Trim tool changes components attributes to difference

Hello All just a question when working with components and the TRIM TOOL. Say I make one 10’ 4X4 fence post a component with an array of 7 more solids. If I trim a circular hole anywhere on any face with a solid dowel and using Trim Tool then do one after another. I NOW HAVE seven " Difference" instances and they no longer share the editing features of one to all. So is Difference another form or instance of a groups attributes??

I was finally able to figure out with copy / paste in place, how to maintain them all as like components and still sharing edit functions. BUT the difference characteristics still carries over to each one. The 1st file is of the array with paste in place. But if you do them one at a time AS MOST newer user’s would… selecting the dowel as # 1 and the 4X4 as #2 and trimming each one down the line. If they did not have Outliner opened to see it. Somewhere down the road they would be in for a surprise trying to edit them an finding out. But having no clue as to what happened or why… The first file is with copy paste and place. The second I trimmed each post separately and in the Outliner you can see what I mean. They are no longer shared components as a edit to one only effects that one, but you still can edit all in the first file. … WEIRD…???

Copy paste.skp (31.0 KB)

Trim individual .skp (42.4 KB)

I think you’re basically talking about something that I’ve been saying since the Solid Tools were released. They convert components to groups and give every group the same name. (I’m not so sure that calling all those modified groups “Difference” is such a big deal. It seems most users let all groups have the same name anyway.) The biggest issue is that no other tool used to modify a component shares this behavior and that all other instances of the component get modified just as the one you’re working on. If you place multiple instances of a component and then edit one to put a hole in it by drawing a circle and pushing it through. all the other instances get the same hole. If you use Trim to do that, only the instance you are working on gets the hole and it gets converted to a group. The rest of the components that had been related to the first, are still unmodified.

It seems to me that it should be up to the user to decide if all the instances get modified and if they don’t want that, they should use Make Unique or create a group in the first place.

At the last 3D Basecamp I had an opportunity to talk to the author of the Solid Tools. After I described what happens to components when using them, he agreed with me that they are “broken” and he hadn’t intended for that behavior. Unfortunately there’s been no change to the Solid Tools yet, although I keep hoping.

On the bright side Jim Foltz has written an extension called Trim and Keep which utilizes the Trim tool but also maintains the component status, keeps the name and results in the other instances getting the same edit. Also, there are the Eneroth Solid Tools which do the same. I prefer the native order of operations, i.e. “Use this to trim that.” and the Enroth tools reverse it to “Trim this with that.”

So there are alternatives but it seems to me that users shouldn’t have to get alternatives to the native tools.


Thanks for the explanation Dave, I got around it by Copy and Pasting the dowel into the Posts wrapper and being the post was still a solid. Opened the post for edit then was able to preform Trim with the dowel as #1 and post as #2. This allows the shared editing of all the posts still. 6 months ago I would have never have figured that out. And been left saying what the Hell did I do!!

My point was that in doing them one at a time with out pasting the dowel inside the wrapper. Then not realizing that they were no longer components. Me being new and coming back later to make the fence post 8’ down the road. Would be saying WTH and would have a hard time asking for help. Having no clue what happened. Thanks and learning something new everyday!! Thanks for the time and explanation …Peace…

Thanks for your explanation DaveR. I will go look for the extensions you mention.
Incredibly disappointing that the author agrees that there is a serious problem, and that problem is still occurring in SketchUp 2019.

There never did seem to be any thought that it would get changed and with Christina’s Solid Tools, there’s no incentive anymore. FWIW, Trim and Keep was withdrawn by the author after I’d written the post above. No point in looking for it.