Why does solid tool turn component into group?

Whenever I create a component, then modify that component via trim/intersect/subtract - the object becomes a group with the instance name: difference. Can someone help me understand why this happens?

I get why, in intersect, a new solid would be labelled intersection and turned into a group. But why, when dealing with Trim/Subtract, can’t a component remain a component after this procedure?


All of the native Solid Tools convert components they modify into groups. It’s the way the extension was written. Some years ago at 3D Basecamp I met the author of those tools and when I asked about this he said to me, “They’re broken.” I hoped they’d get fixed but he had already retired by that time and evidently fixing them isn’t a high enough priority for anyone else.

Instead of using the native Solid Tools, use Eneroth Solid Tools and/or Bool Tools 2. Both of them respect the “component-ness” of components. I have both because sometimes it seems one works better than the other depending on the objects involved.


Thanks for your insight! I appreciate you. I wish it were fixed. It’d greatly increase my workflow. One would think if a company promises streamlined workflow they would invest in not only advancing their tool palette, but ensuring the native tools already in that palette work more effectively as the newer models roll out. But what do I know, coding this program is quite the task, I reckon.

Would you happen to know if those extensions are '23 compatible?

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I wish they’d been fixed a decade or more ago but… I expect at the time there was some reason for writing them the way they work. The two options I list will increase your workflow and at this stage, since there are already two options, I wouldn’t expect the native Solid Tools will get an update anyhow.

They both work fine in SketchUp 2023.

You can get inside the component, select the loose geometry and make them a group, then create the other group you need and apply the Boolean operation. That way all the instances will be affected with the changes.

Yes. You can do the extra gymnastics but why would you bother?

It’s literally five more clicks more, just getting inside takes two, and three to select all the geometry, it could be even selected with Ctrl+A, the rest is the same procedure as doing it from outside the component.

Yeah but… too much clicking’s not good for your hand :wink:

Aside - I’ve keymapped tab to do a double click and a long tab to do a triple click.


Still much more work than just using Eneroth Solid Tools or Bool tools to do it.

That’ll make it even easier.

The native solid tools can be very straightforward when creating the needed geometry and start naming them afterwards.
One could say it’s workings derived from the original concept of creating ‘drawings’ as opposed to the more modern approach of creating ‘objects’ or ‘models’.
In the end, it’s all about in which context-level you’re working in.
(If a component can be considered as a ‘little’ SketchUp file and if leaving ungrouped geometry in a SketchUp model is considered bad practice, all components should have a nested level with group(s) inside)

The object approach did not make it in the web-based version 6 years ago and also did not make it in the iPad version recently, both of those cannot use extensions…

@DaveR, in reading your answers over the years, you seem to use a lot of extensions. Just wondering if, in practice, you enable/disable extensions as needed to avoid conflict or bloat?

…and thank you for all your answers over the years. :slight_smile:

I do use some extensions. I actually have more than I use regularly. Some of them I’ve gotten to be able to help some of my students.There are a few that I only enable when I want them. The key one is Vray because when it is enabled it creates a new taskbar button which I don’t like. I’vew never had any extensions that conflict with each other so that’s not been a problem for me. I could probably keep more extensions disabled on a regular basis to reduce startup time but I’ve almost always got two or three SketchUp session open at any one time so it’s usually not a big deal to go from one to another, anyway.

And thank you!

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Thanks Dave. That’s helpful.

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