Can I make a hole part of a layer?

I am able to create a hole in a solid object but I want this hole to be part of a layer, such that if I hide the layer, the hole does not exist and the solid object is, well, solid. Is this possible? I choose another layer before making the hole but most (but not all) of the hole still shows when I hide the layer.

Not directly possible. You would have to create two independent objects positioned right on top of each other, one with hole and one without. Associate one object with the solid layer, and the other object with the holey layer.

By the way, best advice is to leave the active layer as the default layer0. Don’t allow edges and faces to be associated with any layer other than layer0, to avoid all sorts of user confusion caused by SketchUp’s naturally “sticky” geometry.

I may not have understood this. A hole is a species of void, of nothingness, so it’s difficult to see how you can give “nothing” a layer/tag.

My other worry is your use of the word “solid”. Although SU does make use of the concept, like several things in SU world, there is no direct correlation with the real world. To you and me, a sugar cube is a solid as it is sugar all the way through. But a balloon is not solid. What SU calls a solid is in fact like a balloon. So a SU solid contains negative space, if you like.

Yes, this is what I was thinking, that you can’t make “nothingness” part of a layer.

It sounds like you have an incorrect idea of what layers are in SketchUp. Layers are given to objects (components and groups) and used to control the visibility of those objects. As @TDahl indicated, ALL edges and faces should be created with Layer 0 active and Layer 0 should remain assigned to all edges and faces. Create groups or components to provide separation from other components and groups. Assign layers to those components and groups and use them to control which objects are visible.

How is it that you want to use this hole relative to the thing it’s in? You could create a cylinder as a component or group and place it so it appears to be in the part and if you give the hole a different layer assignment than the part, you can choose to show it or not show it. It’s possible to make the cylinder cut an opening if you wish if you make it a component and give it the hole cutting property. It’ll only cut one face, though.

Might actually be easier to manage if you create two copies of the part. One with the hole and one without. Then assign different layers to each of those objects and show or not show them as you wish.

I am modelling my deck. I want to show and hide the railings by using a railings layer called “Railings”. So far I can do what I want to do, most if not all of the railing is components/groups and they belong to that layer.

I am not sure I understand, though why “ALL edges and faces should be created with Layer 0 active and Layer 0 should remain assigned to all edges and faces”. Shouldn’t I just be able to, in theory, create a cube with rectangle and stretch as part of the “Railings” layer? What is the danger in that?

to illustrate what dave said about cut-opening components, here is the extract of a model where the windows are set on a different layer. Turning the “windows” layer off will make the wall be plain again, but as he also pointed out, the wall has no thickness as components can only cut one face. (it is possible to do the back face with another component though - not done in this example)

façade.skp (749.1 KB)

Nothing ‘belongs to’ a layer (or tag in later versions of SU).

You ASSIGN a layer/tag TO an object (component, group, dimension, text, section plane, etc.). Layers are attributes of an object, not a container for anything, and all they allow you to do is to make the objects with that layer or tag assigned, visible or invisible.

However, Layers in Layout are conceptually and practically different from layers/tags in SU, and behave much as Layers in Photoshop do.

The danger is that layers (now called tags) do not separate geometry, only putting geometry into components or groups will prevent it from sticking to other geometry wherever it touches.

So, if you have a raw cube assigned to your “railing” layer it will interact with anything it touches regardless of if it is visible or not. Even if you have the visibility of railings turned off that invisible cube of geometry will still stick to anything that touches the space it occupies. This leads to invisible geometry merging with seen geometry and getting all dragged around and distorted without you knowing it, until you turn on railings visibility again and see how much damage has been done.

Group or component everything, then assign a tag/layer.

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How would this do?
Hole plugs.skp (599.1 KB)

There are three components:

  1. A box with a hole, edges of the hole hidden
  2. A plug for the hole, also edges hidden
  3. The edges of the hole, not hidden.

Three layers in two scenes show the box apparently with a hole,

and the second scene with the box and hidden-edges hole plug visible, looking solid.

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