3d Text not working properly

Hello, I’m using Sketchup 2017 on Windows Desktop.

I’m trying to create ‘engraved’ or ‘sunken’ text on a flat surface.

The results I’m getting are varied, inconsistant, and sometimes just plain wrong.

For example, if I create some Arial Black text, the letter E is OK, but the digit 8 isn’t.

The best results I get are when I de-select filled and just create an outline.
I can then explode the text, and use push-pull to ‘sink’ it or ‘grow’ it from the surface.
However, when I do that, the two central areas of the 8 disappear, from the surface the digit is sitting on.
This means that when ‘sunken’ there is no surface left inside the digit’s central parts.

Am I doing something wrong, or is there a bug?

3D text can be finicky, size can be an issue, try working at a larger scale.
The 3d text tool also tries to avoid z-fighting by placing the text ever so slightly above the surface you place it on, this can cause problems with it intersecting the surface you want it to engrave.
It is often best to create extruded text, then right click and unglue it, then position it into the face and explode and then intersect it. When it works you should be able to remove the parts you don’t want and leave the rest.
Sometimes you just have to go through and redraw an edge to break the surface, it’s not infallible.
You can also leave the text intact and intersect the face with ‘model’ then push pull it.
Or use solid tools to subtract the letters from the shape, but if you are using Make you don’t have solid tools.

Thanks Box.

A couple of terms I don’t understand in your reply (maybe not used Sketchup enough)…
‘Unglue it’
‘Explode and Intersect it’ (explode I know)
‘Intersect the face with “model”’

As a side issue, I sometimes find when I draw lines/shapes on a surface, they are drawn as thick lines; these seem to work different to thin lines when trying to push-pull… what is happening there?

Thanks, Dave

When you create 3d text it usually becomes a ‘Gluing Component’ which means it sticks to whatever you placed it on and if you try to move it it will only move in the same plane and you won’t be able to move it into a face. Unglue will remove this so you can move it on the other axis.

Intersect Faces with has several options, with Model means you can intersect a face with the rest of the model. This means you can intersect something with a component and it will create new geometry on the face but not on the component.

The thick lines are ‘Profile’ meaning they are the edge of something, so they are not cutting a face. Thin ones are edges and cut a face.

I can do an explanatory gif in a few minutes,

Here’s a gif that show how to unglue, then intersect to create the edges.
3d Text

Thanks Box.

Following your GIF I was able to do what I want. Bit of a faff, but only got to do it once :wink:


If you find it too much screwing around, you could try a different way.

Give the 3D text a negative extrude distance and use the Difference tool in BoolTools 2 to emboss the text.

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That looks nice!

Thanks, Dave

No worries Dave, Dave an I are interchangeable, he plays me on TV and I get to do him in pantomimes, he’s usually one of the ugly sisters.

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I didn’t get my coffee swallowed that time.

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Apologies DaveR.

Note that I’m a Dave R too!!!


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