Mesh workflow before getting into substance painter


Hi All,
I am newbie to substance painter and I am really enjoying working with the demo version. My question is related to getting my meshes ready before I bring them into substance.

I will say that my typical workflow is a combination of 3ds max/vray and or 3ds max/UE4. Depends on the project. Now I am trying to get Substance Painter in that workflow.

With that said what is the best way to setup my meshes in max? For example, I am modeling out a old vintage suit case. Is it better to create the parts individually… ie the handle, buckles and overall suitcase. Apply a basic material to each part, Unwrap them individually, then attach them into one mesh and repack the UVW so there is no overlap.

Is this the most efficient way of doing this or is there a better way?

Also if I wanted a high and low res mesh do I just clone my mesh and add a turbosmooth to the clone mesh before I export?

Thanks for the help