NOT automatically permanently joining parts on creation


When two parts are put together they automatically join permanently. This can be stopped by making COMPONENTS and or GROUPS.

My suggestion is to have them stick together initially but not permanently. This allows parts to “stick together” initially but when one needs to be moved it will move a few percentage of part size then automatically unstick then move separately.

When making a bird house each part can be made independent in OUTLINER but that’s 6 parts not 60 or 600 which all have to be made independent with Components or Groups.

Maybe make ALL parts automatically be a component instead of automatically joining them permanently.

My idea (of moving) could be applied to components also. When moving one part and one is a component it also automatically “sticks” to another part (or component) then when moving one of them, the other deforms for a small percentage of movement then disconnects.

The reason for the elasticity of the part before disconnect is to show that they are indeed “stuck together” as intended and not just close by each other.

Automatically joining two parts together permanently is not a good idea. Especially since it takes so much work to move or remove one part if necessary.

Percentage of movement: A part that is 12x12 and moves 1/16 of an inch can deform then disconnect will be easy to see but if it is 12ft x 12ft (or much larger, like a house) and moves 1/16 of an inch will be difficult to see - it may have to move 1 inch or a big structure 1 foot. That’s why it is a percentage of that sides length so it can be seen.


I think it might be worth coming back to this post after you have used SU for more than a few minutes.


I have and not discovered a workaround - other than groups and components - even tutorials say the same thing - only way to make them separate is G and C’s


Hello @dannnyis1,

Your Feature Request contravenes basic operating tenets of the software. SketchUp users who become familiar with the program understand how to take advantage of its features. Spectacular projects have been developed with it, but you should become comfortable with how SketchUp works; at that point you may be better positioned to evaluate the program’s functionality.

I agree with @Box that you should spend some time using SU. Then your opinion of the program may have some validity.


I also agree with @Box and @jvleearchitects. You are fighting with fundamentals of how SketchUp works. If you try using it as intended for a while, you will find that the feature you describe not only isn’t needed but can’t work quite the way you describe.

There is no such thing as a “part” in SketchUp until you make a Group or Component, there is just loose geometry (Edges and Faces). How do you suppose SketchUp would know when you are finished assembling geometry to make a “part” and henceforth the magic gluing and ungluing you request should take place? You would have to tell it somehow! In the existing SketchUp, you tell it by making a Group or Component.


I have about 1 years time with SU and it is only in the last 6 months I can say. That I am JUST starting to be familiar with how to properly establish a workflow, to utilize 1/3 of all the potential of these tools. Yes I pissed and moaned about the frustrations of what you mentioned. IT also made me realize to stop wasting time in the extension warehouse and to learn the keyboard shortcuts for components/groups and controlling their visibility, plus layers. Plus if I had taken an extra moment and place it correctly once, it was my not understanding what I was doing. Was the issue not what the tool was not doing. The first 6 months of You Tube videos gets you VERY excited… spend 3-4 months and half the minutes you watched someone else “make it look easy”. And follow the Concepts and Users Guide.
If you are going to draw right on top of your last piece make it a group immediately, especially since you know your going to change or move it anyway. Or make it a component and with move/copy play with it off to the side, away from the other work.

The basics hold the answers to any question you could possibly ever ask here. They dont determine how far you will go, just how fast you will get there… A wise man on this forum once told me that!!


Organize the model into Groups and Components as you’re building it … not afterwards.
Model the first logical part of whatever object you’re creating in SketchUp.
Make that first logical part a G or C before you begin modeling the next logical part.


… and it so easy to do so. Just window select, right-mouse-click, choose “Make Group” from the popup context menu

LMAO ! Cartoon SketchUp for Kiddies! ROFL Please can we have silly sound effects with that also ? (Imagining a “slurpy-sucking-pop” as a window component is pulled off a wall.)

:laughing: Too funny!

But seriously,… SketchUp components DO have a “glue to” feature. But we humans who are the component authors have complete control over our creations. We turn the feature on (it is a called a “Behavior”.) We decide what kind of surface it will “glue to”. (Vertical, Horizontal, etc.)


Oh so true, I left sketchup for about a year, then picked it up again, accepting and learning, purchased the program two years ago and I am currently integrating it into my workflow. Eventually I believe, it will replace my 2D Cad dependency…


From the reply’s above it is clear that what I said is true. I’ve tried using sketch-up then stopped just because of that problem. I’ve had to move various parts in the design process to make what I wanted. I’m not good enough to make things the first time and not change the design as I’m working on it. The work-around is to make each separate part a component or group - which takes time and also the new piece can’t be made close to another part as it will then become part of that part also - sticks to it.

So, if you want to criticize fine, if you want to be constructive that is even better, give me an example of putting two blocks together without making them a group or component. Then being able to move one of the two of them after putting them together. Easy to criticize hard to instruct. I’ve looked at many tutorials and they all say and show the same thing. Attaching one block to another then moving one of them deforms the other, then to fix that problem make one or both of them a component - each and every time.

