Has a Cleave (or Clone) Tool Ever Been Discussed?

Once again, being unafraid to show my ignorance and inexperience (despite being an aged galoot), I’m asking about something that might be a complete and utter nonsensical thing.

When I’m using SketchUp to work through a design for something in the woodwork shop, I like to start with the board or plywood piece that I’m going to start working with then layout cuts and expand and extract the various pieces before putting them together. The attached file and screenshot should give some idea of what I’m describing so poorly. It occurred to me while using the Move Tool to copy components that it would be nice if I could do a layout on a board, somehow select the part to be cleaved out of the material and position it elsewhere in the drawing or copied and pasted in a different one.

In the example file and pic, the starting piece is drawn and layout lines added. Faces are then selected and brushed with a gray shade. If there were a tool that would then cleave out the piece that lies beneath the shaded area and leave it active in the drawing - just as the cloned piece using the Move Tool does - until it is placed and released, then a simple component is done. An option to make it a named component at that point might also be useful if it could be chosen or bypassed by the user. Simple components could then be manipulated to form a whole, or might be further modified before final use as a component.

I know nothing about how the software works; so it would not surprise me to learn that this cannot be done due to basic, underlying concepts. If it could be done, though, it might be useful for purposes beyond those I can imagine. I throw it out here for general comment and for response by Dan and other developers to show me the error of my ways.

Example File.skp (139.1 KB)

I hate to say it but even after looking at your SKP file and reading your description a couple of times, I’m not following you.

Certainly between the Select tool and Move/Copy, you should be able to do what you need to do.

Maybe it’s my work flow, though. I wouldn’t ever consider starting with a “board” and laying out the parts on it before assembling the parts into a model. That seems backwards to me. My work flow involves drawing the parts as components in place to make an assembled model. If I want to show the parts laid out on “boards” as they might be laid out in the shop for cutting, I would do that after the model is built.

You are certainly far more expert than I, Dave; and I wouldn’t presume to ask you change. I’m just suggesting another option.

If I knew how to make a dynamic file that would show how I would execute the work flow, I think the concept would be a bit clearer. As for its utilitiy…? It fits my work flow for some things and not for others. I think it might be useful for instructional, dynamic drawings (if I could make them) that might be used within SketchUp or played with a media player.

What I tried to depict is a piece 2x4-24" long beside a piece of 1x4-24". On those I laid out cut lines showing parts for the whole and shaded them gray. If there were a tool other than the PaintBrush Tool that would somehow visually identify the faces within drawn bounds (as I used the paintbrush to do) that would then on a final click or Enter key action select the face and everything that would be a part of that segment and pull it out just as the MoveTool does a whole piece when that whole piece is selected, I think that would be useful. If I use the Move Tool, I only get the face. That works if I then use the Push-Pull Tool to bring it up to the thickness of the original 2x4 pieceI wish to depict it coming from.

In my drawing, I extracted or cleaved out a piece of 2x4 cut to 1-3/4x1-1/2-12" (of course the proposed action would have to close the face of the hidden side where the rip occurs and the end where the crosscut occurs). I then cleaved or cloned out the blocks and cleats that were moved and attached as shown in the final drawing. If, at the end of the extraction when you have the piece cloned out and selected, you could also make it a named component - or not - so much the better.

I admit that it is not a monumental thing or even one that taken one off shows any real work savings. I was just throwing out the idea to see if anyone else saw the value.

Would a workflow something like this work?

  1. You draw simple cuboids of your starting pieces, group them, then paint them semi transparent ( so you can see what’s going on inside)
  2. You mark out the cut pieces on the surface of these solids (just 2D) then make components out of them.
  3. Use Ctrl+Move to reproduce any duplicated parts. This is the stage the drawing has reached so far.

What you then do is further duplicate a single instance of each of those components and Push/Pull them to the required thickness…maybe even using the “ghost” boards for inference.
You then further duplicate any of these now 3D parts that you need and assemble them into the finished item.
If you then decided to edit any of these pieces, you are free to do so…so long as it’s all done in Component Edit mode. That is, no rescaling etc of a single component instance…as such a change would not feed back to the original component still overlying the board.

If all the changes are done within Component Edit mode, then you would actually see the original mark-ups changing within the board as you worked. You could then re-adjust their positions if necessary.
Try it on the attached model. Maybe then making the “wings” a little longer. You’l find that you can even do it the other way around…editing the components still lying in the boards and seeing how that effects the finished model.
markup.skp (75.5 KB)

Following @AlanF suggestion, you can use JPP (joint push pull together with LibFredo) for all groups in one step…

Great ideas, Alan!

I shall give them a try!

More great ideas!

Thanks, Cotty!

I think I might have the Fredo tools, too.

About the Fredo Tools:

The screenshot shows my menu options for the Tools>Fredo-Tools sub-menu. I don’t seem to have the Joint-Push/Pull Tool. Do I not have the correct extension? Have I installed them incorrectly?

Would appreciate some guidance. I don’t know where to look for more information about them.


Joint Push/Pull is installed separately from Fredo Tools. If you have installed it, it would show in Fredo Collection, Not Fredo Tools.