How to make hole in thin wall

I started with SketchUp yesterday, so bear with me :slight_smile:

I’m playing with it trying to make a model for 3D printing.

I can easily make a hole in a wall, if the wall has a rather large thickness.

However, in my model, the wall is 3mm and somehow the same method I used to make a hole (push/pull tool, move to rear edge of wall), doesn’t appear to behave the same and I end up with a non-solid group.

Wine Tray - 3mm - curved - holes.skp (631.0 KB)

On a related topic, is there a way to make lots of holes rather than one at a time on a grid ?

Thank you

You can use the push pull tool but instead of pushing it and trying to get an inference you can type the value you want it to be pushed, if your walls are 3mm width, just type 3mm and hit enter.

You can create a trimmer object if your walls are solid elements, copy the trimmer element and using the solid tools Grimm the object from the wall/s.

The circle you are trying to push pull is not in the same context as the wall you are pushing through. Double click on the unit to open it for editing, then if you try to select a face, any face you will see you cannot, instead you get a blue perimeter bounding box indicating the the geometry is further grouped, double click again to open that group for editing, then you can draw a circle and push/pull as normal.

When you have groups or components contained within other groups or components like this it is called “nesting” and is sometimes necessary. However, in this case the outermost group is superfluous at this point, so you might consider right clicking on the unit and choosing explode once.

Related topic: yes, draw the circles first, distribute them with a copy array, then push pull one circle, you can do the remainder of the circles with a double click each as the push/pull tool remembers the previous pull depth. OR, draw the array of circles on a flat plane, then push/pull the negative space around the circles into a shape with thickness.



Thank you for this very detailed answer.

You make it look so simple :slight_smile: unfortunately there must be some magic keys you’re pressing because I couldn’t duplicate that behaviour simply trying to replicate what you are doing from your video.

When I delete, the inside of the hole turns red, indicating that it has lost its surface texture. And as such is no longer a solid element.

I also think that there are bugs in sketchup in my Mac , a few times clicking suddenly do nothing until I restart the program.

How does it calculate the spacing between the holes? Is there a way to adjust that?

I’m afraid it won’t print if there’s too much.

No solid tools in SketchUp Free though…

Thats not an indication that it has lost it’s surface texture!
You have red set as the default backface color. So if you see red it can mean 2 things:
First, you have a face reversed so it shows as red.
Or second, you are looking inside your model because you created a hole by deleting a face…

I think you would benefit from learning the basics at or watching the Square One series on the SketchUp YouTube channel.

another tip: When moddeling for 3D printing I use a template in meters and model in meters as if they were millimeters. that helps with avoiding the tiny face problem that can cause holes in your model.

Are you using sketchup free or sketchup pro 2023? your profile info is confusing.

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SketchUp just draws what you tell it to draw, so you are responsible for giving SketchUp the right input.
You can make an array and Sketchup will calculate the distance between the centers of the holes, but YOU have to tell SketchUp how many holes you want in that array for SketchUp to be able to make that calculation!!
No input or incomplete input means no output…

I missed that!

I’m in the pro with the 8 days free trial

All done, thank you very much guys.

Turned out, after I exited SketchUp and restarted it, the punch hole started to work. Though a bit different to what described.

In particular how the array paste worked; none of the guide I’ve read matches how it works here:

  • press option key first
  • start moving
  • enter distance enter
  • enter number of elements to paste (eg 4*) enter.

For making the hole, no delete, just edit the group, move, type 3mm enter

There are numerous tutorials about arrays. This one for instance:

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To be clear, making an array does not use the copy or paste function.

*** choose the the move tool**

  • press option key (the copy function can be toggled on an off at any time)

  • start moving

  • enter distance enter

  • enter number of elements to paste (eg 4*) the window also accepts x4 or 4x which does not require a shift to type.

This will move the first copy a set distance, then make subsequent copes each spaced at the same distance


type /4 to populate the space between the first and second copy with evenly spaced copies. This is what I did in the video I posted.


And the same applies for a radial array exept for 2 things:
-the move tool changes to the rotate tool.
-enter distance becomes enter degrees of rotation.

Your model consist of two level of group nesting.

If you do a double click. you enter the first level, where the circle resides.

Click the circle, copy it then delete it.

Double click again to enter the second level then Paste in place to put the circle on the wall.

Then, pushing it through the wall will work.

Almost done printing. Though, I certainly didn’t expect that stuff to happen :smiley:


the cable ? :smiley:

now you have a choice to make, cut and resolder the cable or cut and weld the plastic ? :smiley: :smiley:

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