Struggling to cut a hole in a wall with multiple layers

Hello all,

I have designed a music studio as an external building and drawn in all the material layers from internal walls through to exterior weatherboarding, about 5 materials layers in total, and made of different objects and components. I did not know at the time of beginning design where the windows would go, now I wish to try a few different window positionings and so wish to cut holes through the layers to create openings to position windows.

I tried creating a component with a cut through property but this did not work for me. It did not create a transparecny through the layers.

I have followed instructions and tried to draw a rectangle and then push/pull, but instead of cutting through the layer it creates a new 3D shape. I know that if there is geometry behind the shape I am trying to push/pull then it will not work, so I deleted some of the timber frame geometry behind the rectangle window opening I am trying to create to create space, but it still does not work.

The other strange thing is that I cannot select only the area within the rectangle. If I click in the rectangle, the whole interior face is selected. I have exploded this layer and it is no longer in groups.

I have put each material, group on its own layer, so bricks are grouped on one layer, timbers are grouped on one layer. Could this be part of the problem?

I also noticed that panning, orbiting is much slower now I have 9 layers with objects on them.

Any help appreciated.


How about sharing the SKP file so we can see exactly what you’ve got and give you an accurate answer right away?

Will do, will annotate the file first

One example with VisuHole (Fredo6)…


Thanks I will try visuhole, definitely less work than cutting holes in each layer individually!!!

OK I have tried Visuhole and it is not cutting a hole in the wall surfaces. I’ve tried copying the steps shown in the gif kindly shared by Cotty.

Maybe this is because the different physical layers of the wall are on different layers and in different groups within Sketchup?

Below is a Dropbox link to my file. I have labelled a rectangle on one of the internal walls where I am trying to cut through the wall and place a window. I’d be very grateful if anyone could have a look and give me instructions to cut holes.

Thanks so much.

It could be a lot of things. You are using layers incorrectly, you have some heavily nested groups and some loose, unested geometry, there are reversed faces that need correcting, there’s weird hidden geometry going all over the place, and in general you’ve created a very difficult model to work with.

Right. I totally accept that. I have been teaching myself how to use Sketchup while designing this building. I have tried to make it as realistic as possible by using every component that a builder would use in construction. But I probably have not been using Sketchup in the way it is supposed to be used. I had no idea cutting holes in multiple surfaces would be such a complex task.

normally a builder would not build the wall and then cut the windows, rather make provision for them

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I think you should have started with a much simpler project to teach yourself how to use Sketchup instead of creating a model that gets more and more difficult to work on every time you do something in it. You’ve gotten the cart a long way in front of the horse by adding all the details and materials.

It wouldn’t be such a complex task if you’d used better technique for creating the walls. As Philip indicates, you could have drawn the walls making provisions for windows just as they’d be built in reality.

A purge reduced your filesize from >91 MB to under 37 MB…

Fredos tools have a lot of options, you should watch his videos to get an idea of their effect. Wrong face orientation, as mentioned by Dave, is one probable cause of unexpected results.

One point to start:

Very true. However I did not know where the windows were going when I started the design. I just knew I needed a music studio and cupboard that would fit at the end of my gaden.

I could definitely have started with a simpler project. I would not mind starting from scratch and doing it the right way. Are there any tutorials you would recommend on building design?

Thanks Cotty I will watch the tutorial. I don’t know what ‘wrong face orientation’ is.

I’ve watched the overview video but am none the wiser for my situation. from trying it in my model, it seems Visuhole cannot be used to cut through components, let along multiple components.

To get the effect of a window, am I not able to create a 3D rectangle and assign it as a cut through object, and then place it within one of my walls?

I’m also wondering how architects move windows once they have drawn them in their models

You can also do it with the native SU tools.

For example:

Make yourself a window hole cutting component which, when you make it, has these properties:

  • is the size you want the opening to be, and consists only of edges (no face)
  • is set to Glue to Vertical (or any, if you want to be able to cut holes in floors and ceilings)
  • set its axes (not intuitively) with red horizontal and green VERTICAL, so Blue is pointing out of the wall
  • has the box Cut opening checked.

Then click Create component.

Make walls by push-pull from a ground or floor level rectangle, and make each wall into a group or component.

Open the wall for editing (double click on the group or component).

Drag the window opening out of the Component inspector, and place it where you want on the wall (use guidelines for exact placement). It will cut an opening.

Move/Copy it to the other side of the wall, just opposite the original. It will cut another opening.

Repeat for other layers, which should also be made as groups or components.

It may however easier to draw the opening in the wall first, then push-pull it through, so you get the sides, top and bottom drawn at the same time.

And you can easily move the hole, once you have cut it. Just select its edges (which will all select at once, since they are a hole cutting component) and move it in the plane of the wall’s face where you want it.

That is also true if you just draw a plain rectangle on the wall face - but it’s slightly harder to select the edges.

I’ll try and do a short animation to show you, but not tonight. It’s past midnight here in UK.

PS. After you have made the walls etc (all drawn on Layer0 please) and made them into groups or components, you can assign the groups or components to different Layers. Then you can use the Layers inspector to turn off the ones you don’t need to see while you are cutting holes in other components on visible layers.