The Component Browser and 3D Warehouse

I’ve said this before and will now say it again. In my view the Component Browser in SketchUp 6 was much more useful than it has ever been since. I even stuck to using SU6 for many, many years after it had been superseded because of this.

The difference is that the old Component Browser was not connected to 3D Warehouse. This meant it was easy to find useful components to use in a project in contrast to how it is now when most models you find were never intended to be used as components. This is rather ironic since 3D Warehouse could and should be something positive, not a burden.

Don’t get me wrong, I love how kids and hobby users can play in SketchUp and share their 2 million polygon cars or the first box they pushpulled or a 20 000 square m dream home. I did this myself for many, many years and it was great fun and a brilliant way to learn SketchUp! However there must be a way limit the search results only to usable components for 3D Warehouse to be a useful professional tool than gain architects and designers in our everyday work.

I suggest an option in the component browser to only show SketchUp’s own components and those by certified Content Developers. I’m not asking for a checkbox you have to tick for each search or a keyword or something but a real persistent setting for the component browser.

I also suggest letting users make whole collections available offline. This was more or less a feature in SketchUp 6 as you could download installers that added SketchUp’s extended component collections to your computer.

Currently loading each new page in the Component Browser is tediously slow even freezes SketchUp completely. This is extremely distracting and stops any flow you might find yourself in. Even if the content would be loaded as a separate thread and not freeze up SketchUp the interruption of waiting is totally unnecessary and causes problems for those with an unstable Internet connection.

Last but not least these suggested features could very well be SketchUp Pro only. There’s a constantly ongoing discussion why you should pay for Pro. Every other day you can see people here in the forums using Make for professional work despite being specifically forbidden by the terms of use to do so. Adding more features that truly benefits professionals exclusively to SketchUp Pro would be beneficial both for users and Trimble.


I like this.

I had suggested privately (to @Barry ) that a “blue ribbon” icon be assigned to “quality” models, and that this could be used as a search filter (so yes there would need to be a filter checkbox somewhere. I would not argue against persistent filter settings, as I always like the user "to use it their way’.)

Also, had suggested a “feather” icon filter for “lightweight” models.


I like the idea but with a filter enabled it would look odd though with a little ribbon on every single component. Not only would the ribbon be futile with the filter enabled, it would also be difficult to interpret since there’s no pattern to be found. Perhaps it’s better with a little warning triangle ribbon for models that like aren’t meant to be used as components? The component browser is after all only used to find components, not to find great models to explore, that’s done in web based 3D Warehouse.


They were only suggestions.

I don’t really care HOW good component models are marked, but they need to be marked somehow. And filterable.

Same for “lightweight” low-poly models.

If you apply a filter, as long as it’s easy to see that filter is applied (say it’s icon appears in a filter set at the top of the listing,) then of course it would be redundant to display that icon on every single line of a filtered list. (This is just UX Design 101 stuff.)

IMO, more files in the 3DW would be marked as poor quality, than good quality.


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Many models are nice to download and look at their own right but as components they are unusable.

I think I’ve suggested this long time ago but just adding a checkbox (by default off) at the upload page asking if the model is meant to be used as a component could be a great improvement.



I just learned from this thread that you can drag and drop a link pointing to a model from a web browser into SketchUp :open_mouth: (at least on Windows). This greatly improves my workflow. Currently I always use an 3D Warehouse in an external web browser to find components. From the search results I middle click 10 models or so so I can see their information pages in separate tabs and compare them. Until now I have then copied the title or description of the model I’ve wanted, pasted it in the internal component browser and searched for the same model again. It’s clunky but a little faster than saving to file and it allows you to better examine the quality than you can in the component browser directly. Now I’ll just drag and drop the download link from the web browser directly to SketchUp! No component browser required :smiley: !

I did not say exactly that. Ie, I did not say you can drag-n-drop just ANY LINK.

For example, trying to drag the “Download” link from a 3DW model page fails, because it is just a button that has Javascript onClick function associated with it.

Ie, it is not a direct link to a FILE object.

Also (in that referenced thread) we were speaking of local file objects.

You may run into security issues trying to drag and drop files from the Internet zone into the Local Intranet zone.

The button itself isn’t a link but the options in the menu it shows are really proper decent links. Those works! At least on Windows and with my security settings.

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DOH! (Smacks his forehead,… leaves a red mark.) :blush:

(Forgot about the popup menu.)

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@eneroth3, I just found a bug that occurs only when you drag and drop a file link:

Go to this model:

Drag and drop it from the download link into a new model.

Look at the definition name in Entity Info. It’s:
attachment; filename=_Drafting machine_; filename_=utf-8''Drafting+machine

But if you insert in the normal way, by download from the component browser, then the definition name is:
Draft machine, draft table, desk, drawing table

(If you open the Component Options dialog you get an error either way.
It appears there are mistakes in the DC attributes for this model.)

