Request for help scaling, moving edges

Hi. First I hope everyone is holding up ok. I’m writing to ask for help in learning how best to create new metal planter designs. I’m struggling with how to design and change the sizes, angles etc of different faces (sides) of the planter designs. I so far have been creating basic polygons and push / Pulling them and then using move or scale tool to change shapes. But the problem I’m having is that sometimes I’m able to scale an edge (the scale box appears near the edge and I can grab a handle) and other times I’m not able to use the scale tool on an edge…maybe I’m using the wrong tools. Any help will be appreciated. Here are a couple screen shots of the shapes and a picture of a finished planter.

You might find it easier to use the Move tool on the vertices. The thing to be careful of it that you might break faces if you end up with non-coplanar edges. Another thing to do is consider making the shape loner and cutting it off with a rectangle.

As DaveR said, moving vertices is another useful method. start with nothing selected and use the move tool to click on a node. Command Key will allow it to autofold in any direction but lots of faces might result.

Hi Dave,

Thank you for your help. I appreciate it. I had no idea I could select the move tool with nothing selected and then grab a node. Soooo helpful…

Hi Riley,

Thank you so much for helping me and for uploading the tutorial video you created. So helpful. I’ll try to figure out how to “control” the way the faces bend or Fold. Thanks again.


Is there a best way to draw the rectangle to “cut off” the shapes! Do I create the rectangle then rotate it into best position and move it over the area I want to cut? Thanks.

I would draw the rectangle and then rotate it until I have it where I want it.

When I do this sort of thing I make a component of the main shape first. Then make the rectangle cutter outside the component so I can move it around without worrying about modifying the shape of the component. Once I’m satisfied with the position of the “cutter”, I cut it to the clipboard, open the component for editing and use Paste in place. Then select the geometry and use Intersect Faces>With Selection followed by erasing the waste.

Another option since you are a Pro user is to draw both the planeter and cutter as solid components/groups and use Solid Tools (or better, Eneroth Solid Tools) to trim the planter with the cutter. You have to make the cutter as a 3D shape but that’s probably just a Push/Pull operation in most cases.


Wow. Ok I’ll try that process you recommended. Thank you

I created both my planter and “cutter” as 3 d groups and then tried to use solid tools and trim but it kept asking me to select 2 nd solid group even though I did select it already…I’m sure I did something sketchup didn’t like.

The group must not be a solid. The simple definition of a solid is that every edge is shared by exactly two faces. If you draw the planter as a box with no thickness in the sides and no top face it won’t be considered a solid.

In my example, I drew the shape of the footprint, pulled that up to give it bit of thickness and then used Offset on the top face to outline the sides. Then Push/Pull to pull the thing up. So the bottom and sides all have thickness.

Dave, i figured out hot to use the trim like you taught me. I didn’t realize that I needed to move the solids apart after the trim / intersect to see the result!

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I see that you’re taking photos of your screen with a camera. There’s an easier and higher quality way of doing this: screenshots.

⇧⌘4 (shift-command-4) to drag a rectangle and grab part of the screen
⇧⌘3 (shift-command-3) to grab all of the screen

If you hold ⌃ (control key) as well, it will be put in your clipboard instead of a file.

The file will be saved on your Desktop by default, but you can change this.

Newer versions of macOS have fancier stuff, but your profile doesn’t say which version you’re on.

Thanks McGordon, i appreciate That. Awesome. I think i have the latest iOS version software.

I used Subtract instead of Trim in my example. As you’ve found, Trim doesn’t eliminate the cutter. That’s actually useful if you want to use the same cutter more than once or if the cutter is actually another part of the overall model. Either way gets the planter cut, though.

iOS is for iPhones & iPads. If you’re on the latest macOS that would be Catalina. 10.15.x. There’s a small preview at the bottom right of the screen that lets you edit the screenshot if you want, or ignore it and it still gets saved to a file. That’s on Mojave, I’m assuming that’s the same on Catalina.

That’s cool Dave. I’m going to play around with The solid tools!

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I do have Catalina! I’ll look for that edit tool. Thank you!

Hi Dave,

I’m having a tough time not breaking faces when I move vertices etc in my planter designs…when I move let’s say a top plane vertice then one of the “side” faces breaks and then I can’t figure out how to get it so my side planes don’t break. Is there
any image0.png

Is there any solution that you know of for this? Thanks

The challenge is that you need to keep all of the edges for each face in plane. Think about this in terms of flat steel plate. If your planter, as shown, was being made in the shop, you would have to bend or crease the plate to get seams to line up for welding. Or you would need to cut triangular pieces. If SketchUp would break the faces like you are showing, you won’t be able to build it in reality with flat plate. This isn’t really a SketchUp problem either. It’s more just a planar geometry thing.

I’m not really sure how to give you a best practice for doing this. It’s something I would do with guidelines and probably some trial and error and it would be different in different situations. One option might be to draw a larger block and then cut off bits of ii to arrive at the final shape and make sure that you keep planes in the process. If you don’t get a face without making the triangles, you can move a corner.

Here’s an example. I just randomly drew edges around the box.

Since they are out of plane no face is formed.

I can triangulate it and then move a corner until the edges are all in the same plane and erase the diagonal.

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