Understanding and using SketchUp's native tools

I have built many things in wood, metal, plastic, IMO-Sketch up needs tools.


needs a drill, a little drill is shown, in the dimensions box, one could input the diameter, depth, so one can ‘drill’ a hole.
needs a circular saw, so one could ‘cut off’ something.
needs a welder, yes one could ’ weld ’ wood, plastic, little sparks flying out.
needs a planner, to smooth off bumps.
needs a sander for final finish.
maybe a clay throwing wheel, so one could make a vase, maybe for 3D printing

some ideas for the next phase…

A drill is not needed. Just draw a circle on a face and push it into the solid with the PushPullTool.
Vertices can be stretched, faces and solids can be scaled in one axis (making them shorter.)
There are “weld” plugins (for joining edges,) and solid tools in Pro edition for joining and subtracting solids.
The built-in FollowMe tool can “spin up” any vase profile you’d like.

You can do all the things you want with the native tools. More aren’t needed for what you want to do. Just learn to use what is there.

I make things too, with a heavy emphasis in all types of woodworking and sculpture (and anything else I can get my mitts on). IMHO - like Dan and Dave also pointed out - SU already has most of tool function natively and customized functions through plugins. I set up the Tweaking Tool Tips pages to help address how one can push the native tools to create things many people did not think was possible with SU.

1 Like

I think you’re being a bit literal-minded as to the relationship between real world tools and SU modeling tools, and at that, you make it sound like you’re trapped in 1930. Why not just imagine a laser slicer or disintegrator ray as a circular saw? And what is it you think is going to leave bumps to be smoothed off?

In SU, you’re dealing with pure geometry. There are no “materials” insofar as the choice of material would influence the choice of tool. When you model an object with a hole in it, you don’t choose one tool to make the hole if the object is wood and another if it’s made of stone. You model the geometry using a method best suited to the geometry itself and you paint it with either a wood or stone texture at a later time.

The tools are named to be suggestive of the geometry they’re used to make, not to suggest some archaic mechanical process that has nothing to do with anything.


1 Like

Come on guys, you’ve all forgotten what it’s like to look at the multitude of tools in SU and not know what they are capable of.
Jack is expressing what I’m sure a lot of older beginners think, How do I make these tools do what I would do in the real world.

Anyway, sorry Jack, everyone is right, it’s all there you just need to learn where.


There is much to be learned about 3D modeling by observing real world fabrication processes, and much of what you already know about building things in the real world can be applied to good effect when you build a 3D model.

But I think what is most important about your real world experience is your knowledge of what operations it takes to transform some raw shape, like a billet or slab, into a completed manufactured object, not whether a particular tool throws off sparks. Knowing about various shaping or forming operations, and knowing how to sequence such operations to result in a specified form, you are in a good position to master 3D modeling by mastering the analogous operations performed using SU’s native tools.


1 Like

Thanks for letting me know of the tools in SU,

i am learning the tools as fast as I can. thanks for your time.

Thank you to both of you,

Dave and Dan

I am trying to learn this as fast as I can, a friend of mine said companies are looking for SU folks that are experienced. I am trying to learn and get experience quickly.

Really appreciate this forum.

Thanks again,

Hope you both have a great night.

Jack g

1 Like

thanks catamountain,

1 Like

Hi Box, i really a ppreciate your understanding, i am an older guy, trying to change fields, very hard to do, but, i’m working on it.

1 Like

Thanks Gully_Foyle, your right, i am applying many years of hands on tooling to SUPro 2015, from the concered folks such as your self, i’ll get the learning, that you for taking your time, where would i get a laser slicer? HE-NE-Ar? a focused sound slicer might also work.

1 Like


I appreciate you taking the time to thank each of your respondents personally. Thanks also for recognizing that we are each in our own way trying to help you and for not getting defensive about it. You handled our slightly critical responses with grace and class.

I suspect you’re soon going to be a very skillful modeler.


1 Like

No worries, yep I am an oldie newbie, I don’t mind changing, can’t stay in the past, thANKS AGAIN FOR POINTING OUT WHERE I CAN IMPROVE…

Have a great night,


1 Like

An observation from another oldie …

In a former life, I used a variety of CAD/CAM packages that integrated the creation of geometry with CNC operations. When you “drilled” a hole in a material, you created it by specifying the drill diameter and length, the spindle speed desired, the feed rate into and back out of the hole as well as an optional “pick” rate. The CAD part of the software showed the hole that was formed (including the cone at the bottom of a blind hole), and the CAM portion would output the “G” commands to actually drill the hole with a 3-axis mill (or other). At the time, this was the Holy Grail of the design-to-part-in-hand process.

Today, CAD and CAM have become more decoupled from each other. If you can design a part in 3D and tessellate it into an ordered mesh of triangles, it can then be 3D printed in a wide variety of materials that don’t care where a hole came from. Or if it’s round or oval or if it curves through the part. This separation of the design and manufacturing processes has resulted in products like SketchUp that allow a designer to easily create the geometry they desire without worrying too much about how it’s going to be made.

You can “build” almost anything in SketchUp using the basic tools and some patience. If the tools are not enough, you can add extensions (or plugins) for more specific operations (or write your own). When you’re finally ready to give birth to your creation, you can render it or plot it or 3D print it as desired.

IMHO, SketchUp rocks :wink:


Thanks jimhami42, i too am trying to learn to decouple as it where from CAD/CAM, I have a degree in manufacturing, long time ago, things are different now, that’s ok, i’ll learn.

Have a great day and thanks for your response.

jack g

1 Like

The two cats too ? :wink:

Those I caught :sunny:

1 Like

7 posts were split to a new topic: How do you Stretch a Vertex?