Using Groups and Components in modeling

Groups are totally invaluable! But, getting into the cabinet/shelves part of a project, Components seem to be in order.

Created a 3/4" thick member to be the top of the cabinet. Labeled the component “Shelf Cabinet_top member_lower”.
Copied and pasted another instance directly above it.
Now when I double click one of the duo, both are available for editing (need to do a minor extrusion).
Problem is, in order to do this, SketchUp removes the pair from the overall drawing, which I need to snap to.

If I either select either or both component members and click the extrude tool all hiliting goes away.

Introduction to groups and components (in Sketchup) - YouTube doesn’t seem to have this problem, when he modifies component(s) they don’t leave his drawing.

You can turn on the rest of the model very easily. Pull up the view menu (sunglasses) and un-check “Hide rest of model.” You can toggle this on and off as needed, which is super helpful. Sometimes you’ll want to have it hidden, and others you won’t.

For what it’s worth, Groups and Components aren’t all that different. Groups put geometry/faces into a container, just like a Component, so it is its own piece. The main difference is that Components update all instances together. A group is like a unique component, and great for when you know it won’t be used in other parts of the model.

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And to edit one member of the duo (always happens!) I need to explode them (temporarily)?

The whole point of components is that you’re using them as repeat parts so that they all update together. If you want to make a different component, similar to the first, you can either explode and make a new component, or you can right-click on it and click “Make unique.”

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Yup! Now the question is, with two different objects (once twin components) what are the advantages/disadvantages of NOW making them a Component or a Group?

If you intend to have multiple instances of an object, make it a component. Having multiple instances is good because it makes your model more efficient, and allows you to update all instances instantly. If it’s a group, it doesn’t have that relation to other instances. It’s just grouped geometry, which is great if you’re not intending to use it over and over.

Regardless of what you choose to use, and when/why, you should always have everything in your model as part of a group or component. Loose geometry is not the way to go.

These are the core basics of groups and components. I highly recommend changing the title of this topic to “Basics of groups and components.” You can also mark my first comment as the Solution, because it solved your question.

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I have changed the title of the thread to better reflect it’s subject.

Can we get one thing straight? Are you using SketchUp Free on a web browser as your profile indicates? Or SketchUp pro for desktop as some of your screenshots indicate. The answers you need can vary wildly depending on what version you are using, which is why we have profiles.


I’m trialing Pro.

Things will change…

  • I tried exploding the two components in order to change (by 3/4") the length of the lower one. When I tried to change the length of the lower one, the top one responded!

I repeated the same thing three times before realizing what had happened. When I started the extrusion, I observed the “Dimensions” box and noticed that in the direction I was pushing, the dimension was going in a negative direction. So of course, I typed in -3/4". The top plank did not shorten by my requested amount, the plank I was handling LENGTHENED by that amount!

No need to explode groups or components to edit them. Double click on them to open for editing, or right click and choose edit. If you want to edit only one instance of a component, right click and choose make unique, this will disconnect it from the others and make it a fresh component.

Clearly they were not exploded, but both still instances of the same component. Perhaps you had them both included in a larger component and exploded that. Groups and components can contain other groups and components inside them, called nesting, it works hierarchically like folders.

Push pull moves are relative to the starting position, but you do not need to type - or + numbers. Activate the push pull tool, click on a surface to grab it and start to move in either direction, then let go of the mouse and type a dimension for the required change and press return. The surface will move by that amount in the direction that the move started in. A 5" move can be either direction depending on the direction you move the surface to begin with.

Incidentally: The best way to get more copies of a component is using the move tool with the copy/move modifier key pressed once to toggle move/copy (cntrl on Windows i believe).

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Then you did not explode it or create a unique component. If it’s still changing like instances then they are still the same components.

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In order to place a plank under the horizontal I started at the top, extruded partially down, completely resituated the view so I could see the floor, and completed the extrude to the floor.
As you can see image there’s a line where the extrude was continued.How do make all that one unit.

  • Erasing the line didn’t work, it eliminated the top part (why not the bottom?)
  • Selecting the two (the top is a group; the bottom isn’t anything yet) and looking for a merge? (I can make them a group or a component, but that seems like it’s asking for trouble.)

Are you using a three button mouse? You should be able to orbit and zoom using the center mouse wheel without disturbing the current operation There is really no need to stop operations to move. You can switch to the orbit tool if you must and then switch back to the push pull tool and your place would be saved. There is no reason, even if you did the push pull in two moves that a line would be left behind. Unless you pushed the modifier key (contrl) while push pulling which makes a fresh face.

It comes down to having to extrude-click on a very small surface (3/4"); then having to back up a ways before the floor gets in your way, then to zooming in and looking from above to snap to the destination point; all the while (and this is even more troublesome) having to avoid a plethora of points the movement wants to snap on to on the way down.
Are you saying these surfaces can’t be made into one?

Gee, now that I have an unjoined wall that I can’t put together (you’d think it’d be easy with all the unwanted gluing that goes on) I thought I’d just draw a rectangle across the two planks, extrude it, and replace the other two. Nope, the rectangle extrudes as two rectangles.

You need to attach your model, we can’t dream up enough wrong ways it might have happened. Erasing the line should be easy, as is not making the line in the first place so something must be going on that you and we don’t understand. We need to see the model.


If the top is a group and the bottom is not then that is why there is a line. They are separate entities . Erase the bottom, open the top for editing and push pull the bottom surface.

Oh Hi Riley, didn’t know it was you, Learned One.And you’re wrong, there’s nothing you guys don’t know–problem is there seem to be endless ways of doing the same thing.
Since I don’t know how to attach a file to the forum, I’ll attach it to the notification email.

If things look complex,some of it are gifts from friends (i.e., dynamic components, and a slew of tags).

I’m using the Outliner as the closest I can get to a layer manager. I figure you can either use Outliner or Tags, BUT NOT BOTH.

File attached.


Kitchen9_Current Configuration_3.skp (178 KB)

You have loose geometry overlapping a group. Triple click and delete to remove the loose geometry. Double click to open the group for editing, draw an edge to create the face, pull the face down to the bottom.

Got it.
While you were doing that I was having the most fun I’ve had in a bit–routing a ~ 3/8"x (close to height of plank) on the part the refrigerator butts into.(can’t use regular standards & brackets, they’d have to be screwed into the back of the fridge)…
So I route this great 1/8" deep groove into the wood, start another, and realize they both need to be moved, closer toward the front face. I managed to get rid of the second pre-groove (just a rectangle). Now I’m finding that I’ll have to reconstruct the plank because any way I try to delete the groove itself image
will destroy one face of the wood.
Can I groove a channel (extrude in) into a box, somehow SELECT AND MAKE THAT GROOVE INTO A COMPONENT and then cut and paste (and move if necessary) component copies into other box faces?

Wife’s birthday, have to go…