Solid groups: Multiple materials?

Trying to create a window sash with a frame and glass pane. I can build the frame out of the default material and make it a solid group, but once I add the glass panes, it is no longer solid. Can a solid group contain multiple kinds of materials?

Materials won’t affect whether a group or component is considered a solid. You can indeed use more than one material on a solid object. Example with three different materials:

There must be something else going on that is preventing it from being considered a solid. Did you run Solid Inspector?

Share the window object so we can see what you’ve got.

Here is a real simple version of what might be happening. When you create your window it is a solid because it is a single skin that surrounds a volume, but as soon as you add a single face ‘pane of glass’ it is no longer surrounding a volume. Giving the pane thickness almost fixes it but you still need to remove the inner faces so that it is one single volume.

GIF 18-02-2024 12-01-41 PM

On the other hand the frame can be one group/component and the glass panes can be separate groups/components, each of which can be a solid, but nest them together and the Nested Group/component won’t read as a solid, even though it only contains solids.

And as @DaveR mentioned, all can have multiple materials without changing the solid state.

Window as it stands now is attached. I turned it into a Component, which is opening up its own can of worms.

The window object was built with extensive use of groups, probably nested 6 deep for some parts, and I finally gave up on keeping it a solid.

New problem, though: Perhaps as a result of all those nested groups, I am not able to stretch or shrink it by selecting one end to move unless I do about 6 cycles of Explode – and when I do so, the glass (obtained from the Warehouse as “translucent glass blue” if I recall) seems to disappear, or at least become unselectable.

Of course, after all those explodes, all semblance of structure is lost, making any future edits nearly impossible. Is there a better approach to building complex objects like this?

Finally, apart from building solid objects, what is a good way to remove lines between added parts, especially those which separate two faces in the same plane?
window 24B18a.skp (31.8 KB)

Build each part of the window as a component. Then make a component of all the ‘parts’ combined into the window unit - much like you would build it in real life. Try not to have loose geometry and groups / components nested together. Doing it this way means you can easily assign materials to the parts - glass, trim, etc. - and it makes it easier to manage later on should you need to change materials / etc.

If you need to change the size you can edit the main component and adjust all the subcomponents - I typically do this using the move tool / push pull tool as needed.

SketchUp only recognizes a component or a group to be a solid if it only contains edges and faces, with each edge connected to exactly two faces. A group or componnet that contains several solid objects isn’t considered a “solid” even if it works perfectly in a 3D printer.

As was pointed out by @Anssi, SketchUp recognizes objects as solids if the contain only edges and faces, and every edge is share by only two faces. A group or component cannot be a solid it it contains other groups and/or components.

If you look at Outliner you’ll see that you have a lot of groups and components in your window component. The bottom level objects (most indented in Outliner) do appear as solids.

How will you be using this window component? Are you planning to create shop drawings so you can build windows in your shop? Maybe it doesn’t need all the parts to be modeled individually. It would be easier to modify the window if it was simplified.

You can hide the edges as well as the touching faces. The objects remain separate but look like one.

Edit to add:

Thinking about this further.

Reducing the number of nesting levels should actually make most edits easier.

As for building complex objects like your window, you should consider the application and what you need out of it. What do you need to communicate with it? Is it just to show there’s a double hung window in a wall? That wouldn’t require a whole lot of detail or complexity. Or are you using it to show how the rough opening and maybe the trim are to be done for an off-the-shelf window? That might require additional detail around the outside but the sashes and other details won’t come into play. And if you are modeling it to be able to create shop drawings, the window will need a lot of detail. More than you have in your current window. It’s possible to model at any level of detail but don’t include detail that doesn’t add to the story you are trying to tell.

1 Like

Thank you for your suggestions. These windows will never become shop drawings, and are really only intended to show windows in conceptual house designs.

The reason I started “rolling my own” instead of downloading from the Warehouse is that many of the Warehouse objects are much too digitally large to behave well in SU Web.

In making my own, I have been somewhat obsessive about getting some of the details right, and I think it would be more useful to think of these as simply visual objects and not actual models of real double-hung windows.

Some day I may want to upgrade to Pro, and it would be nice to have “animated” windows with operable sashes – but that’s a long way off.

As I build these things, I can also be more judicious about what gets turned into either a group or a component, to limit the nesting.

Very useful to know, thank you. I think my objects have violated that condition on many occasions.

I agree with you on that.

Yes. You were heading down the path to end up with excessively large components. Keep 'em simple.

True. It might be for the application, you don’t need any nesting. A single component would do the job, surely.

Here I did a quick cleanup of your window. I reduced it to a single component which is considered a solid.

window 24B18a solid.skp (42.8 KB)
It’s a little bit larger than your file but it would be much easier to manage for resizing.

THANK YOU!! I’ll take a look!