Advice request for resizing an existing model

Hi guys, I am quite new to SU and using SU Make 2017. I have created a model of a set of gate frames that I would like to be able to adjust at any time to different opening gaps. However, I am unsure how best to approach this.

If you have a look at my model. I would like to be able to change the gap between both wall sections (set at 5mtr in model) to any given size and re-scale the gate frames to fit that opening.

I found that Fredo box stretching tool is better than SU Scale tool for scaling the frames without altering the dimensions of the rest of the frames. However, I am finding it difficult to use precisely enough as it still uses scale ratio’s rather than exact dimensions.

I would like to maintain a 15mm gap in the middle between both frame (set at 446mm in model).

Is there a better way to approach this?

Any help or advice would be gratefully received.


Composite Gate test frame.skp (1.1 MB)

Press Tab for exact dimension

But in this case it’s better to use components (in mirror) and Move tool.

I would strongly advice you to do such simple alterations with only SketchUp’s basic tools to better understand how they work, to develope your workflow.
I see @mihai.s beat me to it. Jumping to extentions without knowing the basics (specifically in this case) of SketchUp) will “haunt” you finding your future workflow.

Stretching the frames needs to be done with the ‘Move’ tool inside the group/component on basic geometry.
Setting up guidelines at distinct distances helps you when moving geometry to exact dimensions.
Since there is a lot of symmetry in this model it might help to use components on one side and mirrored ones for the other side.

I simplified your model by turning your gate groups into a single component. Then I mirror copied the overall group. Then I set a centrepoint. Then I opened the gate component, selected the end section and moved it to the centrepoint.

If you want to maintain a 15mm gap, simply move the reference point (or construction line) 7.5mm inboard of the actual centrepoint.

This is actually the way I would set it up for your use, using raw geometry and components. When you change the width, you actually move the gate post and the side of the gate so that the overall dimension changes about a centrepoint.

Composite Gate test frame.skp (624.8 KB)

Wow, excellent replies here guys. Thank you so much.

@mihai.s this is exactly what I had in mind and never realised the Tab button changed to exact dimensions, so thanks a lot for that.

@Wo3Dan This is a very good point that I will try to keep in mind. For instance, I completely over looked the mirror tool. Sometimes I am guilty of looking for solutions that are more complicated than they need to be. Thanks.

@simoncbevans This seems like a much simpler approach to achieve what I was after attempting to do, in terms or rescaling the frames. I had the feeling I was missing the mark with something basic like just stretching the raw geometry. I had set everything up as individual components so that I could compile a cut list once I was happy with the re-sizing. However, I suppose I could always set them back up as components after stretching perhaps. Thanks.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Kind regards

Small point of order: @Wo3Dan didn’t mention a mirror tool as such. That’s because he was encouraging you to use native tools and there is no native Mirror tool. There are extensions and there are ways of mirroring using native tools.

Sorry for mentioning the basic way of mirroring a group/component (or selection).
This can be done with the ‘Scale’ tool and using -1 as factor.

Or Flip Along if axial.

@simoncbevans good catch, I already had a mirror tool installed and misidentified it as a native tool rather than it being an extension. Thanks for pointing this out.

@Wo3Dan Thanks.

This has been very helpful, I think I just need to get a better grip of when to use group/components and when to use raw geometry so that it can be manipulated in the ways shown above.

Using the grouping system correctly is very powerful, especially in conjunction with the Outliner.

Although I mentioned raw geometry, technically my drawing doesn’t have any (and nor, in general, should any drawing). I was using the term to refer to the fact that, when using the Move tool inside a Component, I was at that point moving sub-components and loose geometry. I expect you understood that but it is worth mentioning for others.

The general rule is, if in doubt, group it!

@simoncbevans Another good point to make. I had initially misunderstood, but after trying to replicate your example, realised my mistake. Thanks again. :+1:

@simoncbevans I have just been messing around trying to replicate your last example. Is there anyway to do this while maintaining the subcomponents that make up the gate frame? Or does turning these into loose geometry allow it to stretch as it is glued to the side of the frame?

The reason I would like to keep the sub components in place is for generating a cut list and to easily identify and separate out each individual component - Perhaps to create a type of exploded diagram.

To convert them to loose geometry then individually re-create the subcomponents doesn’t seem like my best approach.



What you want to do is best done using a Dynamic Component. Not sure if Make allows them. They are parametric. However, if you are struggling with native tools, I would not suggest you delve into DCs. They are the devil’s work!

I guess that if your model is as simple as you currently have it, you could make the top and bottom rails copies of one component. When you adjust the size, you would first move these components together:

Post + post cap + side rail

You would then open the top rail component and extend that. Then you would do the same for any non identical rails.

It’s more of a faff but preserves the components.

Haha, I feared this may be the answer. :joy: I think I am just over complicating things again and should try and get a better grasp of the basics before upgrading and delving into DC’s. :+1:

Thanks again.

using a dynamic component is possible in Make, creating one is not…