Basic newbie problem understanding what is a solid

Excuse my ignorance I’ve only been using SketchUp Make for 24 hours. I’m trying to draw a simple console desk design for a studio. I don’t understand what constitutes a ‘solid’. If I create a new document, draw a rectangle and then ‘pull’ it to form a cube, that would be a solid, no?

So why if I select the ‘union’ tool does it say “not a solid”?

In my proper drawing I spent the day creating my desk surface and the equipment console surrounds - all rectangular pieces of wood - in this way and it looks great but I now need to create a brace which needs merging several simple shapes together. I can’t see how to make the shapes ‘solid’. What am I failing to understand?


your geometry needs to be grouped to become a solid…

i.e. after push/pull, make group

‘grouped’. Thanks - I’ll go look that up straight away.

No. That is what is called a “manifold volume,” (ie, it is “watertight.”) If you window select the “cube”, the EntityInfo inspector will tell you it is just a selection set of “18 Entities”.

As John said, you either group it, or make it a component. This gives it an entities collection, which is a transformable and editable context. (You double-click them to drill into their edit context.)

User Guide: Organizing a Model

Intuitively, a SketchUp “solid” is a Group or Component whose surface forms a water-tight shell around a volume, with no extra or unnecessary edges or faces. Note that SketchUp is a surface modeler, not really a solids modeler; what it calls a “solid” is really a hollow shell.

Oh blimey… trying the grouping thing left me with a single object rather than two…

Maybe I’m going about this the wrong way. In my design, there is a plate inclined at 15 degrees at the back of the desk. This will be supported by bars running under the desk. I’ve drawn the plate and I’ve drawn the bars. I need to bring the bar against the plate to become a single part (the real thing would be welded). I’m using layers so that I can see the whole design or just the bracing.

Thanks for all your answers!

the attached screenshot shows the underside of my desk. The plate has the four holes in it (for fans, as it happens), and you can see the two bracing bars. I’m trying to join the bars to the plate…

Post the SKP file instead, please.

cyril pod JH3 base table to build.skp (72.7 KB)

I know the layers are messed up in this; it’s a muck about version of the drawing and I didn’t bother to check the layers.

Yes. The Layers are indeed messed up. All edges and faces should be on Layer 0 at all times.

Try approaching this the way you’d make it in reality. If the desktop would be made as one piece, make it a group or component. Are you fabricating the box from individual pieces, draw each of those pieces one at a time and make them groups or components. Wrapping them up in group or component containers is the only way to prevent them from sticking to each other. Don’t start on the next part until you’ve made a group or component of the previous one.

Thanks Dave, I’ll make a fresh start in the morning.

“all edges and faces should be on layer 0” - the whole thing is edges and faces, isn’t it?

It is so far. Once you start making components or groups, those can get different layer associations but the edges and faces within those groups and components remain on Layer 0. Remember that layers do nothing to provide separation between entities.

I rebuilt your model using only components as I tend to do. I made an assembled version and an exploded view and I made a couple of layers. Poke at it and you can see how the model is set up. I left your pile of loose geometry where it was but I deleted the layer you made and moved the edges and faces that were associated with it back to Layer 0. I didn’t add the bars becauseI don’t quite understand what your plan for them is. Do you plan to let them in to the underside of the desk? Are they going to be bent to go under the box and hold it at the desired angle?

cyril pod JH3 base table to build.skp (142.9 KB)

You can see the locations of issues on the picture:
Your model has some internal faces marked in yellow, that has to be removed.
Or you can use the Divide tool of Susolid plugin that can divide your model in base of internal faces.The result would be 9 solid parts.
And also one face marked in brown has to be adjusted because is distorted.

Thank you so much for your help. I’ll look at your revised drawing when I get back to my desk later.

Thank you for you help. I’ll take a look at this later.