Grid reference plane


I am new to sketch up,
I am having difficulty finding a grid reference plane that can be angle adjusted that has a scale varient to match cross sectioned cubes.


It’s difficult to know what you are trying to do. Can you explain what you are trying to achieve as an end result?

There is no inbuilt grid reference plane but you can probably create one easily enough.

Your profile is incomplete which means that answers may not be relevant to you.


Trying to get planar alignment I am finding difficult without a grid reference. I am also thinking along the lines of shaping by plane, planar geometry manipulation etc. Like model carving.
If I was capable of making software would I want to pay for software that doesn’t have features that could be useful ?
I can sit and explain scalar geometrical manipulation of flat to spherical concentric geometry but do not have a programming language certificate.
Squares and lines become triangles up to equilateral.
Pixel by zoom reference Gauss.
Sphere surface interaction is radial(rendering by curve reference)
Vector line to surface plot can be achieved by gradient as after thought. Zoom scale makes a difference depending on “mode” this is for graduated curves especially(Tessellation).
The ability to lay out design in 2d and manipulate to a cylinder would be so beneficial !
Ghosting through constructs and enhancing is not easy either.


The SketchUp team has a grid extension …

You should be able to rotate the construction grid using the RotateTool.

The team’s tool is parametric. You enter the spacing value first, then draw the rectangular area that you wish to be filled with the grid.

You may also be able to scale the grid uniformly using the ScaleTool.


Thank you Dan.
I envisage origami style construction of design though.
And clay tool type modelling.
Useful for component exposure by wrap/unwrap of intricate multi component equipment.


I have no idea what this means. Perhaps you can post some images that explain this “technique”, and how it would be helped by the kind of gridtool you seek ?


I can explain with words.
Drawings take a lot more time.
If I have a grid and I grab an intersection and move it by mouse the lines that for the original grid would have to delineate into isosceles to allow deformation.
When manipulated to radius the lines and squares equate better as hex or triangles.


That does not sound like a grid reference plane (construction grid).

It sounds like surface manipulation.
ThomThom has a rudimentary Bezier Surface tool. (ie, he said it wasn’t quite finished.)


A reference grid plane does not have to be flat.
I am not trying to disrespect your product I am hoping ideas could increase the interest and usability.
Attaching to a curve surface is a problem area in my design attempts.
Infilling an accidental surface delete has also been an issue.
Teaching line surface tension to a machine is not simple.


Perhaps you need something like the Sandbox Tools (they come with SketchUp ?

There is an extension called Bezier Patch.


Thanks again Dan,
do you know when the next upgrade with the extensions will be produced ?


What next upgrade? with what extensions ?

Alan, your questions are far too terse. We cannot really follow what you want.


I wish you luck at this, but I have doubts you’ll succeed. Why? Origami involves folding such that what were once adjacent faces become co-planer (by rotating one of the faces 180 degrees along the edge of adjacency) and partially overlapping .

In SketchUp, this causes either:

  • If you don’t isolate the faces from each other by grouping or creating components, the faces will merge - you won’t be able to later “unfold” what you’ve folded
  • If you do isolate the faces then, when folded, the overlapping portions will “z-fight” because OpenGL has no way to know which face is “on top” of the other.


Why pay for pro if not paying for extensions ?
Being accused of terse questions is almost achieving a terse response from me but I have been criticised enough on other forum pages with no apology for software capability.


curving a sheet rather than fold, although both should be possible with grid manipulation.


If you’re not planning any folds which result in face to face contact, then SketchUp might work for you, but it’s likely to require significant effort.

If it were me, I’d try using Fusion360’s sheet metal features. It’s not limited to sheet metal, you can use it with any material whose bending properties are similar. It calculates things like the length of material required to accomplish the bend - not a linear function when the thickness of the material is anywhere near the bend radius.

Fusion360 is free for students, hobbyists, and any business up to a threshold (last I saw, you had to gross over $100,000/year to be in paid territory).

As of right now, my only knowledge of Fusion360’s sheet metal features were gained through YouTube videos.

I use both Fusion360 and SketchUp. Fusion360 when I need parametric modeling and SketchUp otherwise. I’m close to needing to wrap a membrane around details - and for that I’ll be using Fusion360’s sheet metal features for the first time. Even without actually trying them, I’m already convinced I’ll get the work done far faster than if I tried to use SketchUp.


I wish to design a motor or generator with a design capability of cutting a line and opening out flat to expose internals.


Much as I like Sketchup, I’d use Fusion360 for this.


I never said anything about SketchUp Pro, nor commercial extensions.
Sandbox Tools comes with all SketchUp editions.


And there, I did not promote the Pro edition NOR did I promote a commercial extension.

I repeat Mr. Alan, the Sandbox Tools extension is distributed with SketchUp both Make and Pro in later versions.

In any older versions where it was not distributed with SketchUp, (or it was uninstalled,) ANY user can open the Extension Warehouse and reinstall it.

Really? You are going to personally attack me !?

Even former avionics engineers need to read and follow the forum rules …