Making A Sketchup Component

One of the many nice features of Sketchup is the ability to dismantle a piece of furniture, that we or someone else has drawn. But, how do they or we do this? Answer, we use the “Component” command.

Drawing a piece of furniture, typically consists of a collection of lines, arcs, circles, etc. For example, a simple square shaped leg consists of 12 lines. For the sake of simplicity, any joinery associated with a typical leg will be omitted, during this discussion here.

Using The Component Command To Make A Component

  • Start by hitting (But gently) the “Space Bar”, then hold down the left mouse button, move mouse cursor to drag a box around all the lines that you want to be a specific component, and release the left mouse button. All the lines, arcs, circles, etc inside the box drawn will turn “Blue”. The “Blue” color indicates the items selected, by the box you just drew with your mouse.
  • Next right click inside the selected lines area, a menu will pop up, select the “Make Component” option.
  • Regarding the pop up menu, personally I go with the default settings, and left click on the “Create” box at the bottom right, of the pop up menu. As you use the “Component” command to make components, the command will name the components for you, if you go with the default name setting. The first component you make will be named “Component #1″ (By default), the next component will be named “Component #2″, and so on.
  • Click the left mouse button out in empty space, this will deselect the component you just made. The component lines will be deselected, and change color from “Blue” to “Black”.

How To Dismantle
If you make each piece of wood used for building your furniture a component, then you can in turn easily dismantle the furniture you sketch, by using the “Move” command. Use the following procedure:

  • First select say a leg that you made as a component (Using the steps noted above). To select the leg just mentioned, hit the “Space Bar” (This will put you in the “Select” mode).
  • Move the mouse cursor over the leg, and click the left mouse button. All lines making up the leg (That we previously would have made a “Component”) will have turned “Blue” (Indicating that the lines making up the leg are selected).
  • Next hit the “M” key on the keyboard, click the left mouse button with the mouse cursor positioned over your component (I generally like to click on some endpoint on the component). Move your component using your mouse cursor, and click the left mouse button again, when you have relocated your component to where you want it relocated to.
  • Finish by hitting the “Space Bar”, and click the left mouse button with the cursor, out in empty space. This will deselect the component that you just moved. The lines of the component will turn from “Blue” back to “Black”, indicating that the component has been deselected.

Reassembling The Furniture
To reassemble the furniture, you have the following two options:

  • The easiest, assuming you did not use the “Save” command, while you have had the Sketchup file open, is to close Sketchup without saving the changes you made. This way, you can reopen the Sketchup file, and the furniture will be fully assembled. This is the method, I like to use.
  • Your other option is to use the “Move” command, to manually reassemble the furniture. Use of the “Move” command is documented earlier in this post.

Final Thoughts
That’s basically it regarding the “Component” command. Personally for me, being able to take an electronic drawing for a piece of furniture, dismantle it (Piece by piece), measure any length I want, and look at it from any direction I want, is a dream come true.

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Until next time, take care