Copying holes


Ello All:)

I am going to be beginning a new assignment but i thought i would gather some info first before i start. I have completed the drawing in Solidworks but now it is time to accomplish same drawing in SU Pro

The object in mind is a rim for a tire. See image below:

What my question is, Once i use solid tools to cut out one of the trapazodial holes in the rim, does SU have the ability to copy said hole using the rotate tool? or does it only copy sketches and lines of objects and not completed holes?

Thank you:)


In my experience, SketchUp struggles with this, so I’d also like to know if someone has a solution that doesn’t involve just copying the shape and push-pulling each into a hole.


There are a several ways you could handle this. One way would be to copy the void shape inside the solid like I told you to do for the screwdriver handle and then cut all the openings in one step with Subtract or Trim. Another would be to draw only one sector of the pulley with a single opening and copy/rotate it around to make the rest of the pulley. A third way would be to create the first opening, select its geometry and rotate/copy it around. Then use Intersect Faces to intersect the opening geometry with the faces on the pulley and erase the skinning faces. I’d choose the first option if I was doing it.

There appear to be some dimensions missing on the cross section of the pulley.


This seems like a perfect opportunity to use Solid Tools!


Similar to Dave’s first suggestion,a quick try using Eneroth Trim. The native solid tools will do the same, but Eneroth’s preserves the component definition if you use them (another topic).

You can also do it in one step if you make all the cutter shapes a single group/component that reports solid, as opposed to the six separate group cutters I used.


Ian’s suggestion of using Eneroth Solid Tools is good to mention although you and I have discussed that at length before so I inadvertently omitted it from my description.

With a little forethought you can manage all the piercings in one go.

The wheel as a solid component and the piercings as a single solid component.

After Subtract with Eneroth Subtract:


I think I only really use Trim as I nearly always want to keep the cutter part, so I naturally go for that tool. But your approach just goes to show how using the right tool and making all those cutters a single solid can save so much donkey work.


Awesome thanks for this info. I had the same ideas, i was just wondering if there was a way to copy the hole, then rotate it about as many times as i need. I have not tried the third method yet of selecting the geometry and then intersecting faces. I will give that a go. My go to method is by using solid tools, create the shape i need, rotate/copy, then group all together as one, then eneroth solids to trim or subtract.

I think it would be cool if in outliner, when a hole feature is created, it lists it in the tree, then i could select it from outliner, rotate/copy as needed and it would copy the feature. Then again, i do not know if SU audience is engineer based or more architect based haha

Yes, there are a few dimensions missing. But with solid works, those are not needed because of the constraints that you can add in solidworks that locks down the drawing. I still prefere the way SU does things but having constraints(relations) is nice to. i can literally draw the profile free hand, then add constraints and some diminsions and it will fully define the shape.


Ian, thank you for your post. I LOVE enertoh tools. Mostly because it creates a component at the end of its cycle, and it works with the “DaveR” method for small faces etc.

Dave and i have had many a conversations about eneroth haha and how to use solid tools. I made a screwdriver the other day (almost finished it until i got a call from my sister and my dad had accidentally shot himself in the hand with his 9mm.) Dave mentioned about using the multiple cutting tools or punch outs, grouped as one group or component. that way it executes it all at once like you have suggested.

I love the feedback on this post. i decided to create the post rather than a message because this way, it is searchable for others to see and learn. Each software is different and i was just curious to see if SU had another way of doing things i was not aware of when it came to holes.

thanks again for the post and info. especially the images haha


Oh, i agree about the dims. i HATE when my solidworks book doesnt list them because solidworks doesnt need them to make the part. That screwdriver was a pain to create because its from my solidworks book and there were many dims missing. On one of the gear boxes i drew up, the book says, “sketch a circle with a diameter of 3.00 inches. Then make the right side tangent to the inner wall by adding in the relation(constraint) and by making it tangent to the bottom wall of the box” It does not give center location at all because SW doesnt need it, but if i were to give that to a machinist, that would be a terrible idea haha.

This is one advantage i love about SU over SW. I dont need to use constraints to fully define my sketch. I just type in what i need and SU draws it.

From what i have read in the above posts, copying the gemetry of the hole seems to be more difficult than not.

The reason i asked this question, because in SW, there is a tool that allows you to select the hole and then rotate copy. I was just curious to see if SU had the same feature. SU kind of does but in a differnt way:)



interesting. I have noticed that before, but that was when i first started sketchup and i knew nothing of surfaces, faces, or solid tools. I drew everything on other surfaces and everything mashed together. OH man, i remember those days before i found out abut solid tools and real modeling haha.

