Straw: poll: Groups vs Components in workflow?

Which do you use more and why: Groups or Components?
I use Group more bc I don’t have to stop to fill out a form to name them, and a Group feels more logical for a collection of smaller models with the drawing ( for me, Cabinetry & Interiors)…
Also with Components, I often forget to use Make Unique (which causes unintended parts to change)…
I’m ready to be wrong…

Which do you use more often and why?
Bonus question: what type of modeling do you do caused you to develop this preference?

Thanks everyone!

I use a parametric plugin for much of my cabinetry and I don’t have these issues.
The above problems occur when I am taking an “artistic” approach, and making visual design decisions by “feel”.
I admit that when I’m in that frame of mind, the restraints of good practice can go out the window…
With this exploration, I’m trying internalize a process that works both with free flowing “creative” mindset, as well as gives me something I can actually build in the shop…

I do as you do and for the same reasons. There are other very experienced people here who only use Components. Having to name them as you go is tedious but is probably a good habit to get into. I have only recently started using the autonaming in Layout (which also works with Groups) which can save some time down the line.

Ad (yawn) I know you don’t HAVE to name components. SU will do it for you but only dumbly.

Component if it is a repeating item, group otherwise.

You don’t have to name them. SketchUp names components automatically and if you’re satisfied with that name, you just hit Enter.

I see that complaint frequently from people who haven’t developed a consistent work flow.

In MY SketchUp work I use only components.

  • Components get names which make them identifiable in Outliner. Groups all look the same in Outliner unless you make an effort to go back and name them after they’ve been created.
  • They can have properties such as gluing and opening cutting.
  • Their axes can be positioned to make placing them into a model quick and painless.
  • Components save me work when editing the model.
  • Components have a description field that can be used for useful adding information.
  • The component’s definition name or description can be used as auto text in LayOut.
  • Even if there’s only one of something in the model, it will be a component. My work flow is consistent and I never have any reason to wonder if I made a group or component in my models.

Out of curiosity, could you do this in LayOut with groups?

There’s more but that’s a start.


Wow thanks!
A great argument for a “Components every-time” approach.
I’ve never had any luck with Layout, but this will make me take another look…
Btw, is this you?

I only report what works for me but I’m still relatively new at SketchUp. Only about 17 years in. :wink:

Yeah. That’s me.

Thank you sir for all your input, you have wonders to buoy my optimism about Sketchup!

I mostly use groups, but also use components a lot. For me a component is everything that can be named, e.g. a car, a window or a reoccurring apartment type. A group is something that only makes sense in a specific context, like that wall between my bathroom and kitchen or my desk with all the random stuff on it or a in-situ concrete slab. If you can order an item from a store or manufacturer, I’d call that item a component.

Another way to think of it is what behavior would make the most sense if you copy the object and then edit the copy. If you copy a door to a new location and edit it, you likely want to improve your 3d model of that door type. If you copy a slab and edit it, you likely want it to be disconnected from the first slab. Likely there is no such thing as a “type” of slab, only a bunch of individual slabs. The exception would be if you use prefabricated interchangeable slabs, and then they would be components, identified by some name.