First time user, trouble understanding how to push shapes all of the way through


I am trying to fabricate a few parts of my pc using a 3d printer. I was told sketchup was a good software to use. I have watched a few youtube videos, but I’m still not quite sure how to get a cut out to go through a shape. I think I am understanding that using the push/pull tool creates two walls and I’m trying to push one and it stops when it hits the other rather than cutting through it, but I’m not quite sure I understand how to solve the problem yet.

I am essentially trying to create something like the four vertical pieces at the top right of the picture in the link and I can get the top to look right, but I flip the part over to the back and it’s all just flat.

Thanks for any help with my first attempt using the software.


How about uploading the SketchUp file showing what you’ve got so far?


Sorry. I didn’t know I could. New to the forum just now and I have run into problems being able to attach it in other forums.

Sketchup - pc slide dimensional cross slits.skp (1.2 MB)


No worries. Most forums don’t allow SKP files to be uploaded but a SketchUp forum certainly should.

You’ve got a bunch of bad geometry that is screwing things up.

Would it be easier to look at this together?


I know it’s my first attempt, but what do you mean by bad geometry? That will let me know if it’s something worth trying to continue with.


Bad geometry: Lots of softened edges, many due to bad alignment of edges you drew. The faces for the slots are slightly off axis which makes it difficult to cut openings. At this stage I think it would be easier to start over than to repair what you’ve drawn. It’s nothing that SketchUp can’t handle, though.

Here, on the left is my version of what you had drawn.


Okay. Thanks for the honesty. What should I watch on youtube etc. to fix my deficiencies?


Well that took a hell of a lot less time than the couple of hours it took me. :slight_smile:


What was I messing up that made whatever the soft edges are?


Probably start with the basic videos.


Was there a specific task I did incorrectly or a tool I misused or just a whole bunch of stuff?


It comes with practice.

It’s hard to say exactly. Very possible you moved some corners slightly which could cause this sort of thing.

Yes. It’s hard to say exactly what, though.


Thanks for the help. Is there a way for me to see softened edges if I give it another go? Or a way to see if another attempt works more successfully, or will I be able to see the openings work if I do a better job as confirmation?


And may I ask, were you able to make the cutouts with the push/pull tool, or is there a different way to do that?


You can turn on Hidden Geometry in the View menu. You shouldn’t have any when you draw this piece.

Yes. The opening forming correctly could be used as a clue that your previous work is good.

Yes, I used Push/Pull. It could be done by pushing the parallelograms through the 3D shape of the plate. I did it a little differently to save a little work. I drew the first parallelogram on a flat face and deleted the face inside it. Then I copied the parallelogram to make the rest of them using Move/Copy. After that, I used Push/Pull once to create the thickness.


Cut the openings first…duh. Thanks. :slight_smile:


I think that’s one of those things that’s not so obvious. If you create an opening in a single face and copy it, you get multiple holes. But if you try that with a hole through a 3D shape, you don’t get the holes without some additional work.


It’s also a good workflow whenever you have a shape that could be created as an extrusion to draw the flat profile of the extrusion, including holes, and then pushpull it to thickness - as @DaveR did. It’s faster, easier, and more reliable than drawing the outline, pushpulling it, then drawing hole outlines on one surface and pushpulling them back through to make the holes.


Just going to add here that you can create a line and then immediately type in a measurement and it will do that measurement for you. I spent a stupid amount of time the first time through using a calculator to figure out decimal points for what length to hand make 3/16" for example and I just read that you can simply make a line of any length and then immediately type in line length and magic happens! (In case anyone reads this thread at a later date. :smile:


air vent attempt #2.11.skp (1.2 MB)

DaveR can you give me another look here and see if this is better?