So far no one has been able to show me any different.


Hello @dannnyis1,
It should be clear that the standard behaviors associated with SketchUp are not going to change. It should also be clear that in order to make use of the software one must adapt to the tools and fundamentals commonly utilized in operating the program. To assume that your desired method for working with the software is superior to the existing SOP may be defined by some as unusual. or by a more extreme measure as bordering on insanity, particularly so by expecting the same action to yield different results. The anticipated process as expressed earlier in this thread seems to be analogous to flying a plane without having the knowledge to lower the landing gear.


Could be useful to share the birdhouse model for people to examine issues particular to that model. This thread may even turn constructive then .


SAMPLE.skp (119.6 KB)


To jvleearchitects

SketchUp should change to match world standards. I know of what I speak. I have been drafting for 20 years and taught it using AutoCAD and used Inventor. I’ve worked on chemical plants, refineries and Disneyland.

When using those programs (and a lot of others) making parts (as I call them) and putting them together to make an assembly they are all separate entities immediately and when put together they stay together until each is moved or changed or deleted and not completely “stuck together”. Even making 4 of the same thing automatically makes them separate and when put together, they are still separate and it is not necessary to do anything about them to make them so. NOT so with SketchUP. You make 4 of something and stick them together they automatically become one piece and remove one of them is not a simple task.

So, I not only can fly the plane, it is supersonic and while flying supersonic I can do aerobatics with it while it is playing music. So, why SketchUp? Simple $7000 for AutoCAD and $9000 for Inventor. So, how much is SketchUP again?


@dannnyis1, attach your model to a post. This thread is going nowhere. If a picture is worth 1000 words, your model is worth 10,000 words.


I am going for more popcorn and to pee, Anybody need anything while I am up??


Possibly you have taken offense where none was intended. A logical suggestion was advanced by @catamountain and it may be in your interest to pursue that course.

The point that I attempted to reveal, your stated professional experience notwithstanding, is that it is more sensible to learn how to fully utilize a system rather than try to bend it to your will simply because you have used other software to achieve desired results in the past. Many SketchUp aficionados have used other software programs with proficiency before coming to SU and many have extensive professional backgrounds, myself included. Those of us who elected to learn SU had to work with the software as it is distributed; we could not effect any material modification to the manner in which the software handles faces and edges for example, which (I say again) is a fundamental aspect of SketchUp. This is NOT the same type of system as CADD programs.

Frankly, if you are serious about using the program you must first understand the principles by which the program operates and this obviously requires an investment of some time and effort, perhaps a prodigious effort is not essential, however it likely requires a greater investment than the several days invested thus far.

Although SU is relatively easy to learn, the operating concept is different and it takes time to acclimate to these differences. I encourage you to post your model so others can review it and hopefully provide constructive remedial information.


I tried to share a model of two basic cubes, a rectangle push/pulled upward. With the first made into a group, then with move/copy. Placed the copy right on top of the first and exploded the copy. You can position, orient and re-size without distortion. The first steps took 2.5 seconds while the 2nd took 3 seconds and was done with a triple left click selection, then a right click. Simple work-around by a simple beginner with basically 6 months time invested in SketchUp`s Users Concepts. I cant understand how with ALL the years you invested PROFESSIONALLY and your accumulated knowledge with other systems. This is an issue for you??? I did share the model for you to play with but it directs to a SketchUp community page, that when you select anything on it goes nowhere… HUMM …!!//?? Go figure…and it makes as much sense as this post. See yah…


@dannnyis1 After one day of modeling, how do you select an older part to be moved without moving anything else. I mean when parts are “touching” and also I mean in one of your programs, not in SketchUp?

Please attach a simple example of what you do in that program vs what happens in SketchUp?


SketchUp does allow adherence to some standards and it and Layout get better with each release.

I know of what I speak. I am twice as old as you. I have been drafting twice as long as you. I have worked on at least twice the cool stuff you have. And I used to use AutoCAD 50-60 hours a week.

But none of that matters, where it comes to SketchUp.

That is because you assumed that SketchUp is a CAD application. It is NOT, by design.
You assumed that SketchUp should operate as if it is a AutoCAD clone. It does not, by design.

And when you find that is does not. You begin demanding that it be changed to operate the way you think a CAD program should.

SketchUp is a 3D surface modeling application. It is not a traditional CAD program.
It has single keystroke accelerators, not multi-key commands like AutoCAD.
It has no command console like AutoCAD, by design.
It has a higher level scripting engine (Ruby), instead of functional Lisp, like AutoCAD does.

It was originally designed for building design (Google Earth models,) but has been taken way beyond this by it’s user base.

The Make edition costs nothing for hobby use.

The Pro edition is under $700, and comes with a extra application called Layout that is similar to AutoCAD’s paperspace.

Bottom line, SketchUp is not likely going to change to be more like a CAD application. Do not waste your time waiting for it to do so.

Finally, if you are looking for a cheap or free CAD clone, then try:

… or for just 2D: