When To Use Components VS Groups


#1

Hello, i am in the process of building my first model, which is getting quite large now.

I have tried to keep everything as organised as possible using groups and components.

However, i am a little confused with one thing.

If i draw a small object such as a box, should i be converting that to a group or a component?

Lets say i am not planning on re-using that box object again later, (however i might re-use it), it feels wrong that i should convert it to a group as then i need to put that group (box object) inside a parent group to keep everything organised.

If i convert it to a component, then i might copy it later and make an adjustment which will then mess up the original component (unless i make it unique).

I feel like groups are like folders, and components are like objects we put into groups.

It feels weird that i should convert something to a group, and then place it in a group (folder).

So, what is the best practice to convert a small object to? Thank you for your help.


#2

Using groups and components allows you to better organize your models. The precise conditions under which these entities can (or should) be used will vary for different users and it probably depends on one’s personal preferences. That being said, one potentially sensible approach may be to convert an object to a component when it will be repeated in the model. Group objects or entities to preserve their context within the model. Stated more plainly: if you want to keep things from sticking to other objects then make it a group and if you expect to use the same object again then make it a component.

I hope this helps.


#3

This is probably why it sounds weird to you. A group is “just” a group of entities that stands on its own, separated (not sticky) from the rest of the model. It doesn’t need to then be placed into a group. Otherwise it would be nested without purpose.
Have you explored the power of the ‘Outliner’ yet? You can see the structure of your groups and components in the model. You can even drag (nested) groups and (nested) components into or out their current environment into another.


#4

My personal take on this is that I use Groups for objects that are not repeated in the model. This mean I often create groups by default and then convert to components if I want to place it multiple places.

The reason is that I want to keep the component list short in the model. I always name my components properly and set the Component Browser to display by name - not thumbnails. That way when I need a new window I just look for “Window 600x900” in the component browser and insert it.

Exceptions are if I want to be able to reload the object.

I would say so. Whatever is an “object” deserve to be a Group or Component.

I’m not sure I follow when you say you convert an object you want to reuse into a group… ?


#5

Here is an example of a group within a group. I model houses. I model the foundation and make it a group. Then the center support beam and make it a group. Next, I add the lally columns and make them a group. Then I add the mudsill on top of the foundation and group it. Now I have four groups properly labeled and just sitting in the Outliner. I then add the floor joists. Since these will be multiple objects, I make them into components. Finally, I highlight all the groups and then make into another group that I label “01_Foundation”. This now shows as the first group in the Outliner. Now I continue to build the house in the same fashion using groups and components and making groups of groups - “02 First Floor” “03 Second Floor” and so on. Hope this helps.


#6

Thanks for all the help guys, it’s much appreciated. The confusion is definitely between making an object a group, and then also that folders are actually called groups (nesting several groups and components into one group)


#7

You can rename any “group” to any name that makes sense to you to keep your model organized. Don’t just go along nesting “group” within “group” without naming them. If you don’t give your “group” a name when you create it it will be difficult to tell what it is later. Check out the Outliner and use it as much as possible to organize.