is, . . . how to control visibility of layers.

BTW, I’ve read online that ‘layers’ have been renamed ‘tags’. Is this only in the Pro version? I’m using SU Make free version and can’t seem to find anything called ‘tags’. I found posts by saying tha ‘layers’ are control in Entity Info which I was able to add to trays. It has a box for layers. It displays Layer0 but doesn’t allow me to add another one for the component.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated and gratefully received.

After you’ve put the layers on the different copies of the drawer component, click on the visibility box for the layers you want to see or don’t want to see. this is done in the Layers panel.

This change occurred later so in SU2017 Make they are still called Layers.

You put layers on components by selecting the component(s) and choosing the layer in the drop down in the Entity Info panel. Layers are created in the Layers panel.

It won’t show any other layers until you create them.

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Thanks to you two, I learned how to add layers to my model, and I got Fredo 06’s Animator tool and figured out how to use it to make a drawer close, open and close again.

I still have a lot to learn about layers and the Animator, but it’s a start.

Thank you, both, very much!