Problems with drawing, help

I am a newbie.
This is long & I’m not sure if this is the proper place to post it. Please advise if it should be somewhere else.
I am making a drawing, but there are problems.
I am making a box (2 sides, 2 ends & 1 floor, all separate pieces). I made all pieces in it’s own layers I named, “Sides”, “Ends” & “Floor”.
I made the common pieces, i.e. “sides” a component", and the “ends” a component.
1 piece of “ends” has a unique difference. (i used “make unique”) to make that a unique component. The floor is a group.
The sides and ends have a horizontal 3/8" slot so I can place the “floor” (which is 3/8" thk) within all 4 pieces.
I have some 1" diameter thru holes in each of the pieces.

my problems are:

  • some of the thru holes do not go completely thru the piece, even if i delete and draw again, the circle refuses to break thru. The sides & ends are 3/4" (.750) thick, if i push/pull the circle & type in “.750” or push/pull to the “edge” of the piece, the circle still will not go thru.
  • I wanted to move the floor 1/8" (.125) towards the bottom, if I select, then edit component, push/pull the bottom face of the slots on each piece down .125 it works fine.
    But sketchup will not let me push/pull the upper face of the slots at all, it says “cannot push/pull curved or or smoothed surfaces”.
    Yes, I am a newbie.
    This is a great community & I really like how much support there is from you all.
    Is there a way I can post my model and have people bring it up and critique it?
    Maybe see if they can edit it or hack around with it?
    BUT not mess with my original model?
    If not, I will appreciate any & all help.
    Keep in mind I am using the Web based SketchUp which does not have all the bells and whistles of Make.
    Thanks again.

You should share the SketchUp file so we can see exactly what you have done and give you help without having to guess. Click on the file folder icon near the top of the model space and choose Download. Download the SKP file to your computer and then drag the file into your reply here.

Inner Cover - All Season.skp (265.3 KB)

Can you see it now?
When I chose “download”, it gave me 2017 .skp, 2018 .skp, or 2019.skp.
It was defaulted on 2018.skp so I left it as that. Is that ok?

That’ll work. It’s opening now.

notice there is a layer named “problems” where I pointed and identified my problem areas.

  1. You are using layers incorrectly. In SketchUp all edges and faces are to be created on Layer 0 and remain on Layer 0.

  2. The reason your “hole” can’t be pushed through is that you had the wrong instance of the component open when you drew the circle and pushed it through.

When the circle is drawn on the face of the component that is opened for editing, the hole can be cut.

  1. There’s no face is the bottom of the groove or the rabbets at the ends. If you select a style that shows the front and back face colors you could see it. Setting the front and back colors the same as you have in that style don’t help. Using Color by Layer is the problem here. Save that for display purposes if you want but don’t use it while modeling.

Open the component for edit and use the Line tool to trace an edge to “heal” the missing face.

On the ends if looks like you just quit pushing too soon.

General construction question. Do you really intend to drill the holes through the sides and ends so they are tangent to the grooves for the bottom?

Thru holes need to be tangent to slot?: My answer is no, I want to move the slot & floor down 1/8" away from the thru holes, I think the holes being tangent to the slot is possibly causing problems, but I need to move the slot down anyhow due to design improvements.
Incorrect layer use: When drawing different pieces, I wanted to be able to turn them on/off individually in order to draw the other pieces, side, end, floor, etc.
I don’t see how I can draw all pieces on layer 0 only & differentiate the butted together faces. what if i wanted to look at the end pieces only?
Once I clicked on the “colored layer” icon in the Layer menu (on the right) to turn the colors off, I can see that some faces have been erased.
Am I correct in thinking you are saying I drew some items (thru holes) on a component when I may not have had that layer active? I believe i did click on edit component every time I was working on that component.
Your main point I believe is I am not initially drawing the model on layer 0. I still don’t understand how I can draw all the individual pieces on layer 0, like the edge face of floor and the edge face of the slot.
You mentioned the word “Style” a few times, I don’t know what that references…
Is there a specific tutorial I can run to learn about drawing everything in Layer 0 only? And a tutorial about Styles?
In the meantime, I will attept to make corrections


  1. layer 0, I think I covered that above.
  2. incorrect component opened when drawing hole. how in the world did you separate the (sides) component/layer to show the obvious problem in your screenshot #1? This would definitely help me trouble shoot if I knew how.
    I can now see when editing a component it is CRITICAL to always be working on the original component, is that true?
  3. color by layer should be off when drawing, got it.
    I did as you suggested and fixed that problem, now there are faces.

But I have still having a problem with the face that is tangent to (underneath) the holes, I am not able to push/pull that face at all, on any piece.
Should I delete all holes, then push/pull that face down 1/8" like I want to, then redraw the holes?
How can I delete the holes with selecting all the edges manually if they are within different layers/components?
I owe you bigtime for all your help.

Yes it is. Since the edges of the holes intersect with the groove, they are inextricably linked. Remove the holes, move the grooves down where you want them and then remake the holes. This is really such a simple model and there’s enough wrong with it that I would probably start over and put the groove in the right place from the beginning making sure to maintain correct layer usage and ensuring that everything is in control.

You clearly need to learn about layers. They aren’t like layers in other programs. Layers are basically just tags that get assigned to components for controlling visibility. Layer 0 is left active at all times. All geometry is created with and continues to keep the Layer 0 tag. Only components and groups get other layer tags assigned to them. Then if you want to look at only the ends of the box, you can turn off the visibility for those components that you don’t want to see. Remember that the only way to keep things separate is to use groups or components.

