Component Placement Tools

Component Placement Tools

The Component Placement Tools are used to place and edit SketchUp components which makes it easier to work with components and perform other powerful functions.

Component Placement Tools, (formerly RpTools, are part of SpaceDesign an add-on package for SketchUp to make it easy to layout 3D components from the 3D Warehouse (or your own components).

  • Components: Select, Place, Move, Copy, Rotate, Mirror, Stretch, Aim...
  • 2D Plotting Edge line colors and thickness, 2D Text
  • Rooms - create a room for quick placement of components


RpTools Toolbar

These are the standard icons on the tool bar, to edit these, or add other icons use Customize Toolbar

Standard toolbar icons

Place Material

Place Material uses an Explorer type tree to select materials and place them directly on faces without having to open components and groups for edit.

The tool “drills” into the model to determine which face, (or component or group), to change to place the material.

Select and Place Component

Select and Place Component is a tool in RPS SpaceDesign and RpTools which selects components from your SketchUp libraries using a convenient and powerful explorer tree.

You can use the view buttons above the component image to change the preview view, or the use mouse to spin and orbit the component by dragging on the image.

When using the Place button, you can rotate the component during placement with the arrow keys.

See: Select and Place Component

Getting Started

First, download and install SpaceDesign.

To get started, select one or more objects in your model, and try the various Manipulation Icons.

Each Icon will load a dialog which can be used to move, rotate, or make other changes to the selected objects in your model.

Editing and Manipulation wizards

Move Wizard

Move Wizard for SpaceDesign .

The Move Wizard is useful for more exact positioning.

In this example, we want to move an component exactly 3' along the red axis.

  1. Select a Component or geometry to place.
  2. Click the Move icon on the SpaceDesign toolbar.
  3. Type in a distance desired (or use the up and down sliders)
  4. Click an arrow for the direction to move.
    (The arrows are colored to match the red, green and blue axes.)
    (The angular arrows move the total distance at 45 degrees. If you want to move in two directions, move along one axis, then enter the other distance and move along the other axis.)

Ready to move selected object:
Rptools move1.jpg

Object moved 3' along Red axis:
Rptools move2.jpg


Enter the distance to move below, and click an arrow to move in that direction.
If you make a mistake, you can clock the opposite arrow to return, or use Undo.
Use component axes - This is enabled only if a single component instance is selected. If it is checked, the component will be moved along its own axes. (For example if it has been rotated.). Otherwise the selection is moved along the model axes. (Red = X, Green = Y, Blue = Z.)

Copy Wizard

Copy Wizard for RpTools

Copy Selection works like Move Selection, except that a new copy of the selected items is created, rather than just moving the items.

  1. Select Component or geometry to copy.
  2. Load RpTools Copy Wizard from Toolbar
  3. Enter the distance to copy
  4. Click the arrow in the direction you want to copy,

Make a copy of a component 3' along the red axis
Rptools copy1.jpg


  • Enter the distance to move when making the copy below, and click an arrow to copy in that direction.
  • If you make a mistake use Undo.
  • After the copy, the new entities are selected. If you click an arrow (again), a new copy will be made in that direction.
  • Use component axes - This is enabled only if a single component instance is selected. If it is checked, the component will be copied along its own axes. (For example if it has been rotated.). Otherwise the selection is moved along the model axes. (Red = X, Green = Y, Blue = Z.)

Mirror Wizard

Mirror Wizard for RpTools

Mirror works like Copy, except that the geometry is mirrored around an axis.

Note:Mirroring is only in the Red.Green plane not in the Blue Axis. (Useful for mirroring "handed" furniture components.)

  1. Select Component or geometry to mirror
  2. Click the Mirror icon on the RpTools toolbar
  3. Enter a gap to leave between objects after mirroring.
  4. Click the arrow for the direction of the desired mirror.

