Moving Face Parallel to Guide Line

I’m sure this is a trivial problem for the experts. I’m drawing a drill chuck and I want to move the flat tips of the three jaws so the inner chamfered faces of the jaws are parallel to the chuck axis. I’ve constructed a guide line through the centre of one of the jaw tips and also a perpendicular guide line and I want to move the face to touch this, however I can’t get an inference from the centre line.
I’m using Sketchup 8 on Windows 10.
cordlessdrill01.skp (176.9 KB)

Can we see the model?

If it’s a circle you need the inference from you should be able to right click on the circle geometry and choose “find center”

Yes, currently trying to figure out how to attach the file.

If it is under 16 mb, drag it into the reply window. Otherwise put it on a file server like Dropbox or similar and provide a link to it in a post.

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Why are you still using SketchUp 8?

Ok, got it attached.

First switch the Camera to Perspective. It’s easier to do your modeling that way and to get inferencing to work. Then do as follows. I put the guideline in just so you can see what I’m inferring to be you don’t really need to do that. Once you get the face moving in the green direction, hold Shift to lock it.

It would make your job a lot easier if you modeled one jaw of the chuck as a component and then use Rotate/Copy to make the other two. Then you only need to edit one of them.

How are you going to use this model once you have it completed?

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Ok, thanks, I’ll try that. I’m just going to export jpg images to illustrate an article.

Because I’m using it for producing graphics for articles and technically it’s allowable to use output from Sketchup 8 free for commercial purposes.

I see. I think you could get higher quality illustrations if you had LayOut, too.

Good luck.

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I rotated the whole model through 90 degrees so the axis coincides with the blue axis, making it easier to orbit. I shifted one face which was straightforward as per your instructions DaveR. I moved the second face too and managed by fluke to position it right. However the third face, like the second need to be moved so that the midpoint of the straight edge of the face coincides with the vertical guide and also movement is parallel to the red/green xy plane. When I move the mid point, I can get the “on line” inference (i.e to the vertical guide line) but how can I keep movement horizontal? What I need to do is get an inference from the 120 degree/240 degree guides I constructed initially when drawing the three circular bases. I’ve attached a new skp.
cordlessdrill01.skp (179.3 KB)

You can put in guidelines at the 120° and 240° poisitions using the Protractor tool and use them for inferencing.


As I wrote before, if you’d make the jaw a component and use Rotate/Copy, you could edit a single instance of the jaw and all would get the same modification. It would also make it easy to show the chuck opened for different sized drills.


I had placed guides using the protractor tool, so that answers my question that I can use them for inferencing.

So what I did initially yesterday was correct, running guides through the centre of the faces. I’ll put those back in.

Not perfect, but a bit better. The jaws look more realistic. Chrome metallic render would be nice for the jaws, but I presume I need surrounding objects in the virtual space to create reflections in the metal to make it look like metal?

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For that you would need to use a real renderer. SketchUp only implements a basic shader with no ray tracing or reflections.