Cutting a windowframe hole across 4 layers of wall

Hey all, hows it going?

Ive got a problem.

I’m modeling a 3d building which has 4 layers for it’s walls (outer brick, cavity, inner block plaster).

Each layer is in it’s on group.

I’ve modeled windows, the space they take up has a depth equal to the combined depth of the WALL layers.

The layers in the picture, I need to bring up with push/pull to roughly where the illustrated yellow line is. And I need them to ideally work around the windowframe and continue above it.

I rmmbr a CUT HOLE technique demo’d by Aaron in a youtube demo tut. But in the example he’s aplying it to a flat surface (wall), not a wall made up of 4 layers (each in it’s own group) like I am here.

How would you go about it guys?

I considered drawing single lines along the DEPTH of the area the windowframe takes up, and just push/pulling the surfaces either side of the windowframe. But that would be a bit timely. There’s 14 of these windows and there’s 4 layers. (112 lines to draw!) seems silly.

Had a couple of other methods in my head but they all seem OTT, there might be a proper way of doing this using a special feature of sketchup.

any hints appreciated.

I would recommend looking into Fredo6’s extension Visuhole. It is awesome for punching holes through multiple surfaces. Otherwise I would work my way though, one layer at a time, outlining the window and using Push/Pull to cut the hole in each group.

If your walls are solids then maybe you can use Eneroth’s Solid tools to trim the holes out

hi there, yes i have to do this every day, its either Eneroth - which is great, just remember to keep a copy of the cutter you are using in the clipboard. I set up a separate layer called geometry cutters that I keep all the solid cutters on just as a repository for said cutters.
…or Visulhole.

Ok I’ve grabbed Enroth’s Solid Tools. Thanks for the up guys.

Here’s what I’ve got:

I’ve got a wood paneling which I need to apply to the front of my model.
The texture I’m using on the wood is SU’s stock wood texture, I’m not sure If I’ll be keeping it because it’s you can see the seams a bit and the colour may not be right after a final render.

So for that reason, I want to keep the WOOD PANELING as a component
(each panel is layered up in a line (a copy of the first component)).

In the screenshot, I’ve constructed a bunch of geometry (4 rectangles and another shape), those shapes are what I need to remove from the PANELING.
That geometry is in a group.

So I’ve got the CUTOUT (group), and I’ve laid it in place on the wood paneling for where I want it to cut.

Obviously I need to do an intersect of some kind.

Here’s what I did:

Both the paneling and the CUTOUT shape are in a group.
I went into the group, selected the CUTOUT shape first, then dragged over the WOOD PANELING second, then hit TOOLS, ENROTH, UNION.
It took about 4mins (old laptop), error appeared:
‘oops, something went wrong. Output is not a solid’.

What am I doing wrong, guys?
Which one of Enroth’s tool should I be using? Am I going about this the right way?
Many thanks.

Thinking about it further, there is actually a small gap between each wood panel component copy. The reason for this is that I modeled the original panel flat (on vertical axis) (just like a plank of wood), but rotated it 5degrees to appear tilted. (because the panels are to overlap each other a little bit).

—is it possible that the small gaps between each panel are why Enroth is saying ‘not a solid’ ?

If I were to create a simply backplate (flat rectangle) to connect each panel would that solve it? And again, would it be ok for that panel to be in it’s own group (I really want to leave the panels as components if I can).

I’d be using Visuhole as @TheOnlyAaron pointed out earlier.


Ok. Thanks for the video, but my situation is a little bit different in that I’m not laying any stencil shape on a flat surface. I’m laying it on a set of components which are titled and therefore there’s no flat face. Unless I create a flat surface behind my wood panels and lay the stencil onto that. I guess that might work?

My laptop is currently ‘hanging’ in mid-operation (applying a visuhole operation without properly understanding the functions of the tool).

I’m having a little trouble getting the method.

How do I define the stencil shape? I’ve got my shape in the scene and it’s saying ‘PICK A STENCIL SHAPE’. I click on my cutout shape (it’s in a group), the UI still says ‘PICK A STENCIL SHAPE’…

do I double-click it? drag over it?

At the moment somehow I’ve managed to select a stencil, but somehow rotate it in the process. Figuring the stencil is not what I want, I clicked ‘abort operation and exit tool’, but when I open the tool again, the unwanted stencil is still there, how do I choose a new stencil?

Did you unite the cutter object with the wall? You should probably use trim or subtract.

That said my solid tools fails in some cases. I’ve wanted to rewrite them for some time but as it is a free extension I need to prioritize other projects.

