SketchUp Solid Tool - Subtract vs Intersect with Model?

I have been playing around with both the Subtract tool and the Intersect with Model.

At this URL it leads me to believe the two do the same thing.

As it list the Subtract as Pro feature and says, "One solid removes part of another and is deleted."
Then along with that it says, “In SketchUp Make, use Intersect with Model instead.”

So I can put a sphere half way down into the top of a cube and then use the subtract tool to cut out half a sphere shape into the top of that cube with just a few clicks.

I can seem to do the same thing using Intersect with Model, but it takes a few more clicks.
Also to get there with “Intersect with Model” I’m removing just the top half of the sphere first and then a circle face, or is it truly the second half of the sphere I’m removing?

Is Subtract tool (SU Pro) truly the same thing as “Intersect with Model” for SU Make?

Are there any Extensions or Plugins that do the same thing as the Solid Tools that I could use with SU Make?

I really like how the solid tools work and hate to loose them after my 30 day pro trial is up. Do I really need to purchase pro just for the solid tools?


They kind of do the same thing but there are a couple of important differences. If you just use Intersect Model with the sphere and box groups/components and don’t open either for editing, the intersection will be created outside of both and modify neither of them. If you open the box for editing and use Intersect Faces>With Model, the intersections with the sphere will cut the faces of the box but, you won’t have the spherical surfaces in the box group/component. In order to get the same result as Subtract, you need to place the surface from the sphere inside the box group/component. Of course with Subtract, you don’t need to worry about that. You just use the solid groups/components.

One thing to keep in mind with the Solid Tools as they currently exist is that they convert any components they modify into groups. Intersect Faces leaves components as components so editing one copy results in other instances getting the same treatment as you would expect. Jim Foltz’s Trim and Keep and Eneroth’s Solid Tools fix that but because they both use the native Solid Tools as a base, they also require the pro version of SketchUp.

There used to be a couple of extensions that did similar things although I seem to recall they don’t work in current versions of SketchUp. Could be faulty memory, though.