Solid tools

I have this issue from time to time and I don’t understand what’s going on, perhaps someone can explain what I’m doing wrong or what I don’t know. This happens most often when I pull a file from 3D warehouse. I always try to make my parts solid when I’m designing so I can simple use solid tools to finalize my print yet have the individual parts to make future changes. But sometimes I’ll try to union or even subtract parts and they disappear entirely. Sometimes I have the part to be joined into the larger part disappear, but many times both parts disappear. Everything is on the same layer, and of course all parts are solid. Even the Eneroth plugin can’t do the job and gives me “something went wrong, not a solid part” dialog box. If I have a multiple of parts, 2 or three can unionize but then the last makes everything disappear. Same happens when subtracting parts. Any answers? Thanks very much - Mark

How large are the parts you are working with? Can you share an example file that causes you problems?

What version of SketchUp are you using? What operating system? What graphics card? Please complete your profile with the correct information.

Shortly after I sent my message, I found an old note that says in big letters “size matters”. Yes I work with small files, so I enlarged the model by 10 times, then by 50 times and indeed that solved my disappearing act problem.
Thank you for the quick response I do appreciate the help. - Mark

Sounds like you have it sorted. FYI, “Booltools” is another option that can often produce solid operations that sketchup may not.

Thank you - mark

Generally when I work on small objects I set Meters as the units and treat either inches or millimeters as meters. So these 6mm shoulder screws I did recently were modeled as 6 meter shoulder screws. This gets away from the tiny faces issue you were running into. If the model is for 3D printing, I usually don’t bother to scale down because the exported .stl file is unitless and the slicer software requires the units to be selected anyway.

If the thing is going to be used as a part in a larger project as in the case of furniture hardware, I usually start the model at normal size, make a component and scale a copy of it up by 1000x to work on it. This has become known as “The Dave Method”. Box did a nice tutorial demonstrating it which is easily searchable.

The knobs on the drawers and the bun feet were done that way.

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