An annoying viewing related issue. Any help appreciated

I consider myself intermediate, but this problem seems rather newbie.

This didn’t use to happen.

While I am drawing, there are times, as we all know, that I have to zoom in to perhaps an 1/8" to either grab the right edge or just zoom in real tight to see something.

However, lately, just when I start to get zoomed in, the drawing goes invisible on me as if I had gone through the next wall. Which I have not yet!

IS this my camera viewing angle?
I need to be able to zoom all the way in, but things just break evaporate in front of me and disappear.

Thanks, in advance for the laugh.


Sounds like you are describing clipping. This is a topic on which a whole lot has already been written. Common problem is modeling with the camera set to Parallel Projection. Fix is to switch to Perspective and hit Zoom Extents to move the camera out. Then zoom back in again.

Other common cause is the model or at least some part of it at an extreme distance from the origin. Even a tiny stray edge segment at a huge distance relative to the zoom level can cause this. Make sure your model is close to the origin.

It can also be useful to turn off Layers for objects your don’t need to see.

If you share the SketchUp model file we can give you better help.

Not sure if the problem is related but Sketchup doesn’t deal with very small things well. The fix is to model at a set larger scale and then to scale back down again when finished.

Simon is correct that modeling very tiny things can be problematic and working at a larger scale is a way around it. As for zooming in to look at very small details, though, it really depends on the overall size of the model. For example Here I’ve zoomed right in on a fairly small part of the model I’m working on. There is no clipping.

I often read this advice and use it myself…but each time I wonder why SketchUp is not set to model at (for instance) times a 100… When I type 1m SketchUp could draw (what the program thinks sees as) 100m… I’d never know and wouldn’t need to know …and the Dave method would be redundant 99% of the time…

It must be set to an arbitrary calculation I type 1mm …it draws X pixels…it could just draw 100*X pixels

Is there a reason this wouldn’t work? Big models too far from the origin?


That would require that SketchUp read your mind to know that what you are modeling is very tiny.

The number of pixels depends on how much you are zoomed in or out in the model space.

SketchUp is primarily designed to be a tool for architects. As such it works quite nicely. Small stuff can still be modeled without problems. If I am going to model something that is very small, I just set units to Meters and enter either inches or millimeters as appropriate. Then scale down. I don’t use the Dave Method for those things. So this 6mm shoulder screw was modeled as a 6m shoulder screw and then scaled down to the right size.

You might reasonably ask why SU is not capable of working at any scale, either very large or very small. You might also ask why SU seems unable to deal with clipping. Both of these things come up regularly in the forum and arguably contravene the WYSIWYG principle. It must either be down to technical limitations too complex for the ordinary mortal to comprehend or to the fact that developers have other fish to fry.


It is possible THE most singularly annoying and frustrating Day-to-day get-in-way-of-doing-the-job sketchup issue.
It seems once a file is ‘infected’ with the clipping error it is impossible to reset. The only way seems to be to copy the entire model and paste it into a new file. Which is usually not possible. (For me).
Architecturally I have to model the the entire building (a large object) and technically an individual stud or seal or zinc eaves drip (a small thing).
So for architects (I can only speak for myself) it is the bane of my (sketchup) life.