Trimming Parts of an Object

Hi Community,
I’m trying to figure out how to delete parts of two objects in model. I want to delete all parts of the ring shape that are inside the outer perimeter of the Clover shape. There is a ridge of the Ring shape top and bottom that need to go. I also want to delete the tip of the clover shape that is sticking out in the center of the ring shape.

Do I accomplish this with Solid Tools? And if so are these available to us Make users? Any help is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Key_Fob_04252020.skp (1.6 MB)

You could upload just the image directly into the forum here, without needing a link to Imgur.

Here’s what your model looks like, as a direct image upload.

You could accomplish it with solid tools, but these are only available to Make users during the 30 day trial period when the Pro Trial allows you the full use of Pro-only tools, of which Solid Tools is/(?are) one.

What do you want to do with the model when finished? 3D print it? If so, and to make it easier to edit, you need to make some changes to the way it is made.

I’d suggest amending the way you model components. If you Hide rest of model as you have done, you can’t see, or make inferences from, other parts of the model while you are editing it. Untick that box in Model Info/Components and just used a level of Fade that your are comfortable with.

Normally edges coloured red indicate either that they are locked, or that you have Colour by Axis turned on in Styles, and the edge(s) that are parallel to the red axis are turned red. You have Colour by Axis on, but even when I change it back to All same, they all stay red. I copied your model into a new one to look at it without this confusion.

Your outside ‘ring’ has reversed face showing blue. Double click on the ring to open it for editing, select all inside it by a triple click, and choose R-click/Reverse faces to fix that.

Intersections, rendering, and Solid tools don’t work well with reversed faces.

To make the edits in Make, if your Pro Trial has expired, you can use Edit/Intersect Faces. Follow the instructor, or look at Sketchup Fundamentals at for the details.

You’ve scaled up your model which is sensible to avoid problems with short edges in SU, but you are using far more segments that is necessary and you are getting some short edges as a result, when I first try Intersect faces to edit the geometry.

Use a consistent and smaller number of segments for your segments and arcs, and make them a multiple of 12. That makes it easy to align a radius with the red or blue axes, and to get an equal number of segments in all four quadrants. You circular ring uses 100.

I tried to change that, but I see that the edges of your ring are curves, not arcs, so I can’t just change the segment numbers as I could if it were a circle.

I tried to redraw it, but it doesn’t seem to be any particular size in either mm or inches.

And almost all of the rest of the geometry of the components has multiple loose edges, not arcs or straight lines so it is very difficult to make the edits you want. It’s possible, with some plugins, but not that easy using native tools.

It wouldn’t be that difficult to redraw from scratch, and that might be the best way to proceed.

I’ll have a go, but it may take a while as I have other things I need to to before bed. Tomorrow, if not tonight.

Not sure what all you needed cleaned up … but here is a revision with a few of the obvious things cleaned up.
200425A_Key_Fob_04252020_V17.skp (1.8 MB)
Your profile says you are running 2017 … so I saved it as a SketchUp 2017 file.

@john_mcclenahan has some great advice on how to organize your model. Also, if your objective is to clean this up so that you can export a STL file … then you should probably also clean up the intersection between the “clover” and the “outer ring.” One way to do that would be to explode the “clover” and the “outer ring” … then select everything … then do an “Intersect Faces” … followed by a cleaning up the battle field scrap.

@egodsey has done a very good job of cleaning up. The only think I can see that it doesn’t do is to narrow the ‘ridge at the top of the Ring shape’. (And if you do intend to 3D print it, that might well not be a good idea anyway.)

That is very difficult, I found. You could move each inner edge to match its nearest neighbour outer edge by hand. Because there are so many tiny edges that would at best be tedious, and the edge lengths don’t match exactly which will make the model very untidy with not-quite-matching edges.

I’m having trouble redrawing the ‘clover’ shape. I thought Fredo6 Curviloft would work to ‘skin countour’ of the clover shape but it is having trouble doing so for reasons I don’t yet really understand. Won’t finish tonight, now

I’m growing curious how you drew this. Or did you import someone else’s model, perhaps as an STL file?

@john_mcclenahan @egodsey
Thanks a million for all of the advice. My intention is to 3D print at the end of all of this. I have a small backyard foundry where I cast in brass and bronze. Up until recently, I’ve made my casting patterns by hand from various materials, and now I’m trying my hand at 3D printing those patterns. It’s worked pretty well so far with the few things I’ve cast from 3D printed patterns. But since I’m still just a novice I pretty frequently run up against the limits of my abilities in Sketchup. I’m on the fence about going with Pro right now as I’m still just “trying things out”, but might do that one day soon. My suspicion was that intersect faces was part of the solution based on some advice that @DaveR gave me. But I’ve had some problems getting it to work out right. As I said, thanks so much for the detailed advice. It’ll take some time for me to digest it all and then hopefully I’ll be on the right track.

My goodness @egodsey!!! That is incredibly kind and generous of you. It’s beautiful and exactly what I needed save for one more edit which I will try to do on my end. I just need to remove the bit of the ring shape that lies inside of the clover shape. Thanks so much!

