Total newbie question...Best way to make "cutout"


Heard about Sketchup in Lumberjocks and it sounded like a good tool for planning out projects. I downloaded Maker 2017 version and have gone through some tutorials. However, I still feel like I must be doing things the hard way.

Seeing some of the sketches people on here are posting, I’m kind of embarrassed to even ask a simple question like this, but one thing I am struggling with is how to draw an object that’s an irregular shape. For example, I want to create a piece that’s 1/2" thick, 9 1/2" long and 4 1/2" high with a 1/4" wide and 1 1/2" high “cutout” on each side of the bottom.

From the tutorials I’ve watched the steps seem to be:

  1. Draw 1/2" by 9 1/2" rectangle
  2. Select the rectangle and “Pull” it to height of 4 1/2"
  3. Rotate object so I’m looking at it from end. At that point it looks like a 1/2"x4 1/2" high rectangle.
  4. Draw a line to create new “face”.
  5. Push the new face in 1/4".

The thing I’m struggling with is how to draw the line 1 1/2" up from the bottom. What I’m ending up doing is drawing the face by drawing 4 lines to make a 1/2"x1 1/2" rectangle and then pushing that.

I’m sure there is a simpler way, but I can’t figure out what it is.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.



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Figures. As soon as I ask, I find the Tape Measure. That seems to be the answer, right?

If there is an even simpler way, please let me know.

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You could use the Move tool too. Select the bottom edge, choose the Move tool, tap the modifier key shown at the bottom of the window to do a Copy (Ctrl in your case), then drag anywhere upwards on the front face.

When drawing things you can get accurate distance by typing what you want. Here are your steps, only I’m typing the distances that I want.


Wow. Not only did you respond quickly, but you even did a video. Impressive. Thank you!

I have Maker 2017 free version so maybe things are a bit different between versions. What do you mean by “modifier key shown at the bottom of the window”?

a modifier key is using, ctrl, alt or shift in conjuction with a tool to modify its behaviour. With the move tool, using control will make a copy of the particular line you have selected. Without the modifier it would just move it.

I think Colin’s method is the easiest, but if you wanted to use the tape measure tool, which may feel more like marking out your piece of wood before cutting, you could use it to create guides from which you would then draw lines and cut pieces out. As you drag out the tape, just type the distance you want it (dont try to type in the box)

in the secon gif you can see using the move tool will "move the line, but using the ctrl key with the tool (small “+” appears) it will copy it to the moved position.

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Thank you to both of you. That helps a lot. I wish I could mark both as “this solves the problem” mark.

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If you look at the poster image for my video there is a line that says “option = crea”. It gets cut off then, but that’s the area at the bottom of the window that tells you what modifier keys you make use. In the video the text is changing as I change tools.

It should be the same with Make.

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Found it. Thank you so much colin

This set of TUTORIALS is well worth your time.

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Boy, you aren’t kidding. Those are by far the best tutorials I’ve seen for someone just starting out with SketchUp.

Thanks for the link!

You are welcome.

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Continuing the discussion from Total newbie question…Best way to make "cutout":

Hi, not too experienced with sketchup. I have the free edition, and I’m trying to figure out how to make a cutout in the side of a cylinder. Again- I have the free web-browser version… every tutorial i’ve found has a very different UI, and i’ve been struggling with this very simple function for days. Please help.

Can you show us what you are working with? Best is to save the .skp file to your computer and share it with us so we can show you. Click on the file folder icon and then Download.
Screenshot - 2_3_2020 , 9_55_08 PM

Barrel and reciever 1.skp (210.6 KB)

Okay, so before anyone calls the cops, let me explain. I am attempting to make a mod for an old computer game called Garry’s Mod. The game is extremely receptive to user-created content, and I am attempting to make a 3D model of my old .22 rifle to add to the game. This is NOT intended in any way for 3d printing, nor am i making any internal parts which might allow for anything like that. This is purely a visual model to be added to a video game, and it is NOT POSSIBLE for any part of my project to be used for any illegal activity.

with that said, i need to make a pair of cutouts in the receiver, the first of which I tried to do with a cutout made from making a block and subtracting it, but it didn’t work. I also saw something about needing to make a shape separate from the main part, but that also did not work. i’ve been struggling with this for days, and i really want to finish up the modeling so i can get around to the rest of this daunting project- texturing, collision modeling, animation, etc.

Is this what you are shooting for? (Sorry. Couldn’t help it.)

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oh my god yes that is exactly it! please can you teach me how to achieve this? i have another cutout to make on this part of the project too.

First things first. You should redraw the tube so that the vertices are on axis. You have dragged out the radius at some random angle and that’s will create problems for you.

Then place the rectangle in line with where you want the hole and push it into the center of the tube. Select all of the geometry, right click on it and choose Intersect Faces>With Selection. Then start erasing edges from the block you created by pushing the rectangle into the tube. Remember to leave the faces surround the hole. They will show as blue reversed faces. You can right click on them and choose Reverse Faces.

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Thank you so much! I shouldn’t even need to backtrack too much from what i have… i think. how exactly should i go about making sure the tube is aligned correctly along the red axis? should i create a plane and use the rotate tool?

Frankly, it’s such a simple thing so far, I would just start over.

More screen shots for you.

Intersect Faces…

Note that I have pulled the front face of the block out a bit. This will make a better hole cutter.

After Intersect Faces and erasing the unneeded stuff.
Screenshot - 2_4_2020 , 10_31_43 AM

Correcting face orientation.
Screenshot - 2_4_2020 , 10_32_02 AM

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