More difficulties with the axes tool: components upside down


I am having a lot of trouble with getting the axes in my models to be correct. This is particularly problematic in projects that have nested components that I need to edit separately.

In the main project I have components. The child components have different axes orientations. Here’s the larger model:

Here’s the selection of the component:

Here’s what happens when I edit the component in place:

Notice that the blue axis is headed to the left. The object appears visually in the correct orientation, but the axis is pointing in the wrong direction. If I hit F12:

The top view is correct visually but the axis is still wrong.

I if change the axes so that the axes has blue pointed up, then I get this:

So now the blue axis is pointing up, but there is the smaller darker bolded axes with the wrong orientation.

If I hit F12 to look down on it now, I get the expected outcome.

Why are there two separate axes indicated? How do I know which one is referenced correctly and which one is not? Sometimes F12 works as if the blue axis is up and sometimes F12 works as if some other axes is up.

I cannot predict how the orientation of the axis will be in the main project or in the editing of the smaller components. Is there anyway to wipe out all the axes except for the main one in the larger project file?

I have been trying for days to find any reference guide that explains this behavior but I can’t find any relevant useful information.

Upside Down and Sideways


It seems that you changed the drawing axes. Not the group’s/component’s axes themself.


Edit the axes of the “child” sub components. Select the component, right click - choose “change axes”. You will then be working with the axes tool - position it on a corner of your selected sub component and drag the red axes to a direction consistent with the overall model.
Do the same for other sub components - should simplifiy your work for the time being.


Be aware that you may have ‘Glue To’ (nested) components that can’t have axes according to their parent or even to the model’s axes.


May be best if he “unnests” problem components unitl he resolves axes issues?


What is the difference between the drawing axis and the component/group axis? Is that the difference between the darker/bolder axes and the thinner lighter continuous axes?

What are the differences between these different types of axes?

Is there any documentation explaining these concepts? I haven’t been able to find a reference manual type of entry that explains the scope of the different component axes or how the nesting of components should behave.


The darker axes show the local (component’s) axes


I am not understanding from where the component inherits its axes orientation. I would expect that if you create a component, the component would inherit the axes orientation from the original, but this doesn’t seem to be true.

How do you change the axes of the component? Am I mistakenly altering the drawing axes when I think I am altering the component axes?


Drawing axes are the axes that are used to draw new geometry or to place components. They may be the system’s axes or you may have (temporarily) changed the axes. They have nothing to do with the local group’s or component’s axes


Each group and component has its own three axes, the local axes. They are oriented according to the drawing axes when the group or component was created.
(Except for ‘Glue To’ components)
Local axes can always be altered.


This is a 9 minute instruction video - covers basics, may be helpful.

Axes instruction video

Consider subscribing to the SketchUp YouTube channel and check out the Sketchucation website.


Not sure if you have seen this SU “doh” BOOK

The “d-oh” book for SU


Thank you all for the help! I am making some good progress now!