I’m fairly new to sketchup (less than 100 hrs) and am trying to solve a problem which is driving me a little nuts. I have an STL file of a complex object that has tons of faces and details, and is also has a lot of odd lines and so on. I wanted to create a simplified solid from it, so I tried the Cleanup and Solid Inspector plugins without any luck. Im a photoshop pro, so I recognize that this may be my own ignorance on settings. In any case, my next move was to try doing a section and taking a solid outline from that, and then use the follow me tool to recreated the shape (which is circular). I clearly don’t understand how to do that, either, since I got my cross section, but then couldn’t figure out how to make a outline of it. Tried the Workplace extension without much luck. SO, I went fully manual. I made a perpendicular plane and centered it with the model, and then slowly drew out the outline.

So the problem I’m trying to solve now is that I’m having a very hard time staying locked to the plane while outlining. There are so many little lines in the original model that I have to zoom super close to the details to get a precise line. I also can’t figure out how to lock the 2-point arc tool so that the arc itself stays on the same plane as the points. I’ve resorted to drawing rectangles on the perpendicular plane using the lock arrows and/or shift key, then using the move tool to edge out each line to where it needs to be (so it won’t inference the original model), and then deleting that part of the plane, then doing it again in little chunks until I have a final cutout.

I’m guessing someone experienced could do this in about 2 minutes. I’ve been trying for 5 hours. Any advice on how I solve this? Here’s the file I’m working with.

cross section model.skp (618.8 KB)