How to Model with Repeated Elements in Google SketchUp 8 - dummies

How to Model with Repeated Elements in Google SketchUp 8

By Aidan Chopra

When building models in Google SketchUp, you may realize that some elements of your model are made up of a bunch of identical, repeated smaller elements. A staircase is a perfect example of an object that’s composed of several identical elements.

Basically, you build one simple tread that’s the right depth, make it into a component, and copy a bunch of instances into a full flight of stairs. Because every step is linked, anything you do to one automatically happens to them all.

Go through these steps to build a staircase using the Treads Are Components method:

  1. Model a single step, including the tread and the riser.

    All that matters is that the tread depth and the riser height are correct. You can fiddle with everything else later.


  2. Make a component out of the step you just built.

  3. Move a copy of your step into position, above the first one.


  4. Type the total number of steps you want, type an x, and then press Enter.

    You’re creating a linear array, meaning that you’re making several copies at regular intervals, in the same direction you moved the first one. Typing 12x generates 12 steps the same distance apart as the first step and its copy.

  5. With the Select tool, double-click any one of your steps to edit all instances of your component.

  6. Experiment.

    This really is the fun part. Having your staircase made up of multiple component instances means that you have all the flexibility to make drastic changes to the whole thing without ever having to repeat yourself.