Ready to mirror "right hand" desk.
Rptools mirror1.jpg

Desk Mirrored along Red Axis with a 2' gap.
Rptools mirror2.jpg


  • Quickly mirror components, etc. with the Mirror Wizard. Red and Green mirror operations are reflected through a plane perpendicular to the ground plane (red/green). Blue mirror operations are reflected through a plane parallel to the ground plane.
  • Click any of the colored arrows to mirror the current selection in along the corresponding red, green or blue axis.
  • 'Gap is the distance which will be placed between the selection entities and the mirrored entities. This can be used to mirror furniture in a room or workstation across a hall or aisle.

Rotate Wizard

Rotate Wizard for RpTools .

  1. Select Component or geometry to Rotate
  2. Click the Rotate icon on the RpTools toolbar
  3. Use the Rotate By settings in the lower half of the menu select or enter desired rotation.
  4. Select an arrow for the axis to Rotate about.
    (Solid Blue rotates clockwise around the blue axis.)

Ready to rotate selected item
Rptools rotate1.jpg

After rotation of item
Rptools rotate2.jpg


  • Enter an angle to rotate by. The radio buttons will prefill some common angles. If you set a small angle such as 15 or 30 degrees, then you can click the arrow several times to get a larger rotation.
  • Click an arrow to rotate around an axis. To spin an item placed on the floow, use the positive or negative Z arrows.
  • Use Component Axes - If the selection is a single component, this option will rotate the selection about its original axes, rather then the model axes.

Stretch Wizard

Stretch Wizard for RpTools

Tutorial for Incremental Stretch

  1. Select the Component or geometry to stretch.
  2. Click the Stretch Icon on the RpTools Toolbar.
  3. Select the Stretch type desired - New Dimensions, Percentage, or Incremental Add-on
  4. Click one of the colored arrows to shrink or expand the component along that axis.

Object ready to stretch
Rptools stretch1.jpg

After Stretch
(Since this is a Dynamic Component, more rungs were added to the back.)
Rptools stretch2.jpg


There are 3 tabs available for stretching.


Shows the current size of the component or entities selected.
Enter the desired size in any of the directions and click Apply to perform the stretch.
You can also return to this tab after performing a percentage or incremental stretch to see what the new dimensions are.


Enter a percentage and click an arrow to stretch the component, or selected entities, along an axis. Click an arrow to stretch in that direction.
If you want to stretch in all 2 or more directions at the same time, check the Lock dimensions in these axes check boxes. You must check 2 or 3 axis boxes for locking to occur.


Enter a distance to increase the selection by. Click an arrow to stretch in that direction.

Aim component

Aim, or point, a component by pointing one of its axes at another location in the model.

Aim Axis - select the axis of the component to align.

Then move the mouse cursor to snap to a locatable item in SketchUp to aim the component at that item.

Use cursor to point component. (Cursor position is near where the word "Endpoint" appears.) As you move the cursor, the component points to the cursor location until you click the mouse button. The base point of the component stays fixed.

Other Tools

Alpha Channel


Alpha channel adds an alpha channel to a raster image, (to defined parts of the image which are transparent). The alpha channel image can then be used as a SketchUp Image, a SketchUp material, or for other uses (e.g. as a toolbar icon).

See: Alpha Channel

Proxy Components

Alpha Images

You can replace a component with a component of the same name with both LO-POLY and HI-POLY geometry stored in separate layers.

  • Bt trans24.PNG Tools to create or manipulate alpha channel images.

Alpha channel images contain a channel, in addition to red, green and blue for color, which defines places where the image is transparent.

This is used to create transparent, 2D components in SketchUp, or to paste renderings or other images on top of a background.

More Functions

Shape Wizards

Shapes is a set of Wizards of RpTools to create simple 3D Shapes.

See: Shapes

Downloads and Installation

There is a 30 day Trial Version for RPS products. This is a fully functional version, with watermarks or other text added to indicate that it is a trial version.

Follow the links on the Downloads Page to download the latest version.

See also