Create Openings for Your SketchUp Model’s Doors and Windows

By Aidan Chopra

Most of the time, you can’t get away with using SketchUp’s built-in door and window components. Because these components can’t cut through two-faced walls, they’re limited to external use only. That’s okay, though; cutting your own holes in walls is quick and easy, and you end up with exactly what you want.

To cut a precise opening in a double-face wall, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Mark where you want your opening to be with guides.

    If you’re drawing on a wall that’s part of a group, you need to edit that group in order to punch holes in the wall. To edit a group, double-click it with the Select tool. To stop editing, click somewhere off to the side of your model.

    image0.jpg

  2. Draw the outline of the opening you want to create, making sure to create a new face in the process.

    You can use any of the drawing tools to do this, though stick with the Line tool when you’re starting. Remember to pay close attention to what you’re drawing; keep an eye out for the colored inferences, which let you know where you are.

  3. Use Push/Pull to extrude your new face back into the thickness of the wall until it touches the face behind it.

    If everything goes well, your face disappears, taking with it the corresponding area of the face behind it. Now you have an opening in your wall. If your face doesn’t disappear, and no opening is created, it’s probably for one of the following reasons:

    • Your faces aren’t parallel to each other. This technique works only if both faces are parallel. Keep in mind that just because two faces look parallel doesn’t mean that they are.

    • You hit an edge. If you push/pull your face into a face with an edge crossing it, SketchUp gets confused and doesn’t cut an opening. Use Undo, get rid of the pesky edge (if you can), and try again.

Don’t forget to orbit! If you can’t quite push/pull what you mean to push/pull, orbit around until you can see what you’re doing.