Recommended free sources for learning SU

As the title says…
Would like recommendations for free resources to learn the basics of SU, my main interest would be simple woodworking joinery

A couple of things I can think of I need to learn is, when to use grouping versus using components, basic navigation of the model ( I seem to have trouble with mouse placement when I’m zooming in on the model ), selecting for different purposes (double click v triple click)

A couple of sites I have found are below but neither of these seem to cover what I am looking for ( I did only glance through them so I could be wrong)

Have searched through various Learn SU in 10 min YT vids which as expected are BS

Any recommendations welcomed

SketchUp - YouTube

The SketchUp Essentials Homepage

SketchUp School - YouTube

1 Like

These videos by @JustinTSE

1 Like

Components are just fancy groups. They are linked to each other and are edited together, they are also stored in the model until you delete and purge them.
They are basically there to use when you have more than one of something, or when you want to add extra info to them.
Groups are singular, you can make multiple copies but they are not linked once edited. Edit one and it doesn’t edit the copies.
How you choose to use them is up to you. Some people always use components, some use both depending on their needs.
A table for example Could be made of one leg component that is copied and flipped to make the other three, and the table top could be a group because there is only one of them. These 5 objects could be collected together as a Group so they all move together, but they could also be made into a component that you can add more of them to the model and save as a ‘Table component’ for use in other models.
It would be rare to save a group for use in another model.

The focus of navigation is the cursor, place the cursor on the point you want to zoom to.

Single click will select a single object, a face, an edge, a group/component
Double click will select the thing you click on and anything directly attached to it. So double click a face and it will select the faces and the edges, but double click an edge and it will select the edge and the face attached to it. If the edge has a face either side it will select the edge and both faces.
Double click will also Open a Group/Component for editing.
Triple click will select all connected geometry.

1 Like

The Fundamentals course that you mentioned is exactly where you should start. It is free and available to everyone. It is the best way to learn the basics of SketchUp.

Remember, SketchUp is a general purpose 3D modeling software. When you go to learn it, learn to use the tools. Do not worry about how you will eventually use it for your specific workflow. Once you know the tolls and how to make them work, then dive into YouTube and find others doing what you are.

SketchUp is truly one of the easiest 3D modeling softwares to learn, but you have to start with the basics!!

1 Like

thank you, have watched a few of this guys videos, but for me he seems to jump in too deep too quickly for my level of understanding

this is where I start to get confused, If I drew a table for instance and had a leg as a component I imagine I wouldn’t want to delete or purge it ?

now…this does my head in. I definitely do not understand a group being singular. A group of people would be multiple people to my way of thinking

My thinking doesn’t understand 1 table top being a group

Thanks for your video showing the selecting process

thank you, I will start there

I will guess “BS” stands for Brilliant Stuff.

The people who spend their time to share what they know are to be commended.

1 Like

Brain Saturating?
Big Sucesses?
Bewilderingly Smart??

Well no, probably not but you might accidentally delete it. Then instead of having to draw it again you can simply drag and drop an new version of it from the Component Browser.
However, if you go to the 3d warehouse and download various things to put on your table, a vase of flowers, plates, coffee cup etc and you decide you don’t want them you can delete them. But they are still stored in your model incase you want them until you actually Purge them.
So deleting a component removes it visibly from your model space, but not from the component browser. Whereas a group, once deleted is gone never to return.

A group of people is indeed multiple people, but note the way you wrote ‘A Group’. The A is saying the group is just one group filled with multiple people. So it is a singular group made up of several items.
In the same way multiple edges and faces are used to form the table top, when you collect all these edges and faces together in a ‘wrapper’ they become A Group. Two table tops would be two groups.

Now a component can be that same tabletop collection of parts, ‘wrapped’ together. But this time if you make a copy of it anything you do to the first one will be reflected in the second and all subsequent ones. This is the connection between components that we use to make multiple things change together.
Here you see if I edit the group nothing changes on the group copy, but when I edit the component it is repeated in the copy.

Had no clue about any of this, thank you

Now it makes sense, I never even thought of the table top being multiple components although now that you point it out it makes perfect sense

Thanks again for your time and input, it was a great help to see it visually as well, I appreciate your time

Ok, so here’s another visual for the difference in groups and components.
See how I can manually change only one leg at a time in the group.
But because the legs in the component are also components that have been flipped so they are correctly orientated, I can change one and it changes them all.

1 Like

thats very neat, thanks again.
I can’t believe how easy you make the splaying of the legs whether its a component or group. I would have been trying to put the cursor directly on the leg itself. I couldnt tell how many times you clicked on the leg to allow the move

Once something is selected the move tool can be used anywhere, so you can click on a very specific point or just move it along an axis, or follow an edge. Very versatile.

In this vid you can see I can use a
Single click to select the group, I could then move it or delete it or whatever.
Double click to open it for editing
and a left to right ‘fence’ selection to only select the bottom face and edges of the leg. (left to right will only select things entirely within the fence) (right to left will select anything the fence touches)

Single click again will select the component
Double click will open it for editing
But now I need another double click to open the leg component for editing
then left to right fence select and move.
Single click outside the gray bounding box to close the leg component, then single click outside again to close the table component.

With both of these I have shown the single click select just to show how it works, you don’t need to single click first before a double click to open for edit.

1 Like

Thanks again for all your help, I’ll get into that fundamentals course


Tutorials Up

Sketchup School : SketchUp School - YouTube

The Sketchup Essentials

1 Like

Thank you

Search for anything by Dave Richards. He is Fine Woodworking Magazine’s SketchUp guru and has a style that is simple and easy to follow.


thank you, Dave has already been a big help to me over time