Exploring Solid Tools in Google SketchUp 8
Solid Tools provide a completely new way for Google SketchUp modelers to work. Solid modeling operations (or Boolean operations) give you the ability create the shapes you need by adding or subtracting other shapes to or from each other. This type of modeling is actually pretty common in other 3D apps; now SketchUp can do it, too.
When you have a solid object or objects, you can use SketchUp 8’s Solid Tools in powerful ways to create shapes that’d otherwise be very complicated and time-consuming to make:
Add two solids together to create a new one.
Use one solid to cut away part of another one.
With the SketchUp Intersect Faces tool (formerly Intersect with Model), you can achieve many of the same things that the Solid Tools do. Intersect Faces takes longer because it requires an awful lot of cleanup; however, it’s still useful for two very important reasons: It’s available in both the free and Pro versions of SketchUp, and it works on any face in your model — not just on solids.
Two things you need to know before you start using the Solid Tools:
Open the dedicated toolbar. Choose View, Toolbars, Solid Tools to open the toolbar that contains all six tools. You can also find them on the Tools menu. Five of them — all but the Outer Shell tool — are available only if you have SketchUp Pro 8.
To use the Solid Tools, preselect — or don’t. Pick the tool you want to use either before or after you’ve told SketchUp which solid objects you want to affect.
|Tool||Free or Pro?||What It Does||How to Use It||Start With||End With|
|Union||Pro only||Combines two or more solids into a single solid. Deletes overlapping geometry. Preserves internal pockets.||Select the solids you want to use and then activate the tool.||Two+ solids||One solid|
|Outer Shell||Free and Pro||Combines two or more solids into a single solid. Deletes overlapping geometry, including internal pockets.||Same as Union tool.||Two+ solids||One solid|
|Intersect||Pro only||Makes a single solid where two or more solids overlap. Deletes everything else.||Same as Union tool.||Two+ solids||One solid|
|Subtract||Pro only||Uses one solid to cut away part of another solid. Deletes the first solid when it’s done.||Activate the tool, click "cutting" solid, and then click solid to be cut.||Two solids||One solid|
|Trim||Pro only||Uses one solid to cut away part of another solid. Keeps what’s left of both solids.||Same as Subtract tool.||Two solids||Two solids|
|Split||Pro only||Cuts two solids where they overlap and creates a new solid from the overlap. Doesn’t delete anything.||Same as Union tool.||Two solids||Three solids|