How to give identical thickness to mutli-angled surface


I am trying to make a detailed model of a plywood climbing wall. I have drawn out the multi-angled external surface with the plywood panels laid out.

Next I would like to give the multi-angled surface identical thickness (18 mm), to see how in reality all the plywood panels go together. I used Fredo6_JointPushPull extension, which allows to give the whole surface thickness really quickly, allowing push/pull at any given angle. It’s a nice extension, but it doesn’t make ALL the surfaces of equal thickness: some are 18 mm, others 16 mm etc…

Can anybody help me how to go about making all the surface 18 mm thick, whereas all the angles should fit snugly!

What settings did you use. I made a similar model to yours and ran Joint Push/Pull on it. I get the same thickness for all of the extrusions. I did have all the faces correctly oriented before I stopped and that may have something to do with the results you see. It may have to do with the settings you used, too.

At first I used Vector Push/Pull, but that didn’t seem to work. Logically, I might be pulling along a wrong vector. It has to be a vector in a specific angle. Then I tried Follow Push/Pull, that (at first impression) made everything the same thickness, but at closer inspection, the edges weren’t for some reason parallel…

Maybe you could look at the example of the surface and try it out?

climbingwall.skp (161.1 KB)

Fixed the reversed faces and ran Joint Push Pull, worked perfectly fine. :man_shrugging:t4:

climbingwall_thick.skp (176.6 KB)

Vector Push/Pull wouldn’t be the correct tool because it will move all faces in one direction.

When you have angled faces as you do, the vector you choose will only be right for the faces in one orientation but not the others.

Again, not the right tool for the job.

Joint Push/Pull as both Matt and I used works correctly.


Another reason to not get sloppy with face orientation. :wink:

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Hi, guys!

Thanks for the help.

The reverse faces’ fix and Joint Push Pull was a good tip! The thickness seems to be an identical 18 mm now. However, it’s not quite enough!

After running the Joint Push Pull I end up with a monolithic shape with a front side and a backside, but it’s hollow inside. Since it’s supposed to be a wall that consists of panels (according to the layout on the front side), I need to draw out the panels in 3D.

What I did was: I drew connecting lines between the corresponding corners on the front and back sides. But in some places in the model, new faces (the edges of the plywood panels) were not created. When I looked at it more closely, it was apparent that by joining the corners on the front and back sides, the lines are not always on one plane and that’s why the faces weren’t created.

Can anybody tell me what I need to do to get the desired result, which is: panels with identical thickness and edges that fit perfectly together.

climbingwall_thick_2.skp (202.8 KB)

It would be normal that you wouldn’t have the faces representing the edges of the panels. Normally that would be the desired behavior because most people aren’t going to want a whole bunch of internal faces. To divide this thing into the separate panels, I would select the inside and outside faces for a single panel and Move/Copy them out in front of the monolithic panel. Then use the Line tool to stitch the corners together. In some places you will have to draw diagonals to get the faces to form because the surround edges aren’t coplanar. You could fuss with those edges to make them coplanar but I doubt it will be worth the effort for the final product. I would make a component of each panel and since your project has symmetry, I would make those panel components on the left and then copy and flip them to make the mirrored components on the right. It’ll save you time and effort and possibly more time later if you have to make modifications.


But yeah, that’s the thing! If the faces aren’t coplanar, than the model has little practical use, because if I start cutting the panels with a table saw based on non-coplanar drawings, I will end up with minor, but annoying 1…2 mm mistakes everywhere, meaning that the panels won’t go together as necessary…

I expect all you really need is the largest outside dimension of the panel and the angles between long edges. Keep in mind that if it takes a diagonal to create the faces on the edge of a panel, you’d need to cut rolling bevels on the plywood panels to get them to come together right.

How are you joining these panels one you have them cut out?

If the seams have to be absolutely tight, I would make a fixture two which you can clamp neighboring panels and cut the seam line on both at the same time.

If I were building this thing I would plan to get the bevels close and then assemble it using stitch and glue with thickened epoxy.

Yes, you are correct in that I really need only the outside dimension and angles of the edges for the panels to fit together. However, I would prefer the joining corners on the backside to fit perfectly, because I use plywood trims at just the right angles to connect the panels from the backside. So the trims have to be tight against the corner.

It only affects the corners that are over 90 degrees and I can always grind off the extra little millimeter or two. But still - it would be nice to be able to make a perfect model. So for example I could use the drawings to produce the panels with CNC instead of cutting them myself, if I wanted to. But then again, with CNC, cutting the extra mm off of one panel, wouldn’t be an issue, I imagine.

Hi @reesjuurmaa, @DaveR has given you some fabulous observations and methods for creating your climbing wall in SU. I would like to share with you an additional perspective in developing/creating your project. For projects such as yours, I work from the point of view of “building” the design in SketchUp from the intended materials. “Bottom > Up” approach.

Therefore, after completing the “design” phase (as you have already done) I move to the “building” phase where my starting point is the plywood sheets you are planning to use. ie: 18mm x 1220mm x 2440mm plywood sheets.

First step: Create a 3D plywood sheet and make it a component.
Second step: Make 7 copies of the plywood sheet (1/2 your design)
Third step: Make each sheet a Unique Component (see my colored circles)

Fourth step: Using Move and Rotate tools, “Flip Along” menu choice, move each sheet into rough location.
Fifth step: size each panel with the Push/Pull tool
Sixth step: trim each edge to your desired miter/angle

This method maintains all panels at 18mm thick, as the original stock

Good luck.
200601-suf Climbing Wall Thick (L) SU18.skp (210.9 KB)