Thanks for the help and images. I will be drawign that part up very soon:)


It’s worth knowing how to do this manually, without solid tools or other plugins.
The main thing to be aware of is that you need to make your circle with a corresponding number of segments for the number of holes you will have. So for your pulley I used 21 segments, as 7 goes into 21 3 times. This means the geometry will match up on the facets of the sloped faces.
I didn’t record the first part, as it’s just making a hole and P/Ping the face up.
Also, Cut and Paste in Place are not standard in the context menu, so don’t expect to find them there.


As with life, there is always a different approach in SketchUp, especially when the design is not yet finished, but still ‘under construction’.
If you rotate a portion (in this case 1/5) of the wheel and copied in in a rotation-array, you can investigate how iterations will look in the bigger picture:


Curious as to why the “hole solid shape” if made into a component that “cuts hole” wouldn’t work for this ?


@box. Thank you for that demo. Its interesting to see how sketchup handles things with out solid tools. When i get home from work, i am going to try this out:)

@mikeW. Thank you as well for the demo. Thats really cool to see one component copied multiple times and the just one of them being manipulated. The scale tool can do some really really really powerful things. I would like to take just a course in the scale tool haha


Just thought of something, lets see if i can explain it. Lets say i take a finished wheel that follows the drawing, such as the one Dave drew up, and i want to cut the “spokes” about half an inch from the hub, then use the scale tool to do some cool manipulations on said spokes, can this be done? because what if in the real world, when i am designing a rim, and i like it at first, but then i want to change some things on it, and i dont want to start all over. (this is when i wish SU pro either had a history tree, or the ability to ctrl-z upon re-opening the file)



You can have a ‘design history’ if you’d manually made a copy after each alteration and then made that copy ‘Unique’ (components only)
You can see me do this in the second or third gif.
Offcourse, depending on what you are drawing, this could bloat the filesize and component panel, but if you have a ‘Workfile_for_Rim’ and save the good ones as components in your components folder, you can easily exchange rims with a reload.

SketchUp’s strength is in the AEC and Woodworking, I guess, if you want to design with true history, check out Evolve from Altair’s Solidthinking (Do not confuse with SolidWorks, why work if you can think first😃)


Just proffering another idea, as you can see from the use of a component set to cut hole this could be done. It has another component of the rim reflected.
Personally I would use solid tools / bool tools but thought it worth suggesting alternative methods.
Not that the OP said this tire rim had to be 3D printed, but after exploding and grouping it will produce a solid.
Again, I wouldn’t do it this way myself but…


@whiterabbitdesigncompany I haven’t tried it using the cutting component, but the OPs pulley has a “straight” taper to it. I guess you could create a cutting component to match a tapered version. If you did match it then would it project through the other side incorrectly? If the taper were curved I imagine it would be really tricky.

I do find this topic interesting, especially the request of modifying the spokes afterwards.


@MikeWayzovski, @whiterabbitdesigncompany, @IanT
Thanks for the last replies with the demo. Im still trying to figure out what the “cutting component” was. I had never seen it done that way.

One of the ideas i had was making a salt shaker, or ice cube tray, or some sort of object that had many holes in it, like a jalapeno holder for my smoker haha. so copying seemed like a great idea, so i didnt have to create about 30 or so cutting tools.

As for the evolve software, it looks awesome. it will have to wait a bit until i finish my certification for solidworks. Plus i do love SU ALOT! I dont need a history tree, but it could be helpful, especially if i want to modify something a few steps back and i have all ready closed the program. If ctrl-z worked after closing, then that would be great, but it doesnt haha.

As for modifying the spokes afterwards, i hope it can be done. Ideas from clients, myself and everything change pretty quickly and to be able to modify or change something without having to start all over, would be great.

I have ideas for new features for SU, but then it could raise the price. I can see how it is geared toward woodworking and AEC as mentioned earlier. If they geared added some engineering stuff to it like cad/cam,cnc, fillets, chamfers etc, i could see it raising the price because it takes alot of hard work from software engineers to add those in.

Thanks for the replies and im glad others are enjoying this topic as much as me:)

PS, i just finished my awesome excell spread sheet that will find the mass of the part, given the volume in m^3, based off of common materials one picks: have a looksy:)