Aligning ad hoc objects

Is there a way to align objects on the fly in Sketchup Shop? I am simply trying to align two circles concentrically and then impose a cross hair on top of that. I know I can do this with the offset tool for the circles, but that requires knowledge that two circles have to aligned concentrically in the first place. If I don’t know that when I start off, trying to align objects is very frustrating. Finding centers works to a certain extent on two circles, but aligning them once found is not easy. I get very inconsistent results with the selection tool. Sometimes the term “center” flashes up, sometimes not. Other times I get “on face”, but no indication where the center is.
Further to the above, I am trying a new project where I am trying to make a template - it is essentially a large circle subdivided into a number of equally sized pie shaped segments. I need to put a small circle at the intersection of each segment and the circumference of the large circle (representing where I have to drill a hole). However, I cannot get the small circles to align with the edge of the segment and circumference of large circle. I am eyeballing it, but there must be a better way. I I keep on looking for an easy alignment tool, but can’t find it and search doesn’t come up with anything.
Any help appreciated.

This just takes practice. One thing that might help is turning off Length Snapping in Model Info. At least that way you don’t have Length Snapping getting in the way of Inferencing.

Maybe you could share the file so we can see what you are working with? How many sectors are you after?

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Ok, I see your animation example, but I cannot get Sketch up to replicate this with two circles. I notice that in your example, the circles are “empty” (no blue shading). Even if I delete the surface I cannot get the circles to do what is in the animation. What is the sequence of mouse clicks to in the animation?
In my file, I have 51 “pies” in the large circle, for which I have to drill 51 equally spaced holes at the circumference of the large circle. I realize 51 is a weird number, but that is what the math indicates what I need. This essentially will become a custom sized spocket for a ball chain. Just experimenting at the moment.

Ok, i can replicate the animation with some sample circles. The first circle had to be selected first, which I missed. I have got the gist of it now and it is working on my main file as well. Thanks for the help.

I deleted the faces so you could see the inferencing more clearly but you should be able to leave the faces.

I hovered over a vertex on the edge of the large circle. Then moved the cursor to the center where I clicked and released the left mouse button. then I moved the cursor and hovered on a vertex of the other circle. When I got the center indication I moved the cursor to the center and clicked and released to drop the first circle.

As for the 51 sectors in your circle, try this. Get the circle tool and before you click in the model space, type 51 and hit Enter. Then drag out the circle and enter the desired radius. You’ll have 51 points onto which you can place your small circles representing the holes. And after you place the first one, use Rotate/Copy to place the other 50.

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Wow, that is a lot faster than the way I did it, and more accurate as well. I will give it a try right now. Will also have to make a reference point at the center of the large circle.

That worked a treat! It took a while to figure out the sequence, but it is a lot faster and accurate than the way I was doing it. Thanks again.


You should be able to infer to the center of the large circle to draw the smaller reference point in the middle. Do that first. Then worry about the small circles around the edge.