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So what makes some components good?

No Geo-location with your component

If you are going to add your component to the 3D warehouse be sure that it doesn’t have a specific point in space assigned to it (unless it’s a Google Earth item).  The best way to clean up a component is to bring it into a new, empty drawing.  I have a template set up so that I can either build a component from scratch or bring in an existing component and therefore not have any geo-location information in the model.

Purge

Be sure to go to Window > Model Info > Statistics > Purge Unused to get rid of all unused layers, materials, and other misc. components before you upload it to the warehouse.  Your component should be on Layer 0 so you, co-workers, or other warehouse users can easily manipulate it without adding layer debris to the drawing.

Having a good “insertion point” or Axes is important. 

First select the geometry to become a component.  Then right-click over them.  Click on Make Component.  In the Create Component dialog box, be sure to click on Set Component Axes.  You can move the axes to the right point on the component (typically a center or corner of the entity).  This is equivalent to the “insertion point” in CAD.

Textures can be cut-out and made into 2D components.  The critical point for these components is to click on the box “Face Me”.  This is how 2D trees are created.  For more on the process of creating a 2D tree, see my blog on creating a 2D tree component.

Shadows

If it is a 2D component especially, it is good to make your component with the shadows turned on.  This allows the 3D warehouse visitor to quickly see the quality of your cut-out work.  If the 2D component is not cut-out, the shadow will be an ugly rectangle.

Picture

Be sure the picture with your component shows it accurately.  There’s nothing worse than having a poor image taken of your great component. Components are basically nested .skp files, so worse case you can open it up from your component directory directly and save it with a better view.

Naming

Name your component in an accurate, descriptive, and succinct way.  The name can be short and you can use the description box for your lengthy component definition.  (It will also help your component be searched and found in 3D warehouse.  This is Google after all.)

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