Smart Scaling with SketchUp’s Dynamics Components

By Aidan Chopra

Dynamic components (DCs) designed to react intelligently to the Scale tool are the closest things to true magic that SketchUp offers. Instead of stretching and getting all distorted when you scale them, the parts that are supposed to change dimensions, do; the other parts don’t.

The center image shows what happens when you scale a nondynamic window component to make it wider. See how the frame stretches? Yuck. The image on the far right shows the dynamic version of the same window. It gets wider when you scale it, but the frame stays the same thickness. It’s smart enough to know that only some parts of it should get wider when you scale it.

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There’s another way that DCs can scale smartly: by adding or subtracting pieces as they get bigger or smaller. Dynamic stairs are a perfect example of this. When you use the Scale tool to make the staircase taller, the staircase adds steps instead of stretching:

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You can turn on the Dynamic Components toolbar, which is a quicker way to work with DCs than constantly using the menu bar. Just choose View→Toolbars→ Dynamic Components, and you’re all set.