SketchUp dynamic components

by Design Workshop Sydney

Creating and implementing dynamic components in SketchUp is straight-forward process, which we cover in our SketchUp courses.  sketchup-dynamic-components
A standard component is a bit like a block in Autocad and is a great time-saving feature of the program. You can create a component from any geometry created in SketchUp, and it’s used for any repeatable items like doors, windows, machine parts, or anything that you use on a regular basis and don’t want to construct each time.
A component can be edited and imported into future models. You can either create them from scratch or download them from the SketchUp 3d warehouse. Then modify and resave if necessary. The additional use of components is the ease by which you can modify multiples of an item, like adding details to window frames, for example.
You can also download Bonus Packs of components for free from the Sketchup 3d Warehouse for items like trees and foliage, cars, furniture, people (both 2d and 3d), generic buildings and mechanical parts. And you can also upload your own components to the Warehouse for others to use.
To turn on the Dynamic Components toolbar go to: View, Toolbars, Dynamic Components. A dynamic component (DC) is smart & can respond to three types of interaction. For example Smart  scaling – a dynamic window will get wider when you scale it, but the frame will stay the same thickness. Another example is a DC that scales by adding or subtracting pieces as they get bigger or smaller, for example Dynamic stairs. When you use the Scale tool to make the staircase higher, instead of stretching the staircase adds steps. Another example of a dynamic component is one which is set to respond to the Interact tool, to add doors to a car for instance.
Creating a dynamic component is only available in the Pro version of the SketchUp, available in Australia for about $600. The SketchUp Make version is, of course, a free download from When creating a dynamic component you must remember to create it entirely from groups and sub-groups. Right-click on the component > Dynamic Components > Component Attributes. A spreadsheet dialog will appear with 2 columns of attribute and attribute value pairs. It’s best to test it to make sure the component works the way you want it to.

Many useful tips and techniques can be found at the SketchUp website. And see many examples of our own clients’ work on our Facebook page.

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