Propagating changes to multiple instances of nested components, or how do I


I’ve a project for a complex wood working piece where the component needs to be used in an architectural drawing as well. I need detailed construction drawings for the piece and I’m manually creating a cut drawing.
To create the construction documents, I’ve introduced dozens of layer which makes a mess of the architectural drawing. So I’ve created a base component file with everything on one layer. Nice for the architectural drawings. I then import the component into a construction drawing where I then add layers and cross sections. I’ve run into a couple of snags.

To assist with the construction drawings, I’ve copied some of the sub components to the side. However, if I make a change to the master component file, these changes to not propagate to these instances of the sub component. If I re-load the sub component instance, then I replace the subcomponent with the entire parent component. I could create component files for each sub component, but at the end this would be a file for every piece of wood, ridiculous and un-manageable.

The second snag, which is related, is that to create a cut diagram, I’ve exploded the top level components down to individual components representing each piece of wood. But again, if I update the master drawing, these subcomponents are not being updated.



What kind of changes are you making? If the components you copied to the side are instances of the component you are editing, they will get the change.By editing I mean you are opening the component for editing and doing work on the contents.

If the instances are in the same model and of the same component, edits inside the component container will get propagated. If you’ve used groups instead of components or you’ve use Make Unique, you will have separate the components. And things you might do outside a component container such as scaling the component instead of entities within won’t show.

Maybe you could share an example SKP file in which you see this.


I’ve uploaded an example to

(If there’s a standard way of sharing files, I didn’t see it in the FAQ.)

Two files, Boxes.skp contains the original component. BoxDetails.skp imports the Boxes component. Then, to facilitate a cutting drawing, I duplicate the TopBox sub component which it’s self is made of two side and two front sub components.

Because I’m going to re-arrange the side and front components for cutting, I move this instance of TopBox out of Boxes using the outliner. I then explode this instance and re-arrange the boards for a cutting diagram.

Now, if I modify the side component in the file Boxes, then re-load the Boxes component in BoxDetails, then the Box component is updated, but the instance of side from the explosion are not updated. If I attempt to update this instance of the side component, then it’s replaced with the entire instance of Boxes.

This clearly doesn’t work. So what would be the best way to accomplish this cutting list, assuming I also want a simple, uncluttered Boxes component for use in other drawings?



I see what you are getting at now. The sub components come in as unique when you have nested components like that. If you want to replace the individual components, you should be reloading them but that means you need to make each one a separate SKP file. You could do that by context clicking on the individual component and choosing Save as…

I think a better approach would be to draw the piece of furniture and create the plans for it in a single file. If you need to use that piece for context in a larger project, make a component of the assembled version. Then copy and paste it into the larger model. If you need to make changes to the piece of furniture, do that in it’s own file and use that to replace the one in the larger model.


Thank you. I’ll try that approach.