The Component Browser and 3D Warehouse


I certainly think SketchUp has missed both birds. Adding 3D Warehouse to the component browser was a great idea but in practice it turned out to be worse than just having local components.

The main problem here isn’t the component that was designed for rendering instead of design, but the vast majority of models that was never ever meant to be used as components in the first place. 3D Warehouse is full of creations that people have drawn just for fun or are full projects of their own. There has to be a way to filter these out.


If manual sorting by humans is now too expensive, would it help to use an efficient crowd-sorting algorithm? (I almost wanted to write kraut-sorting)

Models that actually are being inserted into professional projects are likely to be “insertable”.


I totally agree, for all the reasons stated above. I never understood why a really useful component browser had to be turned into something really awkward.

I’m not a professional; I’m a hobbyist. But I don’t want to have to sift through hundreds of poorly designed door components just to find a quality one for my dream house. I’m always happier with tighter search results (i.e. matches must contain ALL of my search terms rather than some of them). Tightening the search results by marking which ones are “high-quality” or “low polygon count” would be great also.

My big problem for many years was that I lived in southeast Asia. I couldn’t rely on having my internet up when I wanted to insert a component. I had already downloaded component collections for just such a situation. But the newer SketchUp versions made the local collections impossible to find while I was forced to sift through thousands of models that were not meeting the need.

If you design your program with the assumption that users have constant high-speed internet, you limit your user base to a much smaller set of countries in the world.

(I bumped into a guy in a Jakarta coffee shop who was using SketchUp for professional work.)

I also agree with the statement that there are different audiences with different needs. Can’t this be addressed with clever use of tags? For example, “high-def”, or “builder-ready”, etc.

I love SketchUp, but in this specific instance, I don’t believe SU has “nailed a happy medium”. I’m less happy with the component browser than I used to be…


This is so for South Africa as well.


Tags would be a good solution so that the search scope could be limited in different usage contexts (e.g. component browser search defaults to component/insertable models where as the website searches among all models).

The challenge is that these would have to be correctly applied by users. The more “rules” there are the more content must be moderated (and at the moment moderation has already a lot to deal with just abuse as defined by ToS).

Still I could imagine the upload form has categories like the SketchUp download form:

I want to upload this model to:

  • just show it to the world
  • let people reuse it as building block

Or categories like extension warehouse:

My model is suitable for:

  • everyone / I don’t know
  • architects
  • rendering
  • 3D printing
  • 2D design [another kind of models that I’d like to filter]

I kind of predicted this will happen at some point when I started with sketchup 5. I used 8 for so many years before upgrading to 2017 sometime last year.

The dafault component library that came with sketchup were good and quite descriptive for most of what people needed without having to go online ( I wonder why that was ever removed), also the help file that came with sketchup then (@last) could have been updated and made available through the program (But thats another can of worms)

What I resulted to was to copy that particular library and move to every version of sketchup ever since and so find I hardly need to go online to find a component unless I really have to. It’s such a pain having to open the component browser, wait for it to load then begin to download something that may not have been done properly. At least with the old library, this fixes the loading times and overrides the default names when you open the program…no loading times.

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Yah! SketchUp 2017 and higher can now access materials and components via the 3DW:

Older SketchUp versions will need to download SKM files from a browser external to SketchUp.
See this new Help Center article:


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