Remove one entity from another

Hi there.

I’m looking to remove the entity on the left, from the entity on the right. So that all items within that plane will have the curve drawn on the rectangle.

Thanks in advance.

Solid Tools would be the quickest way… But you can do it with Intersect Faces

Check out this video (you can skip to the end if you like…)

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Can you upload a SKP file with your entities in it?

If the entities on the right are all parallel sided, why wouldn’t PushPull work?

I shall check the video and then try and do it myself, if not I will upload the SKP for you guys to have a look. Thanks very much for your help :).

**EDIT ** to make clear that the following question is in the context you cannot use Solid Tools (Solid Tools would be probably the best option)

I’d like to take advantage of this thread to ask something pretty similar, I have a question related to his.
Let’s suposse I have a model like this in which everything is a component.

And I want to substract component#4 from the rest of components, but I want to keep them as individual components.
What would it be the fastest way?

Because I maybe lose some lesson (I’m talking seriously), but as far as I know, the intersection shape you create after intersecting with model has to be at same level (this means inside the component or explode the component), right?

What would it be the fastest way?

My steps will be:

  1. I move the component to intersect with the others components, for example like this:


  1. I’d explode one component, for example component#2.
  2. I’d select component#4 and component#2 then right click, intersect > with selection.
  3. I’d erase the extra geometry, and fix faces if it’s needed
  4. I’d make it a component again.

Would these steps correct?

This is my example example.skp (45.7 KB)

You shouldn’t have to explode any component.

Keep all the components at the same ‘level’ in the model (looks from the image as if they are already). And as you say, move the Cutter block (Component#4) to where you want it to cut.

Install the Trim and Keep plugin (Jim Foltz, from the SketchUcation Plugin store) if you are using SU Pro - it needs the Pro Solid Tools to work IIRC). That makes it easy - start T&K plugin, select in turn Component#4 as the Cutter and the next component (#1), then reselect the Cutter, and the next component, until done.

But I see you have only Make.

So you have to use Intersect Faces.

Open each Component#1, 2, 3, 5, 6, in turn for editing, select the faces you want to cut (or all of them with a triple click or Select All), then Edit/Intersect Faces/ Intersect with model or with context.

That should ‘draw’ the cutlines inside each component. Delete or hide your cutter block, then manually delete the surplus edges and faces from each component in turn in its own editing context. You might have to redraw some lines or rectangles if it doesn’t create faces where you want.

I find it quite confusing to get the cut lines to be drawn in the context you want them to be to enable you to trim off the pieces you don’t want, and sometimes have to select them in the ‘wrong’ context, and move them into the ‘right’ context for them to cut the component I want to trim. You may have to experiment a bit - though I think I have it right in my description.

This is what I get after intersecting with Component#2:

And after selecting the surplus with a right-to-left selection:

leaving me with this:

And assuming you want the steps formed by faces, just add them manually.

Just draw the vertical rectangles. The others will form automatically.


Thank you so much @john_mcclenahan
It’s cool, inside the component edition intersect with model works like a charm :slight_smile:

I have PRO version but I didn’t update my profile.
Anyway I like to know several ways to do same thing, I asked this because some users have it and I sometimes like to place myself in the context how I’d do if I were using Make version.

For this case, solid tools would be enough for me, although Trim and Keep could save me some time

for me, its other GREAT merit is that it doesn’t remake every trimmed component into a group, with all such trimmed ones being called (unhelpfully) ‘Difference’, which is what Solid Tools does. Trim and Keep retains the original component names.

And that means that if you edit one copy of the component, ALL instances get updated, which isn’t the case with Solid Tools.

I think there’s an easier work flow with Intersect Faces than the one John describes. Curiously, I rarely ever seen anyone else describe it.

This works easier of you go to Model Info>Components and set Rest of Model and Similar Components to Hide.

Assuming Component #4 is the “cutter” and you wish to keep it in place, open it for editing and copy the faces where they’ll intersect with the other components. No need to copy faces or edges that aren’t going to be involved in the intersection anyhow. Use Edit>Copy or the appropriate keyboard shortcut to copy the selection to the clipboard. Exit edit mode for that component and open one of the components to be cut. Use Edit>Paste in place to paste the edges and faces you just copied into the currently open component. Triple click with Select to select all of the geometry in the component. Right click and choose Intersect Faces>With Selection. Erase the unneeded edges and faces and correct face orientation as needed. You’ll be leaving behind portions of the faces and edges you copied from the cutting component.

Open the next component and repeat the Paste in place, Intersect and Erase process. The cutting geometry will still be on the clipboard.

In the example shown, it’s not really that difficult to draw in the few edges you’d need to create the faces using John’s method but suppose that cutter is a sphere or other complex surface. Just getting the edges of the cutter on the edges of the component to be cut won’t be a lot of help.

A keyboard shortcut for Paste in place is a good idea, too.


Any extensions for us non-pro users? it’s easier than you think at least for the example you showed.
Try uploading your .skp using the 7th icon when you write a new post and let us take a look.

[EDIT - got the name wrong at first] There’s a paid for BoolTools2 which AFAIK doesn’t require Pro.

It is indeed better - thanks again, DaveR, for such helpful input. And a Paste in place shortcut is one I use very frequently. On my iMac I use Ctrl+V, since Cmd+V is just Paste. I think you could use Alt+V on Windows.

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The forum doesn’t like my choice of shortcut keys sorry for the edits :grimacing:

I have shortcut for paste in place, also I have shortcuts for hide rest if model and hide similar components
I find them very useful being able to toggle quickly.

Guys, I don’t understand why Dave method is faster.

This is how I did using what john explained.

box.skp (135.4 KB)

here’s the .skp

Do that with a sphere as the cutter.

Thank you @DaveR, I think I got it.
The difference is that with your method you can use intersect with selection getting a different result that you’d get using intersecting with model, isn’t it?

You first have to fixt yout model, several edges are not coplanar that’s why they don’t have a face.
You also can see at the end of the video a fault in one corner, there is something odd there cause of the geometry.
The process once you’ve fixed that first should be something like this (I guess):

Intersect with selection gives you better control of where the intersections are made.

In my opinion the work flow you explained could be on tutorials category.
I’m not saying you should do it, I think I could do it if it’s a common question and it’s not in another place.

It also fixes the problem of having to redraw some faces.