Using Cutting Plane To Trim Siding

I’m having trouble learning / figuring out using cutting planes to trim siding to fit.
Attached is a model of where I am stuck. I want to trim off all the extra siding outside the cutting plane and inside the windows. I think there is something wrong with my drawing but I can’t figure out what it is. I am using Sketchup Pro 2023.

Cutting Plane Example.skp (187.9 KB)

With an extension (by Curic)

or you can use Solid Tools, but you must properly prepare the objects you will intersect.

Thanks Mihai. I might use the extension but I am curious about how to properly prepare the objects using native Sketchup tools if possible.

You will need two solid groups/components to be able to use Solid Tools.

1 Like

Does this help?


Thanks Aaron - That worked well except for one part. At 6:13 into the video, you have just selected “Trim” and you selected four boards. Then you deleted your cutter. When I select “Trim” then click (left click) one of the boards, it trims just that one board. It doesn’t allow me to select several boards. Maybe I hold down Ctrl or Shift?

There was a change in the 2023 release that changed the behavior of the solid tools. You now have to activate the tool after each trim.
Not sure if it was reported @colin ?

Thanks Mike - I can work with that.

Ouch, can’t trim multiple in one go with 23? I have not moved to 23 yet. Is that the planned new way of operation going forward?

The next question I have about this is that now that I have made all these pieces of siding the right size, they are all labeled “Difference” in Outliner. They don’t seem to appear as Components on the Components tray. They also don’t have the ‘greater than - less than’ characters around them. What is the quickest way to make them components? Or is it just a matter of selecting each one, one at a time, and making each a component with a unique component name?

That’s the way the native Solid Tools are designed to work. Use Eneroth Solid Tools or Bool Tools 2 instead. They respect the “component-ness” of components.

1 Like

Thanks Dave - I have tried to use native tools where possible as extensions have their own learning curve but in this case I think you are right. Even if I relabel the Difference parts to components, they create one piece of siding that measures the full length of the house even though it displays as multiple pieces when the piece lands over window cutouts

Share your SketchUp file. I expect that your component only had a gap cut out of it. It was not split into two separate components. The Solid Tools as well as the two extensions I mentioned will not and are not supposed to convert the single object into two separate ones. You’ll need to do that part yourself.

Final Knuth Material Take Off Minus All Existing.skp (6.3 MB)

I am using OpenCutList for the first time, to create my materials list for this job. I don’t suppose it will matter that it doesn’t remove the cedar siding at the windows as I over order anyway. But 10" cedar bevel siding is pretty scarce and very expensive so it might be worth leaving out the window parts.

So as I wrote, the siding objects have had the middle section cut out of it. You would need to split the component into two separate ones.

Open the component for editing and make each lump of geometry a component or group of its own. After you’ve done that you can explode the top level component.

I might have done the siding differently so that there’d be none of those gaps in the objects to deal with.

You should be watching out for and correcting reversed faces. You should have no exposed blue back faces.

Also make sure you keep all edges and faces untagged.
Screenshot - 7_8_2023 , 11_38_33 AM
And periodically purge the unused stuff from the model.
Screenshot - 7_8_2023 , 11_38_53 AM

I don’t use Open CutList. I use a different one. It gives the lengths of the components and from that it would be easy enough to calculate the number of pieces you’d need. The gaps in those components just add a bit of cushion to make up for the damaged ends and other bits you can’t use.

Thanks for the feedback Dave - I’m curious which material take off extension you find more useful. I am building this addition but while I wait for the permit review, I am using it to clean up my sketchup skills and figure out the best way to create a computer generated material list. OpenCutList is the only extension I have used for this purpose. It worked well as long as the components had the right attributes. This sketchup model is from one I switched from Chief Architect to Sketchup on. There are a lot of old mistakes, like reversed faces. I have done some of them but it’s tedious work fixing them all. Your purge suggestions are helpful. I will look into tagged edges and faces. I have not heard of that before. I thought you could only tag components.

I use an old one called CutList 4.1. It’s also available in the Extension Warehouse. I prefer it but a lot of people like OCL. It might be that you can get the total length of siding with OCL.

I still have to export OCL to excel and restrict all the materials to specific purchase lengths, to sort all the specific lengths 2x4 or 2x6 plate materials for example, into equivalent 10’ or 12’ material I can order. The siding is proving to be a little bit more tricky though. I am not thrilled with the result yet though. It also takes a long time. I just prefer the accuracy of a computer to tally materials to the old paper and pencil way of doing it.

You can export a CSV file from CutList 4.1 and then use the result in Excel to calculate the number of pieces. Select only the siding objects before running the cutlist so you don’t have to deal with the rest. This is what I got with your model as it is. I don’t know what the length of the siding is so I just used 16 feet for the calculation.