How to fold a model (that folds/unfolds)

I’ve designed a workbench that folds up for storage against a wall. (It sticks out from the wall by only 5" when it’s stored!) When it’s unfolded and setup with the top in place, it’s a sturdy 3’ x 5’ mobile workbench. I created the model unfolded/setup but I want to show it (on another layer?) folded up for storage. I can’t figure out a good way way to do it without a ton of rotating and moving stuff around. The hinges, especially would be a huge pain ITA; each one (there are 12 of them) would need to have both wings rotated and then I’d have to move the whole hinge. I sure hope there’s a better way!

If you click through to the model and can’t figure out how it works, it’s pretty simple… The top is removable. Then the two front cross members fold toward the back and the two back cross members fold toward the front. This brings the two end assemblies all the way together.

You definitely need to share the model or at least some screenshots to get some relevant help.

If you make a component of the rail assembly and explode the hinges so their separate parts are loose, you can fold up copies of the rails in just a couple of steps. Here I already did the folding and then, after undoing it, I used Redo in the interest of time and so the GIF doesn’t get so big.

It would be worth looking at your model closely as you fold things up. As it is your center hinges will foul on the end hinges.

Move the center hinge point an inch or two off center to prevent that.

By the way, be careful about your tag usage. There is some misuse.
Screenshot - 2_26_2021 , 1_39_18 PM

@Wo3Dan he did post a link to his model in the 3DWH.

Thanks @DaveR I wasn’t playing attention enough to notice the blues link.
(Sorry @donnybahama)

I would have the hing halves as nested component inside (attached to) the wood part parent component, just as in real life. With rotation center marked.

Thank you both very much! I will try your suggestions. You both mention setting the rotation point/rotation center. That’s a new one on me. How do I do that?

You can inference on the center of your hinge pins. After selecting the stuff you’ll rotate, get the Rotate tool (Q) and zoom in on the hinge pin. Hover over a vertex on the edge of the hinge pin, then move the cursor toward the middle and it should snap to the center.

And once it snaps there, is it set? Do I just hit the spacebar and go back to the select tool?

No. then you click and rotate the selection. You need to make the selection before you get the Rotate tool.

Sorry, I’m confused. Does rotating it set the center and then I rotate it back? I looked at the gif you posted and if I just rotate those middle hinges, won’t all the hinges (even the ones on the end) rotate as well? I need to rotate those separately. Should I make the center hinges unique/a separate component from the end hinges? (Then make the end hinges a separate component?) Should I make the end hinges part of the end assembly component so they stay attached while rotating? I apologize, but I’m just not getting it.

The Rotate tool requires that you first click to set the center of rotation and then click for a start point followed by clicking to set the end of the rotation. Try it on a simple thing like a single “board” component.

In your model you’ll need to select all of the components that need to go in the rotation so they get moved/rotated together.

I understand how to use the rotate tool. And I’m pretty sure I get what you’re telling me to do (as shown in your gif) to get the cross members to fold together. What’s confusing me is the rest of the stuff - the end hinges and end assemblies. What happens with the end hinges as I rotate the center hinges? How do I make them stay attached to both the end assemblies and the cross members so that they move together (just as in real life) the way the two halves of the cross members stay together when I rotate the center hinges?

For what it’s worth, I checked the entity info on the end hinges and it says there are 8 of them in the model. Then I checked the center hinges and it says there are 4 of them in the model. I’m not sure how I did that/how they got grouped that way, but it’s as it should be, right?

The end hinges need to go with the rails as they fold. The end frames with the legs will just get moved. Or at least one of them will depending on how you do the folding.

Got it! And I’ll manually rotate the end hinges once the cross braces are folded? (And they should all rotate together since they’re a component, right?)

Yes. That sounds like it.

Awesome! Thanks again!

When I exploded a hinge so its parts were all separate, it didn’t explode the other three that are the same component. Is that expected behavior and I just need to do the other 3? Or is there something drastically wrong with my model?

Yes. That’s expected behavior. If you did what I suggested earlier and make a component of the two rails and the three hinges and then copied that to make the other three rail assemblies, editing one of those components to explode the hinge components would have resulted in their counterparts in the other rail assemblies being exploded. You’d have to explode the other two hinges in the assembly but you’d only be touch three hinges instead or 12.

I couldn’t make this work — even with all the great help, here, so I put it on a back burner while I went through the Sketchup Fundamentals course and practiced using the things I learned there. Now that I have a better grasp of Sketchup fundamentals, I came back to give this another shot and I still can’t get it to work. Please tell me where I’m going wrong…

  1. I selected the two halves of my folding cross brace along with the hinges in the middle and at both ends and made them a component
  2. I double clicked to edit the component then exploded the hinge
  3. I pressed Ctrl+A to select all the parts of the component
  4. I grabbed the rotation tool, inferenced the edge of the hinge pin then moved the rotation point to the center of the hinge pin
  5. I clicked there, then moved my cursor along the green axis and clicked again.
  6. As I moved the cursor, the entire component rotated (as a whole) on the pivot point I established. It did not/will not fold in half as shown in @DaveR’s gif above.

I also tried getting out of the edit component mode and trying it again. Same result.

It sounds like you are selecting too much, either when making your component or when selecting to rotate.
It would help if you attached your file as it is now.

Here it is <— LINK

Note that everything in the model has been duplicated to the “Folded-Stored” layer so I can show it folded/stored or unfolded/setup just by changing which layers are shown. I hadn’t yet done that when I posted about the steps I was using to try to fold the cross-members so if there’s a problem with my layers, etc. that’s not what’s causing my folding problem because everything was on the untagged layer before.