Planes that do not close

I must be dumber than a box of hammers because, try as I might, I cannot find the page to answer the questions to introduce myself. Have I not been a registered user long enough?

And in that vein, I’m having trouble with getting drawings to create a surface when I connect all the points in a rectangle, for example. I’m beginning to suspect that I need a better mouse because sometimes when I click to complete an operation, the line or point will move. I use a Logitech wireless mouse model MU510.

I don’t know enough (yet) to provide better information to explain my question; so if you will, please give me pointers to things I need to read, other post threads, tutorials, or other information. I try to learn independently, as much as I can, before resorting to forum questions.

Your comments, suggestions and instructions will be greatly appreciated and gratefully received.


Generally, the edges need to lie on the same plane to allow a face to be created. Try this: use the Line tool to draw a diagonal between the corners of the rectangle. Do you get faces then?

Upload your SKP file and we can help you sort out where the problem lies. It could be as simple as you’re not drawing the lines on axis.

Thanks, DaveR!

I drew the diagonals and faces were created; however, if I delete the diagonals the faces disappear again.

I’m aware that the lines have to be in the same plane. I have oriented my drawing to the main red, green, and blue axes. When I drew the rectangle, I used the colored direction lines to draw to intersection of a previously drawn line that also followed the directional lines. My assumption is that the lines are in the same plane if the colors appear. Am I wrong?

Again, thanks for the prompt reply. When I figure out how to upload my .skp file, I will add it to this thread.

the ‘color by axis’ lines are not definitive, creating a face is…

generally I would use the Rectangle Tool first and dissect the face with the Line tool…


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I agree with the others that it sounds like some of your edges are slightly askew, but until we see the model nobody can say for certain.

OK, here’s my .skp file of the drawing. The 2 rectangles with diagonal lines are the items in question.

great room.skp (1.3 MB)

I copied the large canopy out away from the building. I also increased Precision to 1/64 in. Look at the Z values for the various points. They aren’t all on the same plane so it isn’t surprising that the face wasn’t created until you drew in the diagonal.

Is there a hack/trick to ensuring that Z values stay in sync? Is there a an audit technique that will let me discover where the variances that need fixing are?

The only trick is being more careful and aware of inference snaps while drawing things. On occasion you can draw a helper plane first, which can help assure that new points are in that plane, but you still have to watch the inference snaps because you can still draw out of plane. The best audit technique is what you have already seen: faces that don’t close unless you draw a diagonal are a sure indicator that the corners are not coplanar.

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Thanks. I guess I was hoping that those more experienced than I had found tricks that would help.

I suspect that I need a better mouse because I have seen it move a line from the intended point when I left click to end the line.

Some of this stuff just comes with practice and developing muscle memory. I find it difficult to draw edges just slightly off axis even if I’m trying for a demonstration because I’m so used to drawing on axis.

Make sure Length Snapping is disabled under Window>Model Info>Units. You may find that there’s less issue with points appearing to move.

There are several ways to stay on Axis: press and hold shift to lock to any of the 3 axes. Start drawing on the Axis of your choice and hold shift: a fat line will appear the color of the Axis indicating you’re locked on. You can also tap one of the arrow keys on the keyboard. Up for blue, right for red, left for green.
To check your model for off axes lines, open the Styles window, select the Edit Tab, select the first cube (hover over it and it will say Edge Settings). Now go to the bottom of the window and find.COLOR. It should say ALL SAME. Click on the drop down and pick BY AXIS. Doing so will make all the lines in your model that are on Axis the proper axes color, those that are not will remain black. Fix the black ones by erasing and redraw them making sure they remain the proper color.
Draw the new lines out past the other lines so you don’t just repick the original off axis end point. You may have to do this with more than one line.

As for the mouse issue, it’s more likely your graphics card being too far below what’s required.

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You can find the introduction thread at the following url:

Just be aware that this facility in SketchUp works “to within tolerance”. That is, it will color not only lines that are perfectly aligned with axes, but also ones whose ends are on axis to within SketchUp’s cleanup tolerance. It is possible to get lines colored that are far enough askew to cause issues with things such as pushpull and forming faces.

Thank you all for the responses and helpful information.

I used the Styles window suggestion to find a plane that was not closing. Of course, it worked! Knowing this tool is there is quite helpful.

I changed the ‘to within tolerance’ option. It was ‘on’. I’m sure this will help with my line ‘jumping’ problems.

Lastly, for krupster51: My video card is an NVIDIA GeForce 9500GT. I’ve had it for a few years, now. Is this not a sufficient card for SU? I’m running it on an ECS Z77H2-A3 mobo with an Intel Corei5 3570K 3.4 GHz chipset and 16 GB or RAM and about 8TB of disk storage. Here is a screenshot of what Speccy says about my video card:

Can you tell me what functions are not adequate and what features I should shop for in a replacement card?


Hi. I hope it’s OK to jump into this thread – the last post dates back several months. I’m having what I think is a similar problem. I created polygons (with Z base and height both set to zero) in a CAD program. The program exports to SketchUp skp files, so I imported the drawing as a base plan from which to extrude the buildings. Working from the imported CAD plan, some of the polygons were immediately able to be pushed vertically. Some needed to have their edges recreated, which was only a minor problem. Some, though, even when the edges were recreated with the line tool, did not create a “pushable” surface.

The lines/polygons all appear to be on the base plane, at least as far as I can tell visually by viewing them in Standard elevation views.However many of the lines/edges did not change to an axis color per the Styles/Edit etc instructions above.

What might I be doing wrong and how can I fix it? I’m pretty much a SketchUp newbie though fairly fluent in my CAD program (DataCad).

I’ve attached a screen shot in case that’s helpful.

Thank you for your assistance.

The image doesn’t seem to have made it into the previous post. Hopefully,one of these will.
model for forum.pdf (52.7 KB)

Odds are the edges imported from CAD are not perfectly on the z=0 plane, but that can’t be diagnosed from an image. Is it possible for you to upload the skp file?

Thank you. I’ll be very curious to see whether they’re on the z plane. And how would I check that myself?

I’m sure you’ll find the drawing organized terribly. I’m just beginning to work with layers.

Thanks94 DeKalb-5.skp|attachment (138.9 KB)

I found several edges that have one end on z=0 and the other end off. Have to run now, will be back with more detail later. In the meantime, I suggest you search this forum for topics about layers and read up. You are off to a bad start using them the wrong way in SketchUp!