Quality Components: Part 1- SketchUp Collections

My “day job” project this week has been working on a chapter for an upcoming book on Modeling with SketchUp for Film and Stage Design. This chapter is about props – modeling or importing entourage objects such as furniture, knick-knacks, plants, and of course, people.

If you rely only on the 3D Warehouse for these types of models, you’re going to run into problems. Many Warehouse models are wonderful, and you’ll quickly find model authors whose work you can rely on. But many, many, MANY Warehouse models are less than ideal. Some have the wrong scale, some have hidden objects, some have only “loose” geometry (no groups or components), some have way too many polygons, some use too-large image files.

So where can you go when you need a reliable, well-crafted model? This three-part series showcases three resources. This post focuses on models created by the SketchUp staff.

To find these, open SketchUp’s Components window and click the drop-down arrow. Under “Favorites” are several categories of models, such as Architecture.



If you open the Architecture collection, you’ll get 17 sub-collections. Only 12 are displayed at a time, so you’ll have to use the scroll arrows at the bottom to look around. The Furniture collection is one I turn to all the time. If you click on the collection thumbnail (picture) . . .sketchupcomponents2

. . . You’ll continue in the Components window, with a new set of sub-collections. But if you click on a collection name (not thumbnail) . . .


. . . You’ll open the 3D Warehouse window which shows these objects in more detail.


Or say you have a specific object in mind,such as a bus, and don’t want to pore through the entire Transportation collection. Just enter “bus author:sketchup” in the search field. This works both in the Comopnents window and in the 3D Warehouse window. You might get some non-bus objects (like a bus shelter), but you won’t have too long a list to go through.



Anything you find in these “Favorites” categories will be a light, well-modeled object that will have the correct size and won’t weigh things down, slowing SketchUp’s performance.

If you don’t love the look of these generic objects, but also don’t want to bring in overly heavy models, you can use the SketchUp components temporarily, as placeholders. Then when you’re ready to swap out, you can right-click on a component and choose Reload. Or choose 3D Warehouse / Reload, which takes you directly to the 3D Warehouse for a replacement.

Next, in Part 2: FormFonts.


About Bonnie Roskes

Bonnie Roskes has been writing tutorial-style projects on 3D modeling software, primarily SketchUp, since 2001. Her website, www.3dvinci.net offers a wide variety of learning materials for all ages, from kids in grade school through design professionals. Her materials cover general 3D design, 3D printing, geometry, interior design, geo-modeling, and more, and future books are in the works. Read more about Bonnie.



  1. Thanks Bonnie. The tip about typing “bus author:sketchup” has been a real timesaver. Are there any other search tips that you know of when using the 3D Warehouse? For example, I searched for a “2D dog” and got well over 5,000 results. The overwhelming majority had nothing to do with what I what I was looking for. In addition to the advanced search, it would be great, if 3D Warehouse had a link that had search tips, like the one you mentioned above.


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