I work primarily in adobe Creative Suite as I am a graphic designer by trade. The clover shape was created in Illustrator and then exported as a .dwg (something I was able to do before the trial period ended, but have found is not possible with Make. So I’m glad I did it when I did.) I have 20 plus years of experience in Adobe apps so that’s where I feel most comfortable making those models.

One more thing… I would love more than anything to see what you did to get to this point. Is there any chance that you recorded those steps or could explain to me how you did what you did? I would love to just peek over your shoulder while you did it :slight_smile: Think that might do more than anything to teach me how to make more successful models.

In principle. Do you use Skype? I can use that to Show Screen as I try to model the clover leaf.

Or as you are on a Mac I think we could do it natively, but can’t say I’ve ever done it that way.

If so, tomorrow (v late in UK now - 1am so belatedly off to bed).
Where are you/what time zone? I’m in St Albans, near London, so British Summertime, GMT + 1.

Extract from a MacWorld article about native Mac screen sharing. If you have previous experience (I haven’t) we could use that instead of Skype, with which I’m much more familiar.

Screen sharing

MacOS has a screen sharing feature built in. You can find it under System Preferences > Sharing . In the box to the left, mark the checkbox for Screen Sharing. You can specify what users can perform screen sharing, or all access for all users. Here are the details for setting up screen sharing.


The Screen Sharing option on the Mac is in the Sharing system preference.

Looking at it quickly, I wonder if it can be done outside one’s local network? Do you know? If not, I know Skype works.


You were wanting to see how @egodsey did his magic. Not me.

My suggestion may work for him though! He’s on Windows so a cross platform remote screen sharing is needed. Skype or Zoom could work.

I’m now attempting to print from your file and the Ender 3 is printing solid layers where there are none. Before I exported to STL I highlighted everything and made it a component. Was that all I need to do to take to the printer or did I miss a step? Thanks again

@dustin.t.coffey I exported an STL file and opened it in Cura with the same result … even after making it one group. The SketchUp model is VERY clean … except the two places where the clover and the outer ring intersect. And I pretty much ignored those two areas when I was working with the model … so my suggestion would be to clean those up first … then move on to the areas you were originally concerned with.

There is something about the SketchUp model of clover. Here is a STL file of the fob with NO outer ring … and Cura is not slicing it properly … so the issue is NOT with the outer ring.
200425C_Key_Fob_04252020.stl (127.2 KB)

Hmm, strange. A couple of weeks ago I exported an earlier version of this to .STL, sliced in Cura, and then printed it with no problem. Can’t figure out why this one is behaving this way.

In general, does the checklist for preparing a model to 3D print include?: 1. Each shape must be a solid. 2. Everything must be grouped. 3 The entire group must then be turned into a component.

Am I missing anything or adding in any extra steps that I shouldn’t? I’m trying to get a grasp of the steps I need to take leading up to printing.

Thanks for all your help.

Post pictures of the foundry and casting process from SketchUp. That’d be great to see!

The key thing is that your object, and constituent parts of it, if has more than one, should be solid. That is, a set of faces that enclose a ‘watertight’ space. Technically, each edge must support two and only two faces.

It’s easier to check that if each object is a component or group - use the Solid Inspector built in to the Web version, or the Solid Inspector2 plugin for desktop versions. That tool can fix many errors that stop a component being solid, but some need a manual fix.

Sketchup will also report whether a component or group is a Solid Component or Group, and show that in Entity Info. Very occasionally, Solid Inspector and SU disagree, with Solid Inspector2 saying it is solid, and SU not showing it as one.

Just like @john_mcclenahan says, the key is that each shape must be what SketchUp refers to as “Solid Group” … something I forgot when I “cleaned up” the clover. Here is the STL file of the small ring and clover that will slice (and presumably print) properly.
200426E_Key_Fob_04252020.stl (119.9 KB)

After more struggle than I expected, I finally manage to draw all three components in SU using just the native tools - mostly Circle, Arc, PushPull Move and Scale.

Since all curves were drawn as Circles or Arcs, it was easy to select edges that weren’t so disjointed as the original. That made three separate solid components - oval, clover, and circular boss. I then used Intersect Faces to make the intersections, tidy up a little manually, and make a 3-component solid which should print cleanly.

I’ve rounded most of the dimensions to whole mm to simplify drawing it, then had to make small adjustments with the Scale tool, to get the oval and cloverleaf to meet cleanly at left and right sides.

You can see the difference before (right) and after (left) intersection more clearly near the boss in the image below, from a different angle.

After intersection, I hid the boss, filled in a couple of missing (short?) intersection lines in the cloverleaf shape, and was then able to select and delete the piece of the cloverleaf that had been inside the boss.
KeyFobJWM.skp (269.2 KB)

This looks great … but Cura has problems slicing the clover. Have not had time to figure out where the problem is… but presumably it has something to do with it NOT being a Solid Group.