Issues with grouping dimensions


Yes, and when you do that, the dimensions lose their connection to the geometry. Try doing a “push/pull” on any face of the component, or moving a face, and you’ll see that the geometry is no longer connected. So it is impossible to, for example, have a wall framing stud assigned to a layer called “Framing: studs”, while having the dimensions that supposed show the size of that stud assigned to a different layer called “Dimensions: Studs”. This has been a bug for many yearsm and never even acknowledged by Trimble let alone any attempt made to fix it.

SketchUp Free does not work
Bitterly, bitterly disappointed by this anaemic version of the old Make

[quote=“TDahl, post:53, topic:66662”]
putting dimensions into their own group or component disassociates them from whatever geometry they may have been created from. [/quote]
Correct. Yes. That’s exactly what happens.

[quote=“TDahl, post:53, topic:66662”]Instead of groping them, just assign all the various dimension entities to the appropriate layer directly (if you wish for the dimensions to remain “live”).
[/quote]… which then means that you cannot selectively control the visibility of the dimensions, independent of the layer. So if I have a model of a house and I want to have all my framing on a layer called “framing” and my dimensions on a layer called “Dimensions” with the framing dimensions on a lower-level layer called “Dimensions: framing”, that is impossible. Well, it is possible to DO that, yes, but then the dimensions lose their connection to the framing: If I go back and use push/pull to change the height of the studs, the dimensions do not update. The only way to keep them updating automatically is, as you say, to have the dimensions on the same layer as the geometry, but then it is impossible to view ONLY the studs with the dimensions turned off, and just as impossible to view ONLY the dimensions with the studs turned off.
In short: the feature is broken, and has been for years.


Now group the dimensions on another layer, called “dimensions”, so you can change the visibility at will, independent of the geometry, then adjust the geometry so that one of those measurements changes… the dimensions do not update. The link is gone. QED.


Don’t ‘Group’ the dimensions. Assign them to layers and they work.


Now assign the component to one layer, called “block” and the dimensions to another layer called “dimensions”…


The whole point of grouping entities is to prevent them from getting modified when neighboring entities are modified.


In my gif the block is already set to a layer called Geometry, the dimensions are all set to a layer called Dimensions and one of the dimensions is within the group that is on another layer.
The crucial part here is, DON’T group the dimensions.


For sure you can have your dimensions “on” one layer and what they measure being “on” another layer. What doesn’t work is grouping dimensions that have previously been associated with geometry. These are the ones that loose their connections.


Exactly. And that’s my point entirely! The “dimensions” tool is broken: because the dimensions do NOT retain their connection to the original geometry. That’s a problem, and it has been like that for a very long time, with no sign that Trimble even recognizes that it is a problem, even less sign that they plan to fix it.


And therein lies the problem! On a complex model, you NEED to group the dimensions, and assign them to different layers, but if you do that, then the connection is broken. But it should NOT break, logically. Once you assign a dimension to a piece of geometry, the dimension should stay attached to it permanently, no matter what you do with it. So the feature is broken,


What is there to fix? You group (or don’t) geometry. You should never group dimensions on their own. Your quoted statement above was about them being on a different layer. You said it doesn’t work. I (and the program for that matter) say it does. If you say you can’t group dimensions without loosing the connection to the geometry then yes, you just have found out how to not use SketchUp.


@Designer2020 there seem to be fundamental misunderstandings running through the positions you have stated.

Groups and Components in SketchUp exist for the purpose of gathering a collection of geometric entities (mainly edges and faces) into a single, united object. As such, the collection can be manipulated as a whole, separate from other objects in the model. Entities in a single group share vital data such as the vertices that define positions - which is why SketchUp entities “stick to” each other. Entities in different groups are isolated from each other so that one group can be manipulated without affecting others. Vertices (and edges and faces) cannot be shared across different groups.

So, putting dimensions into a separate group is illogical for two reasons. First because they don’t really represent any “object” (they are annotation) there is no sense gathering them up as if they do, and second because it isolates them from the entities that they measure they can no longer share vertices with those entities. Hence they lose their connection to those entities. That’s not a bug, it is simply doing what groups and components are supposed to do.

Layers exist in SketchUp for the purpose of simultaneously controlling the visibility of multiple entities. They do not gather anything together as an object or unit and do not isolate anything from interacting with anything else. They just let you turn on or off visibility of an arbitrary suite of entities via a single setting on the layer. Layers are the most efficient way to control what is visible in one scene vs another. You can use the hidden property, but then you have to toggle it individually for every affected object!

