Using SketchUp’s Intersect with Front, Top, and Side Views

By Aidan Chopra

Anyone who’s ever tried to model a car with SketchUp knows it’s a tricky undertaking. The problem is that cars (and most other vehicles) are kind of curvy; worse yet, they’re curvy in several directions.

One trick lots of modelers use to block out a basic shape for things like cars is to start with orthographic — straight-on top, front, and side — views of the thing they’re trying to model. Here’s how the method works:

  1. Position each 2D view where it belongs in 3D space.

  2. Push/pull them all so their extrusions overlap.

  3. Use the Intersect tool (Tools→Solid Tools→Intersect) to find the object the extrusions all have in common.

This method doesn’t always produce perfect results, but it’s a lot better than guessing. Plus, it’s fun. The figure shows the technique in action. As the figure shows, if you have orthographic views of the thing you’re trying to model, you can use Intersect to give yourself a head start.