Resizing Objects: Part 2 – Internal vs Imported Components

In Part 1 of this series, I showed how to use the Tape Measure tool within groups or components, to resize only specific objects and not the entire model.

This post also discusses using Tape Measure with groups and components. But the focus here is internal vs. imported (external) components. Read on to see what the difference is.

Internal Components, Imported Components

In this very simple example, I have an empty room (two walls and a floor), which I’ve made into a group so that other objects won’t stick to, or otherwise affect, the room. I also have a basic chair and table, created from scratch in the same model. I didn’t pay attention to scale and dimensions, which will become clear in a bit.

The Outliner lets me know that this model contains one group (the room itself). The rest of the model – the table and chair – consists of loose objects.

Scaling Objects SketchUp ResizeGroupsComponents1


I made the table into a group, and made the chair into a component which I copied three times. So now I have two groups (room and table) and four components (chairs). No loose geometry, which is the right way to model in SketchUp. And everything in this model was created in this model – nothing imported from elsewhere. Scaling Objects SketchUp ResizeGroupsComponents2


Now say I want a sideboard in the room but don’t feel like modeling one from scratch. I used the Get Models tool to find something that will work, like the striped sideboard by KARE in the top row below. Scaling Objects SketchUp ResizeGroupsComponents3


When I import the sideboard, it’s clear that something is off – either the scale of my room or the scale of the sideboard. I assume that the sideboard was modeled by a competent person at KARE, so the problem is me: my room is too big.Scaling Objects SketchUp ResizeGroupsComponents4


Resizing Internal and Imported Components

So I need to use Tape Measure to shrink down the room. The long wall measures 137′ – a tad long. I’ll resize this dimension to 25′.

Scaling Objects SketchUp ResizeGroupsComponents5


When prompted about the resizing, the message lets me know that externally loaded components won’t be affected by the resize. So everything in this model will shrink except the sideboard. This is by design – it’s assumed that imported components have accurate dimensions (which is not necessarily true, depending on what you find in the Warehouse), and SketchUp doesn’t want to mess with those models. Scaling Objects SketchUp ResizeGroupsComponents6


Externally-loaded (imported) components don’t necessarily have to come from the 3D Warehouse. This applies to any model not created within your original model. So if you created your own sideboard, saved  it in its own SketchUp file, and used File / Import to bring it into another model, that sideboard would also not get resized when scaling.

So here’s the new and improved, post-resize room, with everything looking more reasonable. The sideboard measures 5′-3″, and will remain at that size no matter how you resize the room.

Scaling Objects SketchUp ResizeGroupsComponents7


(Of course, if you did want to change the sideboard’s size, or anything else about the sideboard, you could edit the sideboard component and make your changes within the edited component.)



About Bonnie Roskes

Bonnie Roskes has been writing tutorial-style projects on 3D modeling software, primarily SketchUp, since 2001. Her website, 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. Thats a really helpful tip. Why did you make the chairs a component rather than a group?


    1. If you want to make any change in the chairs, just change one and all others will change, additionally repeated components use less space in your file. This doesn’t happen with groups.


  2. Thank you Bonnie. Great tip!!!!!


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