Objects are not solid - not sure how to fix

I’m a noob to all things design but I’m learning. I have ran in to this issue several times so I’d like to know how to fix it.

I download models from manufacturers so I can plan builds around the components. This last instance I’m trying to make myself some holders for Knape and Vogt 4430 series drawer slide. Thankfully they provide models. Unfortunately, like every single other model I’ve ever imported, they aren’t “solid”.

I’ve used solid solver and solid inspector in an attempt to easy button this, but they were both a no go. I did lots of reading and it’s always a “fix the model yourself” situation, but that’s easier said than done for me. I just need to intersect the model so I can have an exact profile shape to build the holders around, but without it being “solid” it’s just an interesting object to stare at. I wish there was some kind of trace tool like in photoshop where I could just have it follow the perimeter and then just draw a line.

Thanks for reading :slight_smile:

What kind of a holder are you making for the drawer glides and why do you need the drawer guides to be solid in order to make the holder? Maybe you could share the SKP file as far as it exists?

The Knape and Vogt 4430 series drawer slide model I downloaded from Trace Parts just now has six groups in it and all of them show as solid. I don’t know why it’s important if you are designing some sort of holder for them, though.

Wow, you went to the trouble to track down the model! I thought I was doing something wrong with my import process so I went and downloaded the file again. The file has changed on their side since I last downloaded it earlier this week. You are correct that it is solid now, but it’s also scaled way beyond the original size. I am specifically working with the 18inch (not that it really matters) but I noticed the 10inch is also way out of whack. It’s reporting a size of 20 feet!

Anyways, I guess maybe they are working on things on their end, the 4430 is a new part number from what I can tell. I might have to wait this one out until they get it figured out on their end maybe.

But, since I’ve ran in to this issue before with all other imports (unrelated to knape and vogt) I’d still like to know what to do.

So, to answer your question-

The holder would share the same shape as the out-most 4430 rail, but be sized so the out-most 4430 rail would slide into the holder. Take for example a curly brace: { . The holder would be shaped the same way just slightly bigger so that the smaller brace would fit inside ( {{ but the right-most brace is smaller…). The larger “holding” brace would then have additional material with holes to allow for mounting. I just need the same type of shape as the rail, or curly brace in my example, so that the holder has the same shape allowing for the slide-on fit. So in my experience what I would try to do is create my brace, put the rail in it and then use the subtract function. I’d be left with a perfectly shaped holder at that point. Or so training and tutorials have told me haha.

I can share the file no problem but it doesn’t show anything as far as the holder goes because I was stuck on getting a usable rail model.

SketchUp has an internal tolerance of 0.001" when it comes to the coordinates of vertices.

When small modeling radii create faces that are too small the vertices may become coincident (within SketchUp’s tolerance,) and so the faces are not added to the model. (ie, there are tiny little gaps that make the group/component non-watertight.) Therefore, such groups cannot be manifold solids in SketchUp’s world.

The solution is to model at a much higher scale. This is why you are likely seeing that some 3DW models are larger than expected.

For example if you were modeling an intricate part in mm, you are encouraged to model at 1000x in meters instead. Then when you insert an instance into your model, you scale the instance down by 1000x.

This works because instances do not “own” any entities. Only component definitions have an entities collection.

You’re right. The size is wrong. I hadn’t bothered to check that since I was just looking for solids. You can correct the size of the model by using the Tape Measure tool to measure the distance between points at a known distance and then entering the actual distance. For example, on the 10" slide, the overall length, according to the spec sheet, is 9.84"

After getting it sized correctly, you can easily take the shape of the rail. Draw a rectangle that passes through the part you’re interested in, right click on its face and choose Intersect faces>With model. After the intersection completes, you can move the rail away from the face and you’ll have that shape to work with.

From there you should be able to move on with the holder.

Thanks for all the help, both of you.

The scaling thing is going to take some getting used to, I feel like I just got in the mindset for being able to think in measurements with ease (talking in 64ths as a second language wasn’t something I ever learned!), but now I have to scale everything as I go! Not at all looking forward to that haha.

I followed your steps DaveR and was able to figure it out, but doing it to correct scale left me with obvious missing lines. I tried again in the larger scale and there didn’t appear to be missing lines but the left over shape can’t be manipulated with the push and pull tool so there were line-gremlins once more. This time I scaled it 100x and huzzah! A solid shape was born! After much futzing around I was able to use the offset tool a few times and made a bracket with some clearance. During all this I watched many how-to videos (holy cow I know absolutely nothing about this program!) and read a bunch. I had some initial problems scaling it back down, it seemed no matter what I did the measurements were no longer exact and would show the ~ next to them. I can live with this for now though as I don’t think I need that precise of accuracy. It’s not like I’m selling the thing. Scaling it a bit by eye and alignment I think I have what I’m looking for.

You know when you’ve been in Sketchup too much when you start trying to move around on webpages using the middle mouse click and holding down shift LOL.

I guess my takeaway here is that you’re basically kinda screwed if your shape isn’t solid on small scale things. Working on a large scale is the best solution to mitigating this problem. Now where’s that setting for .0000000001 accuracy haha.

Well, it sounds as if you could do with a directed tutorial on doing what you want but you seem to be getting on the right track. If you want a tutorial like that, I know someone who can do it. Drop me a private message. Working with small, highly detailed shapes does offer some interesting challenges but they are surmountable. Scaling up is one important tool for that…

Keep in mind that your scaling doesn’t have to be just by eye. It can be done very precisely. With practice, none of it should take any futzing around.

This happens to most folks when they start to get the hang of navigating in SketchUp.

Solids are easier to work with but you aren’t screwed if they aren’t solid.

Perhaps, you missed the point. You attempt to choose a scale where you can still think in actual full scale. Then you set the model units accordingly.

So if you are modeling a small mechanical part in mm, you just set the model units to meters. Then just model away entering dimensions and lengths without any unit modifier, … just typing numbers for millimeter dimensions. The model ends up 1000x. It is then saved as a component file. When you insert a component instance, you scale down 1000x. Or if you prefer you can scale the model down when you save it as a component.

Now, modeling in imperial units. If 12x is ok, you can set the model units to decimal feet, and just model as if in inches. Then scale down 12 times. But as you noted that is not usually enough. It sucks that imperial units don’t have nice multi-scales, like “Kinches”, or that SketchUp does not yet allow creating custom scales that we can model in.

My point is if you must use Inches, choose some easily entered multiple. This is why I suggested 1000x. Any dimension given in thousandths of an inch, can be just entered in inches. Ie, a groove 0.032" wide can be enter as 32 inches.

If you are getting a tilde in your measurements go to Window/Model info/Units and adjust the precision setting.

Thanks for the offer Dave, I think I’ll definietly have to send you a PM. I’ll take some time to figure out what I want to focus on.

I understood what you meant Dan, when I said scaling as I go I meant exactly as you suggested. Instead of typing 1 63/64 and hitting enter I now have to train myself to convert that to 1000x first, just need to train myself a bit on how to do that and change my mindset, but that’s the price of wanting to play designer. :smile: Sure would be easier in metric!

Oh yes, thanks for the reminder, Box! I remember going over that a long time ago during my term on YouTube University. I cheated and used the push pull tool and instead of typing in an exact number I waited for it to say ~ and let it use that, after that the part showed an exact 1/16 measurement and I could then re-size to what I really wanted. Sometimes I think I’m only making some of this work with a roll of duct tape haha.