Yeah. So don’t do that while you are modeling. It masks problems.

As for the mention of style, The Color by layer thing is part of the style. Style is just the control that determines how the model and model space appear. You can choose different styles in SketchUp Free in the Styles panel. In other versions of SketchUp you can also edit the styles to make your own.

You should go through the Fundamentals. There’s a chapter on Layers. Although it’s based on the desktop version of SketchUp, the same things apply to SketchUp for Web. It is really quite simple, though. Leave Layer 0 active at all times, Do not change the layer assignment for edges and faces to anything else. Only assign other layers to components and groups. If you follow those simple rules, it is actually very freeing in your workflow. There’s never any need to chase the layers as you edit your components and you won’t create a mess by forgetting to make a certain layer active before creating new or modifying existing geometry.

I selected the one I moved upward and used the Move tool to move it away from the other one. A big clue that there is something wrong comes when you select one of the side components and the bounding box encompasses the other. You can also tell because when you open one of them for editing, that cylinder is grayed out.

It isn’t critical to be working on the original one. You just need to make sure you are working on the one that is open for editing.

An analogy I often use with my students is that making groups and components is like wrapping a sandwich in zipper sandwich bag. The wrapper protects the sandwich from stuff so if you lay a big pickle on top of it, the juice won’t soak into the bread and change the sandwich. If you want to add mustard to the sandwich, though, you have to open the wrapper first (open the component for editing) and when you finish, you close the wrapper up again. In your case you opened one sandwich and then proceeded to smear mustard on the other one. FWIW, exploding a component or group is tagging the sandwich out and throwing the bag away.

As before the geometry of the holes is connected to the edge of the groove. You can’t separate them without deleting something. The easiest thing would be to redraw the components.

Yes. Or use the Move tool to move the entire groove.

Layers don’t provide separation between geometry. As above, ALL geometry should have the Layer 0 tag. You could fix that by selecting all of the geometry and resetting the Layer association in Entity Info. In order to work on the geometry in any of the components, you first need to open the component for editing.

You can buy me a beer someday. :slight_smile:

What exactly is this thing for? Are the hole locations critical?

As I was looking more deeply at your model I noticed the holes on the long sides are not aligned correctly. When you drag out circles it is best to drag them out on axis. Dragging the radius out at some random angle creates problems.

I made a sort of demo that hopefully clarifies some of this.

Sorry for the morning sniffles. I haven’t had enough coffee.

Now you owe me two beers. :smiley:

1 Like

This is an over-wintering spacer for a 8 Frame Beehive. I’m a beekeeper. Most of my current drawings are all about beehives & accessories for them. Holes are just for airflow to prevent & help dry any condensation inside the hive during winter. I will be putting #8 screen on the inside of the holes to prevent anything (except air) inside from going out & anything outside from going in.
again, WOW! I finally understand much more about layer 0 & the reasoning for it’s use.
Watching you & your technique on just how you approach the way you draw was Very Enlightening for me.
At least I do make everything Groups or components already. The only thing I wasn’t clear about was when you used Entity & Layers and to allow separate viewing. I will have to view your video again.
Are you on YouTube?
You say you are an instructor, it shows. Do you instruct online or in real life? I am in the San Jose, California area & when I started trying to learn SketchUp I looked for classes around here, no luck. If you do offer classes, please let me know, I am very interested.
In the mean-time, back to Fundamentals.
Before retirement, I was a machinist & used some Autocad. That may be good or bad at this point.
Chasing the layers to make edits has been a pain in the butt. I’m actually glad you told me I was using layers wrong.
I would be more than happy to ship you some Free, Natural, Pure Honey, right out of the beehive.
If nothing else, you will be amazed at the taste of true, fresh honey. What you buy in stores nowadays is not even real honey. Just look at the label, some manufacturers actually ADD sugar to their honey, that’s a dead give-away it’s not real honey.
Thanks again.

I’m glad the video was at least a little helpful.

The Layers panel is used to create and name the layer tags you will assign to components and groups in the model. It’s also where you control the visibility of the groups and components by their layer tags. Among other things, Entity Info is where you assign layer tags to groups and components. You aren’t really putting components and groups on layers, you are giving groups and layers a tag that just happens to be referred to as a layer.

Commonly these layer tags are used to control what is visible in scenes that you would set up. If your model was a group of people, you might have layer tags like “Red shirt”, “Blue shirt”, and “Green shirt”. And in the first scene you might have the visibility turned off for “Blue shirt” which tells all the people wearing blue shirts in the crowd to “go over there and sit down. We’ll come back to you later.” :slight_smile:

I’ll send you a PM later regarding instruction.

As for the AutoCAD experience, what I’ve seen is that since SU is enough different, it usually takes some unlearning or relearning to beat the AutoCAD out of the new SketchUp user but it usually doesn’t take a very big stick. I’m kidding, of course. I don’t use sticks for that. :smiley:

Thanks for the offer of the honey. We’ll talk about that in the PM. I guess I Need to look more closely at the labels on our honey jars.

Hey, what the heck. This was a really good demo. I wish I could see the keystrokes sometimes but after review figured it out. I’m at the ‘dangerous’ point in learning SU.