I'm pretty new to Blender, and am trying to wrap my head around some basic workflow stuff. I have been modeling a small truck which has several reused components (tires, suspension, windshield wipers). What I'm trying to figure out is whether I should be using Linked Duplicates or Collection Instances for all of these components.

Linked Duplicates

Linked Duplicates seem like the preferred / standard way of dealing with this but it's been hard to understand what is linked from the Outliner. I know that in the Object Data properties tab there will be some info about how many linked objects exist, but otherwise it's pretty opaque how these behave.

Collection Instances

Collections and Collection Instances seem more straightforward to organize in the Outliner, but also come with some pretty annoying drawbacks. From what I can tell, the original collection has to live at the world origin so that the new instances are easier to work with. But if you do that, you end up with a bunch of disabled collections of stuff modeled at the world origin.

Are Collection Instances even supposed to be used this way?

  • $\begingroup$ I would primarily use linked-duplications, much easier to manage in my opinion, you can edit any of the instances and it will edit all the other ones, whereas with group instances none of the instances are editable (unless you make them real but in that case they are not instances any more) $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Aug 3, 2020 at 6:08

1 Answer 1


I have come to the conclusion that collection instances are better for certain things like what you're trying to do because everything points to a single "assembly" (engineer speak).

Linked duplicates seem like the way to go if you want to modify anything about the object. Like, as soon as you do a linked duplicate, you can go around and start playing with the material properties and diverge from the original instantiation. Whereas, with the collection instance, everything seems immutable from the instance except for basic transformations. It also updates from the collection instanced once something changes.


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