Components can be made at any time.  They usually result out of necessity as one is building a model.  So what is the main difference between Groups and Components?  Groups are equivalent to CAD “blocks”: they just sit in the model.  It allows one to isolate the geometry of an entity from the rest of the model.  Components are similar to CAD “wblocks” where the geometry is grouped but also can be used beyond the current model.  [You can move them from the model into component folders.]  Components can also be added to the 3D warehouse.

The steps to making a component:

1.      Create your geometry/image-texture

2.      Highlight just the geometry to be made into a component  (sometimes triple-clicking can do this easily if no other geometry is touching)

3.      Right-click to Make a Component

4.      Fill out the name of the component and description

5.      If it is a 2D component that needs to always “face me” (rotate with the view), then check the box Always face the camera

6.      Always Set Component Axes at proper base of the geometry (this is the same as the “insertion point” for a CAD block)

7.      Check the box Replace selection with component, if you want this current highlighted geometry to be a component (a good thing)

8.      Click Create to make it.  It should now appear in the Components window In Model