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This question falls dangerously close to being a software question, but it's definitely specific to DIY...

My house is around 100 years old. Off-the-shelf home design programs have nice libraries of drop-on components like walls and windows that can be adjusted somewhat to fit, but they are basically useless when trying to realistically match older wall sizes, window types, molding, etc.

I love Google Sketch-up and have successfully created a few basic plans in it, but I'm really tired of reinventing the wheel constantly, or compromising my 3D design and having just a big box rather than a detailed rendering.

I would love, for instance, to be able to create a wall that is exactly 9'4" tall, 5 1/4" inches thick, with a baseboard on each side that is 3/4" x 8" with a 1/2" turn edge, and quarter-round at the bottom. Then I'd like to be able to drop that into Sketch-up and simply resize it to create a custom wall that is exactly like those in my house.

Same goes with the windows, doors, trim, and various other odds and ends.

My experience, however, has been that SU can't think of anything as an "object", only as edges and surfaces. So, trying to reuse shapes is a bit of a pain, as is punching through walls and adding realistic windows, etc.

So, any tips on how to properly component-ize my designs?

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Try to go to Google SKetchup tutorial... Is easy. –  Papo Aug 30 '10 at 23:19
    
There is a 'component marker' tool in SU, but I don't know how to use it well. Also, have you seen 'follow me'? Check it out here: youtube.com/watch?v=GOxrFN7JbiQ –  Peter Aug 31 '10 at 2:32
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5 Answers

You need to learn to use Components in SketchUp; they do exactly what you want. They do not "stick" to other parts of your model and won't affect other lines/etc but you can still snap to them when drawing.

Also, you can go into a component and edit it, and the changes will be reflected in all the copies you have made of that component (or, you can break a single component free and edit only that one).

Additionally, the paid version lets you create Dynamic Components; e.g., a cabinet where you can alter the reveal around the door just by entering a number, or a stair where you can set the run, rise, and number of treads without drawing anything new.

Components will do it for you!

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here is the other idea how to make component to goggle skecthUp

Once you make your own design by goggle skecthUp, after you done your design, capture them all the way down,then right click from your mouse,then click make component,then name it/description/create/ then go to statistic/ then save as/ go to folder where ever you want to save your component.if you need model... just go to click file/ after click file /click 3D warehouse/then click get model. After you do that just type what you need , like if you need window just type window,then click search...then there is a lot of sample of windows coming out and just download them.. and you have your window just like that. hope this is helpful Good luck and cheers : )

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You should give Sweet Home 3D a try, http://www.sweethome3d.com/index.jsp. Its not perfect but it does satisfy your requirements. You can also convert Google Sketchup designs into native SH3D objects.

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Hey, @Ryan, I user it also and love it, but how to easily "convert Google Sketchup designs into native SH3D objects"? I could do the inverse operation (In Sweet Home 3D: SH3D -> OBJ; In Anim8tor: OBJ -> 3DS; In Google Sketchup: Import 3DS, but with no textures and I cannot edit it), but not your described way yet... –  kokbira May 21 '12 at 12:43
    
At sweethome3d.com/importModels.jsp it says "For Google 3D Warehouse models available only in SKP/SketchUp format, it is possible to easily convert them to DAE/Collada format by choosing File > Export > 3D Model... out of the menu in the free version of SketchUp." I did this a long time ago with a design of an ikea desk found in a SketchUp library. –  Ryan May 21 '12 at 17:06
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You could try creating your own plug-ins using the Google Sketchup Ruby API. You may also be able to find some useful ones that others have created, this site offers some and I'm sure a Google search will revile other sites with similar offerings like this one.

Google Sketchup API Documentation

Google Sketchup Community Forum

Here is another good plug-in site.

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