Perhaps your confusion arises because of the oft-repeated advice to leave all edges and faces associated with Layer0 and use other layers only for groups and components. But that statement refers to edges and faces; dimensions, text, and a few other things are exceptions. Dimensions can safely be associated to a layer without any of the confusing effects that arise when edges or faces use other than Layer0. And, as @g.h.hubers wrote, this has no effect on the connection between the dimensions and the objects they measure.


14 posts were split to a new topic: SketchUp Free does not work


@SketchUp_Moderator, you have split off several posts into a new thread: SketchUp Free does not work.
That thread doesn’t make sense now. @Designer2020 asks himself the question “what is there to be fixed”, which in fact is a quote of my original previous post. That post is missing.
At the end of the split off thread I ask for an example file. That question is about resolving the layers<>grouping (of dimensions) misunderstanding. It has nothing to do with SketchUp free.
Could you please correct this splitting up of threads. Or preferably just leave them as they origionally were.


You don’t need to group them. Just put them on their own layer so you can toggle them off whenever you need to.

If you use the above method, which the others are also indicating you do, you can actually do that. It’s not impossible at all!


ok, I accept your observation and I will return the thread to its original state soon.


I doubt my comments are much different than others who use Make . . . I am a woodworker, but not professional in the sense I don’t make money doing it. Sketchup Make is a very powerful furniture, cabinet, and overall woodworking design tool. It has it’s quirks and difficulties, but it is a great tool for design where you need to make changes until the final drawing is what you really want.

Sketchup Free not only doesn’t seem to work, but I have a 3D Connexion mouse which is which is completely useless in Free. I realize that this might not be Sketchup’s problem, but 3D Connexion has, so far, not felt it’s theirs either.

So, here’s the thing. I realize that Trimble didn’t buy Sketchup to lose money and expected the free price to disappear. However, for those of us who use Sketchup in a non-professional, non-profit environment Pro is just too expensive for my use. There has to be some middle ground to produce a piece of software which is functional in the woodworking field and still affordable for those of us who are serious but doing it as a hobby.

The application software business these days is a problem for the user because companies don’t care about whether you can afford it or not. They are only in business to make money and I understand they are there for just that purpose. However, Sketchup didn’t get it’s high reputation by ignoring the wide range of users who use it everyday. I didn’t see anything in the Sketchup company responses that would indicate that they are truly going to address all the problems. On the other hand, I do appreciate that they didn’t just dump Make as an available download at least for awhile.


For most of us, it makes sense to buy hardware and invest in graphic cards and (profesional) periphicals like 3D mouses, you really get something physical!
While the BI(OS) is included in the hardware price, you still payed for it…


Like I said: in complex models there is a NEED for the tool to work correctly. There is a NEED for being able to have groups of dimensions assigned to layers other than the layer that the geometry is on, such that the visibility of dimensions can be controlled in an intelligent manner.

When you have a model with hundreds or even thousands of dimensions, there is a NEED to be able to turn some of them off, in groups, WITHOUT also turning off the geometry they are assigned to. There is a need to be able to have only some of those dimensions visible in some scenes, with others visible in other scenes, and the only way to do that in SketchUp is by grouping dimensions as components.

Maybe YOU don’t have that need, but others do, so I don’t understand animosity or outright declaration that this is the “wrong” way to use SketchUp. The issue is simply that some people do have the need, and the tool is broken: the dimension (which is NOT geometry) does not stay attached to the component.

“What is there to fix?” The broken tool that only works under some circumstances.

“You said it doesn’t work. I (and the program for that matter) say it does” Not it does not. Try it. You will see that as soon as you start grouping dimensions in a logical fashion, assigned to layers other than the layer the component is one (or even grouped on a sub-layer of that component), the connection is gone. It should NOT be gone, since these are dimensions, not geometry. A dimension, by definition, and by logic, and by common sense, should always remain attached to the geometry that it describes. It does in pretty much every other software that I have seen, but in SketchUp it does not. The tool is broken.


Dimensions are not geometry! Simple definition. Perhaps SketchUp SEES them that way, but that is not logical. Geometry is geometry, and dimensions are dimensions. Dimensions describe the underlying geometry, and there for, logically, should stay “connected” to that geometry.
You don’t need to tell me how SketchUp works: I KNOW how it works: that’s not the problem. The problem is that the WAY it works is not logical. If the dimensions (which are NOT geometry) cannot stay connected the REAL geometry, then they are not dimensions! Or rather, not dimensions in the sense that logic and reasoning would dictate, and in which other software works.