Suggested alternate behavior of Solid Trim Tool



I’ve found the Trim tool quite useful. But I’d like to see an alternate!

Right now, the only function is to:
“Trim first solid against second and keep both in the model”

I’d like to see an alternate use, perhaps enabled by the <alt> or <ctrl> key as follows:
“Trim second solid against first and keep both in the model”

Here’s my use case:

I’m modeling a home I want to build (actually a tiny home on wheels). I found working on the roof framing to be easiest away from the main model in a standard plane and building them intentionally long. Then, I rotate them to the desired pitch angle (then redefine the axis of the involved groups). Finally, because I want the ends of my rafter tails to be in the standard vertical plane, I create a temporary box with 1 face in the vertical plane, intersecting all the rafters where I want to trim them (and the volume of the box AWAY from the rafter solid I want to keep. Select the Solid Trim tool, then the box as solid #1, then click every rafter as solid #2. This end up doing exactly what I want it to do.

But now I want to lay in a finish floor. Easiest way to do that with a floor that is continuous across multiple rooms is to lay a big rectangular floor at the outer limits, then trim away all intersections with interior framing (which rests on the subfloor, not the finish floor.

My first try, I selected the floor as solid #1, then clicked on the baseplate of all my interior framing. Seemed to work. OOPS! No! I trimmed the bottom off of all my baseplates! … a few "Undo"s later and

I managed to do it using the solid tool by:

  1. Click on a baseplate as solid #1, Click on finish floor as solid #2. (trims correctly - baseplate intact, floor trimmed)
  2. Hit <Esc>, click next baseplate as solid #1, click on finish floor as solid #2 (trims correctly)
  3. Repeat step 2 until all baseplates have trimmed the finish floor

What a repetitive set of motions! It works, but it’s not optimum. Not counting the initial selection of the Solid Trim tool, it’s 3 clicks for every baseplate!

If the alternate function of the Solid Trim tool I’m suggesting existed, trimming the floor allowing the baseplates to remain would be:

Select the Solid Trim Tool
Hit <alt> or <ctrl> to reverse the function
Click on the floor as solid #1
Click on each baseplate - once only for each baseplate - as solid #2

Not counting the selection of the Solid Trim Tool, the number of clicks is just the # of baseplates + 1.

Thoughts? Have a better way to do this?


You might have a look at Eneroth’s Solid Tools in the EW. It reverses the order of operations. So it’s “Trim this with that” instead of the native Solid tools “Use this to trim that.”



I just tried it.While it does, indeed, reverse the selection order of SU’s Trim Solid tool of which solid isn’t touched and which is trimmed, there is one crucial behavior missing:

After selecting the 2nd solid, it doesn’t assume you want to repeat the action keeping the same first solid.

Nonetheless, this is a vast improvement for my needs. Although I’ll still need to keep clicking on solid #1, I won’t have to keep hitting “escape”.

Given how incredibly useful the SU behavior is (see my first use case), I’d still like to see SU incorporate the alternate function I originally suggested.


I agree that it would be nice to have that happen although I have a more pressing wish for the Solid Tools.

Have you tried Trim and Keep, then? It still requires the “Use this to trim that” order of operations but it does remain active so you don’t need to select the tool after each time it is run. For my use, I find it works great because I can crank through a model and do all the trimming very quickly. And with a keyboard shortcut established, it’s easy to get the tool. It, like Eneroth’s tools doesn’t convert the component being modified to a group, either.



My efficiency of action complaint – no, strike complaint – disappointment with Eneroth’s tool isn’t that I have to keep selecting the tool (I don’t), but that I have to keep selecting the first solid.

I just reread what you just wrote, If by “Trim and Keep”, you mean the SU Pro tool, than I think we’re talking about the same thing - THAT’s the tool that I like to see alternate functionality in. However, if not, is “Trim and Keep” yet another solid tool I can get in the EW?



No. Trim and Keep is by Jim Foltz and is available from Sketchucation. It fixes the nasty behavior of the native Trim tool wherein a trimmed component get converted to a group and only the one entity gets modified. If you use components as I do, this conversion to a group creates way more work than the tool saves in most cases. With Trim and Keep the component remains a component and all the other instances of the component get modified, too, which is one of the many reasons for using components in the first place. Perhaps, if you are organizing your model efficiently using components, you would find you can reduce the amount of clicking you need to do.



If I under you, and the detailed explanation of Trim and Keep on Sketchucation, then Trim and Keep is solving a problem I haven’t run into yet - leaving a group instead of a component. Likely I haven’t seen it since I haven’t (yet) tried ANY solid tools on components - only groups.But since I’d already decided to start using components when there is ANY chance I might want to duplicate an object, it was only a matter of time before I ran into that problem.

I’ve got to dash off to dinner, so I’ve bookmarked your response recommending Trim and Keep, and will investigate tomorrow. Thanks for all your help on this - and on my layering fix!


For my workflow I find it much more efficient for a number of reasons to use only components. I don’t use groups at all. So the native Solid Tools’ behavior of converting components to groups actually makes for more work than making the same modifications manually. Trim and Keep is a huge improvement over the basic Trim.

Enjoy you dinner.