Aligning problem

How do I align at tube to a guide line which is not parallel to the X, Y or Z axis?

You could use Rotate tool
MoveAlong by Fredo6

Here is one interpretation of how one can do it.


Another possibility: temporarily align the axes to the guideline.


This is half the story if you intend to let SketchUp do the necessary work for you (unlike rotating the geometry yourself)

With the original axes still there:
Make the geometry a component (not just a group)
Align the drawing axes with one axis along the guide
In the ‘In Model’ component collection select the component and place it in your modeling space. It will be alligned according to the new drawing axes.
With the ‘Move’ tool hovering over the component’s red rotate grips you can now rotate it by input by using values like 0, or 90, or 180 (degrees), to align a different component axis with the guide.
When done, reset the drawing axes.


If you want to align it along the centre.

And another showing several rotations to align off axis.

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Pie tool
Click-drag from endpoint to endpoint on the guide line to align the circle, then push/pull.

Or you could go into parallel projection mode, place the bottom circle’s center on the guide line endpoint, and use the rotate tool to align the tube from the top, side, and front view.

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Thanks for all suggestions. Some of them were difficult to follow (for me) but this is the actual problem, a piece of pipe to align to the guide line which is not parallel to any axis.

Something like this.

I like the components Axes solution, it is quick and easy and applicable to more complex components then a tube, plus you get to tell SketchUp how you want to insert other instances, as well:

See how it aligns with the Red Axe when inserting the (new made) component. With a right click on the axes you can place the Axes on the guide line and only have to worry about the Red Axe (first two clicks of the Place Axes tool and Change Axes)

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Hi @hcccs, another consideration for assemblies, such as pipes, spheres and other designs, especially entourage, that do not have X,Y,Z edges to easily use for alignments, we have created a 3D “datum” component that we add to each such component. This “datum” is placed on its own Layer (that we call “Model Resources”) which we turn on/off as required. Also, note that the green part of the datum is translucent for additional ease of use.


Another possibility: use the plugin PipeAlongPath to redraw the cylinder along the guide.

Is this just a component to add (nested) to certain components that later may need alignment?
Could you elaborate on that? How would you add such a component in the first place to a “wild” component (with no alignment to any of the axes at all) that may need it? Wouldn’t that be the same alignment problem that the OP started with? Although from there on you would have the advantage.

Also, I think there could be “far less” geometry in the added component to keep file size reduced.

The idea is valuable though! You could even consider adding the “glue to” property.

Yes and in addition, one can add a 2D representative of the 3D model, assign that to its own layer, and if you are moving around stuff in top view, just set that layer to visible only. When done, switch to 3D (by toggling different layers)
This is how Dibac handles it:

Hi @Wo3Dan,
In answer to your questions, the Datum is a nested component. Here is a brief timeline of how our Datum evolved. We began with a 2D design, then evolved to a 3D object as we found it most helpful in rotating and moving along all 3 axes. The last was the addition of the drafting symbol for datums.

We normally add the Datum when first modeling or downloading a model from 3DW (credit to all those who create warehouse models). In general we place the Datum relative to the modeled object or to a future surface that the object may be attached to. As an example, the bicycle Datum is located relative to a future ground plane, the door lever to a future door face.

In the case of wild, non-orthogonal, objects, I think placement becomes an artistic/process judgement of the modeler. I agree the original alignment problem remains the same as the OP started with, but through experience, we find placement to be quite straightforward and logical. Another example is for 2D objects like people where we find the datum useful.

We have found additional benefits beyond alignment. The ceiling fan/light is one example, whereby, three datum are used to help in locating the object from the point of view of the floor, the ceiling and/or the roof, plus above finish floor (AFF) distance.

Another example of additional benefits, is the use of Datum for clearances, in this example a floor mounted toilet where the sanitary plumbing is off-set 12" from the wall. Here the Datum edges are aligned with the floor and the back wall, speeding up modeling.

Lastly, we agree, the Glue To attribute is very valuable in many conditions.
Thanks for your comments.