In general, the most useful feature of individual Components is that they can be manipulated entirely independently of each other to build up simpler design elements into a sophisticated 3D model. There are some editing functions that require the individual element to be consolidated into a single object. For example you may wish to smooth one shape into another using the sculpting tools or bend a group of Components around a curve using the distortion tool. In Aspire, consolidating a selection of Components into a single, new object is a process called 'Baking'. Once baked, the selected Components will become a single Component object and you will no longer be able to access the individual elements.
Aspire will prompt you when you have a group or Component selection that requires baking before a particular modeling tool or operation can proceed. Alternatively, you can use the Bake command to perform this operation yourself. By manually baking-in existing fade, tilt or distortion, for example, you are then free to apply further dynamic properties 'on top of' the previously applied ones. In addition, consolidating multiple Components towards the end of the design process allows your computer to recover system resources and may give it a welcome performance boost - particularly if you have been modeling using a large number of high resolution or complex Components.
If you hold the Ctrl key down when you hit the Baking icon it will retain a copy of the original Components and create a new baked Component instead of replacing the original selection.