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That is sad :frowning: . I hope this bug can be fixed. I don’t know what API:s are at play here but potentially the web server could change the headers. Otherwise guess it has to be fixed in the SketchUp core.

Regarding Dynamic Components I lost my last hope long ago. It had good intentions and the concept has so much potential but it just wasn’t properly done. That’s however a topic of its own.

I think it must be the drop handler that is installed with SketchUp Windows editions.

Guys and girls,I had similar concerns about 8 years ago so I made a drag and drop library, I got manufacturers to pay me to do draw the products for them on the proviso I could host them on my own library Low poly Sketchup Models FREE including dynamic components. I got tired of High poly content. ARGGGHHHH!
There are thousands of models and they are all good quality and low in poly yet high in resolution. I am just about to upload thousands more. I hope it helps? There is no catch, we just need it. I did make it so you have to log in because some individuals were taking them and selling them… Argghhhhh!
Tip drag and drop the top image straight into Sketchup. You will have to log in first. Have a great weekend! :sunglasses:
I did make a free plugin that automates the connection from inside of SU, PM me if you want it. I will send you the link.


Would be good to have…A Component Browser And a Model Browser…

Who will do the “cleaning”…?
I Tremble to think, what Trimble will do…
they have already started dismembering the warehouse…
in stead of making several, like you suggest.

Also, working with BIM…there is not enough documentation in the 3D Warehouse.
Many models are “Copies” and there are no “exif data”…like in photography.

Spring greetings Julia…Jakob.

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Hello Andrew just looked into the Ruby Sketch site, did sign up. Is there only the one listing for dynamic components? I did find it and it has nine models to select.
The over all amount of models to choose from is great. It is comparable to a site I found years back called Trace Parts.
They have millions of parts models of everything manufactured and in 10 file types to download for free. I use it to figure out how to use S-Up, for something to practice against. Thanks for the extra options!! …Peace…

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Hi William every component has a dynamic attribute, I’m pretty sure there
are 2500+ dynamic components, some have on click and some have options in
the option menu. Look at the dynamic components option menu.

It’s nice that there’s a third party component service but it doesn’t in any way change this feature request. Sorting out the good components from the models that were never meant to be components is something SketchUp should handle natively.

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I can only assume that there is a conundrum. I assume the majority of Sketchup users use Sketchup for visualisation and rendering and not constructability. More poly and more definition services there need for clarity in photo realistic work. It is also very difficult to ascertain the end users needs, I have been developing content for manufacturer for more than 10 years and in many cases to get paid for the work, content developers need the mentality of the “customer is always right” even though we know it is wrong. I personally do not load the high poly content to my public library as it creates a situation like this one. However, people who do photo-realiStic rendering in Sketchup regularly complain in regard to the texture resolution and the lacking of fine chamfered edges. It is a no win situation either way you look at it.
Educating manufacturers on best practices does not always work when they are trying to kill 2 birds with the one stone. Marketing people want their products to be delivered in the best light possible and do not understand that 5mm 12 point arcs on a spline are adding “weight” to the poly count. They (manufacturers) see their product perfectly represented and they use that model to do a 1 room 3D render for their website and the model interacts beautifully. The issue arises when the architect, designer or builder has 20 rooms and 200 different products perfectly represented in those rooms.
Unfortunatly, Eneroth when trying to kill 2 birds with one stone it is easy to miss both. I do not think that Sketchup has missed both, I think they have nailed a happy medium. Unfortunatley, that happy medium does not work for everybody.
So what is the solution? Sketchup 17 handles more poly than ever before and computer manufacturers are adding faster processors and graphics card at lower cost. If Sketchup continues to improve the performance of the core program at the same rate that they have in the last few releases you may find the problems goes away. Here is to a faster Sketchup with more power :grinning:


Totally agree, also been dealing with this issue and I think every manufacturer has to deal with many more then the two birds mentioned: there is the plumber who would only need to know were to put the valve and drains, the carpenter for the walls, the customer for the cost etc. etc.
The question alway is : who is it for ? By putting different information on branche-specific layers, users could easily delete the layers they won’t need. Yes, computers become faster etc. but screen’s are getting more pixels, too. Holographic projections are making an entrance in the field and augmented reality is taking a whole lot of traditional CPU set-up (one core-only). While computers have a hard time representing the world as it is now, imagine what it would take if they would have to calculate every design decision possible or represent each item on molecule-level. ( I’ve once added a 0,01 tapering on a 8 mm thick tile at manufacturer’s request )
The biggest challenge here is to convince the manufacturer that their main objective should be that their products wind up in a design, and that designer’s would probably pick the most easy to use model for the 3D warehouse.