Combining Furniture Product Pieces

I am designing a furniture product in sketchup. When I am done with the design, I will pass it on to a freelancer to render it.

I do NOT want the renderer to be able to see the details of how every joint between the furniture pieces is designed.

Is there a way to combine all the pieces of the sketchup furniture so that when i send it over to the renderer, it’s just one solid object that cannot be broken into it’s different pieces and reverse engineered?

This would be similar to using the “flatten” tool in photoshop to combine a few different elements into one.

Please advise. Thanks in advance!

What version of SketchUp are you using. You filled in useless information in your profile.

It can probably be done but it would be helpful to know the SketchUp version you have.

2017 version

Use Outer Shell.

That would need solid objects everywhere, wouldn’t it?

Would this be of use?:

You need to be logged into the site, but it gives a Ruby script that removes inner surfaces. I tried it, and I’m not quite sure what it’s doing, or how it does it in do few lines!

Yes. It would. The OP hasn’t given any useful information and nothing that would indicate his objects aren’t solid.

I’m familiar with this project. None of the objects are solid. There are a lot of components within components and groups within groups. Most of the objects were created with push-pull.

I think you guys are saying that if all the pertinent objects could be converted into 1 solid, then anyone receiving the file would have no way of being able break it down. This makes sense. I’m not familiar with writing scripts but is there a plugin that could accomplish converting to a solid by selecting those objects that we would want to convert?


Yes. That’s what we are indicating. From your description, I think the best thing to do is explode all of the components/groups down to raw geometry and then clean up the garbage that remains from edges and faces inside the volume.

If the model had been made cleanly with solids and proper nesting in the first place, the process of fixing it up for this purpose would be so much easier.

That can be done and I have plugins to clean up faces. But once this is done, would I still be in need of a plug-in or script to convert the whole thing to a solid?

BTW, because we are always tweaking designs of one of the components or another, for that purpose, we find it best not to make solids.

It doesn’t require a plugin or extension to make solids but you could use TIG’s Solid Solver or Thom Thom’s Solid Inspector to help.

I draw a lot of highly detailed furniture and have found that making components that are solid makes them much easier to edit for tweaks and other changes later. Clean modeling on the front end always reduces time and effort spent later when changes are required.


Since everything in the real world is a solid, there is little reason not to work with solids.


This seems backwards to me. It is MUCH easier to edit a (solid) component than to play around with editing loose geometry, if that is your alternative.

Getting things solid is an important way of ensuring your geometry is cleanly drawn. And breaking up the drawing into manageable chunks usually makes editing easier, not more difficult.

The problem is perhaps that when you use nested components, even if the parts are solids, the object as a whole doesn’t register as a solid. It would perhaps be a good FR that a component or group containing nested components that do not break its integrity would still be counted as a solid. For instance, if I create a “slot” as a hole cutting component and use it inside a group it won’t be a solid even if the combined result is quite watertight.

Just thoughts

A further thought: I meant to say that I have no problem with nesting solid components. They might have to be exploded for some purposes, or have the ‘insides’ taken out for using Solid Tools, but in my view it’s still far easier to work with than large collections of loose geometry.

Maybe a Feature Request might be to have Solid Tools making intersections, unions, or trims, to use just the outermost (in Outliner terms, not geometrical terms) component only when performing these operations, if the only thing stopping it from being a solid is having nested components inside.

Or maybe Jim Foltz’s Trim & Keep, of the Bool Tools 2 plugin could be adapted in the same way.

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