What is the difference between Grouping and Baking 3D Components?

Grouping multiple 3D components creates a single object that acts like a component for the purposes of certain editing functions and aids the user in organizing their design or simplifying the Component List. Grouped components can later be ungrouped if needed which gives the benefit of being able to edit the individual constituents again.

Some functions such as cropping, smoothing, sculpting, etc. in Aspire and smoothing in VCarve will only work on a single component and not a group as the changes they make to the part would directly alter the relationship between each object and not allow it to be ungrouped again. As such, when you want to use one of these functions on multiple components they need to be combined permanently (Baked) into a single object. Baking creates a single component from multiple components and this process is not reversible (like grouping), so it’s good practice to create backup copies of each component before baking them if you think you may need the original again.

The software will prompt you if you choose an operation that requires the Components you are working with to be Baked