How can I paste an object relative to an arbitrary plane? Solar panels on roof

How can I rotate and paste objects, then place them relative to an arbitrary plane?

Specifically I’ve got a model of a solar panel, 3" thick.
And a roof.
I’d like to rotate the panel to match the angle of the roof, then plop
down copies 3" from the roof. Bonus points if they align perfect

Is there a way to create a guide plane or some such?
I see some chatter about this.

I’m using Sketchup Web.

Try this setup. Make a glue-to- sloped solar panel component. solar panels.skp (35.9 KB)

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It’s worth getting your head around move, rotate and array.

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“Glue to sloped” would seem ideal, but I can’t get that to work at all.
Each time I paste another copy of the object, it ends up a few inches further off the roof then the prior panel.
What’s the secret to glue to sloped?


Is that the Internet version. I don’t know if it acts differently.

Does the file and component I made work for you? Open it up and see if it is set differently from yours. I’m not sure what could cause that. I found with my model, if choose the component from the component window, hover over the roof face for a second, THEN carefully move to the previous panel.

Edit: It’s easier just to drop it on the roof surface so glues before you try to position to another panel.

I find I can place a panel close, but when I get more than about 5-6 inches in, the panel flips orientation. Sometimes I can sneak it in, but only by luck.

It’s trying to glue to the other panel. I know what you mean. Just drop it on the roof surface then snap to a corner and move it to the other panel. Once you drop it on the roof it should stay glued. Certainly once you get started, using move / duplicate / array is fastest to complete a section of panels.

Raytracer plugin has that option, “drop components by bounds”

Especially with solar panels SketchUp’s “Glue To” component property is the way to go.
They (the components, maybe not the real panels) are easy to create and adjust if needed.

Remember that the local blue axis is/needs to be always perpendicular to the face that the component will glue to. So you can create such a component on the ground plane or on any face.
For instance start with a rectangle on a sloped roof face. Make the rectangle a component (check: “Replace Geometry with Component”) and you’re done. Now you can change the rectangle component to a solar panel “box”, like the one in @Box’s clip above.

As @g.h.hubers and @pbacot have suggested, a Glue To component is one way to go and is very easy to create. The Component Axes is the insertion point, so if you want it 3" off the surface simply set it there. I have used a 3" edge in the gif to set the Axes accurately so that it will automatically glue to a plane 3" above the surface.
But as you have found, subsequent components are not so easy to place, which is why using an array after placing your first one can often be more useful. You can easily array them right next to each other or spaced evenly, either way they are aligned accurately, which I believe you offered bonus points for.