Simplest Way to Copy a Cutout?

Cutout Example.skp (274.8 KB)

I was wondering if their is anyway to easily copy and paste holes in geometry? So I cut a hole, which I then want to use over and over again. It would also be nice if I would move these holes around.

It works if I leave it in pure geometry (do not group or component it), but then every time I want to copy/paste it or move it I need to spend a lot or time individually selecting components.

It seems like a hacky solution is exploding and regrouping everytime I want to do anything, and just hoping I do not accidentally unselect it when it is in its exploded form, but it seems like there should be a better way of doing this.


I think of this sort of thing in terms of SU’s Solid Tools >Subtract command.

And I’d make an array of the cut away (negative space) ‘solid’ objects… so that they can be used as boolean subtract objects.

If opportunity presents itself with a simple arrayed series… I’ll create a common connection through all of the independent arrayed objects… so that they become one using Solid Tools + Union, and then the boolean Solid Tools Subtract command takes care of everything in one step. (e.g. one single object, subtracting from the other).

For positioning and checking of proper alignment you can get a lot done using the X-Ray mode, and possibly intersect faces to run a fast check…just to verify distance and spacing.

Given the option to make perfect Copies… it’s easy enough to practice on a duplicate, before you go full forward on the original model… But of course Undo has it’s merits too I suppose.

a Copied Array of intersecting edges has it’s place too… but I’m not sure how to get away from all of the clean up work thats so often needed afterwards. So my bias towards using the Boolean Solid Tools option is mostly because of the lack of work thats needed after the process is run.

There is a secondary bonus issue of safety… in the sense that moving raw edges around on raw faces gets a bit reactive, and can sometimes result in shifting a planar face into a non-coplanar face (which are tough to deal with, if you didn’t notice that it happened.

You know you can open components and groups to edit the contained geometry without exploding, right? Right click and edit, or double click.

Do we know if the OP is using Pro? His profile is incomplete.


Their example file has no watermark, and the ground color is slightly different from the native Free style, so i’m guessing Pro, but could be Shop.

See this SU file for ideas.

Cutout Example.skp (560.9 KB)

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Yes, but the problem is the components and groups for some reason change how these things interact. When in a component or a group it is viewed as a separate object, so it interacts differentially with the original geometry.

Indeed, the separation of geometry, preventing it’s interaction with surrounding geometry is the very point of groups and components, it is a key element of what they do. I see you have the inside faces of the channel geometry grouped separately, I’m not sure this is helping you.

The great thing about SketchUp is it’s flexibility, there is almost always more than a few “right” ways to do any one operation. Think if it like a woodworking shop well stocked with all kinds of tools. To make a given cut I may prefer the jigsaw, while others prefer a router, the result can identical.

For your example of copying the channel geometry above I think I would double click on the initial component to edit its geometry, use a right hand selection box to select the edges that define the channel on the front face. Use the move tool with the modifier key toggled for copy/move to place a copy of those edges a given distance down the face, I typed in 1/2" as a distance, then typed in x3 to distribute 2 more copies. Then I used the push/pull tool to inset the resulted face, inferring from the previous channel to match the depth. Once a depth is set, you need only double click each subsequent face to inset to the same depth again. It’s one way to do it and pretty quick, if there were 200 of these channels to do I would have started a different way, or used a time saving extension.


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