You should only need a single click to select the stencil. Then a double click to make the cut. But you can click and move to change the orientation of the cut. Or select the plane you want to lock it to.
It will cut through uneven faces in most cases.

Hi Eneroth, thanks for chipping in.

The problem I had of not being able to define the stencil was because the UI of the extension wasn’t displaying correctly on my screen. (my laptop is fairly low res 1600x900), if I turned off the Inspector window, it gave room for the full Tool to display correctly.

So I’ve since found the ‘define new stencil’ button on the tool.

In the screenshot, I’ve defined the top triangular part as a stencil, drawn a line from the stencil, across to the paneling, so that I can run the tool at the exact point I need. But after running it, it’s not cutting through all the geometry as desired:

It’s working for me to an extent but I’m getting patchy results.

The window results are also strange, it seems to cut the bottom half successfully, but not the top half. I am initiating the tool on face (that back panel) and the intersection I obtained from the guide line I drew:

I’m pretty stuck here guys.
_A quick re-cap: _
I have a bunch of wood planks stacked up 60 high, I need to punch a hole through them to make way for the windows.

With VisulHole:
The results weren’t right: The stencil is punching through only half of the desired planks occupying the window frame. I don’t understand why there’s any irregular result. - in my modeling, the wood planks are directly above each other at regular divisions (I used COPY/MOVE command), yet only some are removing.

Figuring it might be because the wooden planks are tilted on a 5degree axis, I restored them all so they were completely vertical (no tilt). But the VisulHole procedure gave the same results.

Returning to standard SketchUp Intesect tools:
I have two groups here, group 1: some 3D shapes to cut away from … group 2: the stack of planks 60high. I’ve mouse-dragged a selection box over it all, right-click INTERSECT, WITH MODEL:

It leaves an outline on the planks (as desired), but when I select the surface of the plank (in order to remove the unwanted portion, the selection is not as I need it to be (as seen in screenshot below):

Eneroth Solid Tools:
I follow the instrcutions, clicking one group, then the other. (also tried 1,2), also tried clicking the 2nd, then the 1st group in case I had it the wrong way round. --seems to do nothing. The operation should just happen immediately after your 2nd click, right?

So, I’m stuck.

Possibly I misunderstand what is necessary with these tools. -something fundamental about sketchup. ‘solids’. So… a SOLID is a bunch of geometry which is… not in a group or a component, is that right? Is that why I’m not getting the result I need?

** The problem is I want to keep the planks as components because I might need to change the plank texture/material in the future **

So I’m not sure how to get round this to be honest. I’ll upload the working file here and if anyone has any tips or good method, I would be greatful to hear of it.

thanks for reading.

Working file (17MB) on MediaFire

A SketchUp solid is a group or a component where every edge bind exactly two faces (my solid tools expand this to groups and component where every edge bind any even number of faces). Think of solid as “watertight” geometry (no gaps).

Both my and the native solid refuse to select groups/components that are not solid. You can either check for holes yourself or use Thomthom’s solid inspector if you are not sure if something is a solid or not.

Hi Eneroth,
I’ve downloaded the SOLID INSPECTOR, and ran it on both:

  • My cutout shape (in a group) and…
  • group-selected all 60 panels (59 of them are copies of the 1st component)
    The results look clean:

Which tool should I now use?

Are there nested groups or components within the panel group? If not my subtract tool should work here.

I don’t think so, all it is is 1 panel (component), copied up 59 times above it.
So basically as the picture shows, each panel is selected seperately–

for this to work, should i group all those panels into a single group?

Try grouping the components and then explode them so you have just one group and no nested components.

VisuHole expects a planar surface to drill holes. That’s a limitation today.

However, you can manage the hole drilling by forcing a plane. In your case, the Y axis plane.
So just click on the Green ‘Y’ button in the Plane palette. Hope it works.

Also, since you are going to modify the planks with the holes, do NOT expect that they can all remain instances of the same component definition. So I suggest you make them unique first.

Ok I’ll heed the advice (about making certain planks unique).

But I want to re-iterate, I did also try rotating the planks back to a vertical plane so that the punchhole would act upon a planar surface.

Maybe I will also do with Eneroth suggested and explode all instances of the planks and then group them as one object. - but the drawback indeed with that is that by exploding them, they’re no longer components and they’ll just be raw geometry. -i need to be able to edit one component later and effect the rest. Unless I misunderstand what she means, I really need to keep these as components if I can.

You can also cut them one at a time, but whatever you do you will need a bunch of different components as different blanks are cur differently.