Section Cut improvements

This is just an annoyance more than anything else, but when you have a section cut active and you edit a component/group within it, the section cut becomes opaque and obscures what you’re doing.
OK I can toggle the visibility of the cut and show it again when done, but it’s an extra click/keystroke that distracts from what I’m doing at the time and you can still click on items through it.

When I’m zoomed in on an area (so that the edges/handles of the cutting plane are outwith my view and there is no “blank” space to click on) I would still like to be able to select the section cut and move it: an icon? a selectable box around the screen view? a keystroke?

Actually, thinking on section cuts; I would like to assign a section cut to a layer rather than have it as an “object” that can be within a group/component. It could be selected and edited from within any group/component or nested group/component on that layer.

It would also be nice to have some fancy tools like:

  • a “staggered” section cut where each solid beyond the outer face was cut by an offset plane (define a dimension to offset - positive or negative. This would only be editable from selecting the main cutting plane.)
  • a “curved” section cut where the plane is the surface of a sphere.
  • an “eroded” section cut where the plane could be defined as a “bump map”
  • pretty animation to “grow” the model when a section cut is turned on/off (rather than having to define another plane and have it active on a different scene)
  • components & groups that are recognised as solid have a definable fill (set from styles - option to use the wrapper’s fill)

I don’t know if it’s possible to do in one click, but a useful feature would be to have the ability to use a flat section cut as an importable scene into Layout. (I know that I could do it with scenes, but lining up a scene, model and plane could be tricky.)

Note: I know there is the Skalp extension that has have some of these functions and more, (never tried it) but these would be native tools to add some shine to presentations. Especially if different types could be animated between scenes.

*Edit: terminology clarification “section cut”

sorry; my mistake in terminology. I did indeed mean “section cut” rather than cutting plane.

I know that a plane is (by definition) a flat surface, but my point is that you are working in a 3D environment where a section cut across a model doesn’t have to be a flat surface and you could do some really cool things with it.

Terminology or Type. Currently SketchUp has only SectionPlane objects (to do the Section Cutting.)

It has been requested to have other sectioning objects such as SectionBoxes, SectionCones, SectionCylinders and SectionSpheres. (Look through this category for discussions about these proposals.)

This will be impossible. SketchUp is programmed in C++, and exposed for extension in Ruby. Both are object oriented programming languages. Also the SKP format has a document object model. Members of the model database are treated as objects. It would be like changing the laws of physics for the universe. Chaos would result.

You already can “use” a layer with a SecionPlane. They are Drawingelement subclass objects, and so inherit a layer property.

We have already discussed elsewhere the confusion with SketchUp layers. They do not “own” entities. You do not place entities nor objects “on” a SketchUp layer.

SketchUp layers are just a “property / behavior” sheet, that can be shared across multiple model objects, in order to have them share visibility & display behavior.

The “rather than have it as an object within a group or component.” request.

This just will not happen. All “things” in the model are objects, and drawing elements, that must be a member of an entities collection. Only the model itself, groups and components have these collections.

Inserting a SectionPlane into a nested entities collections (groups/components) is the only way to have more than one active, at a time. (At least currently.)

I think the real gist of what you want is to make them easier to work with.

Maybe a Section Manger ? So we don’t have to drill down into nested contexts just to toggle or change the active sectioning in that context.

I thought there was another FR asking to name sections ? Giving them descriptive names would go along with making them easier to use. Currently, you’d need to wrap every single section into a group or component to give it a name. (Awkward.)

I am all for making things better, and easier and quicker.

I would be agreeable to having more than one sectioning “object” active within any given entities context. Even if it broke current extensions. Extensions and plugins could always be updated to deal with the new features.

I also like the idea of all the other 3D section “solids” that have been proposed. (Spheres, and Cones and BumpMaps, Oh My!)

Also think it is way past time for built-in rendering of section cut faces. But these should not be elements that are added to the model. (They should not actually modify the model’s entities.) A button to toggle their rendering would also be needed. And the sectioning objects, being subclasses of drawingelement, already have a material property. This would be what is rendered onto the cut faces / surfaces as the cutaway texture (hatching, etc.).
The best argument to support this, is that they can be seen by LayOut.

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The idea of an improvement of the sectionplane is quite cool.
I did ask in an another post for thoses features : partial section (only one side of a symetry axis for example), broken section (X parallels planes), and pie section.

  1. Right click on a section plane, to acces to context menu option “divide section plane”
  2. Select, then move one side to make a broken section
    2b) Select, then rotate one side to make a pie section
    2c) Select, then delete one side to make a partial section…

But to think of it in terms of “section-cube, section-cone or even section-sphere” is quite cool.