Viewing box with 6 orthogonal planes

I would like to have multiple active section cuts at the same time.
Why can’t SketchUp use the same approach as Revit and have a viewing box - all 6 orthogonal section planes active at the same time. Then one can change the size of the viewing box as required. Methods described in forums appear very cumbersome and time consuming. I would like to be able to isolate a fraction of the model limited by a viewing box and then orbit around that portion to scrutinise. Is there a way to do that in SketchUp? If there isn’t, then this would be a major deficiency of the software.

Miho Mihov
Bridge engineer
Willing to learn more

(in one sense…re: Revit) SketchUp doesn’t have split viewports, which allow for simultaneous depictions of your model.

But it does have a Section Plane tool that might come in handy, to serve some of your requests…

Place a selection plane within a ‘Group’ of geometry, and it’s effect will be isolated on only that fraction of the model which the group includes. Otherwise, the Section Plane’s effect will act upon the entire model space.

Multiple (Active) Section Planes, can be set within nested groups, for the times when you want a combination of cutting planes to be visible.

Some general guidelines which you should keep in mind when working with Section Planes:

  • Once they are in place, they can be repositioned by using the 'Move Tool, and/or, the ‘Rotate Tool’.

‘Right Clicking’ on them will bring up a context menu that includes other useful controls:

  • Reverse (for changing the direction of the cutting planes viewport.)
  • Active (toggle control for turning them on/off, mainly useful for when multiple sections planes are in use)

Lastly, within the menu bar, see… >View >Section Planes. . . for the option to turn on/off their position frame.

Also, as with all tools… >Window >Instructor… provides more info.

Nor does Revit. What Miho asks for is a 3D prism shaped adjustable bounding box that can be used to “crop” the 3D view. Achieving the same in SketchUp today would involve creating 6 section planes that would have to be each grouped with the model, resulting in a very cumbersome deeply nested group.
I think the idea is great and would simplify working inside complex models. In Revit and Archicad I use it all the time.
It would also be an improvement if multiple section planes could be made active at the same time in the same editing context.

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This is exactly what I have in mind.
Hope SketchUp can act on this. Also there are many trivial operations for which there are no commands available. Mirror about a plane is a good example. There is a plugin for this and it works perfectly, however such operation should have a native equivalent. There are many other commands for which extensions will have to be installed.
I am not here to only criticise - I like SketchUp, mainly because it is user friendly and one can reach reasonably advanced level very quickly.
An adjustable viewing box, which allows cropping of the model for close inspection of a detail, is in my opinion essential.

Ok, I get what you’re describing, and I agree that would be very useful.

Yes, I see what’s going on here…


Miho’s ‘Feature Request’ which I mistake as an invitation to babble on about Section Plane tips… is a Very Good Idea.

I hope it can happen too.

Thanks For setting me straight, once again, @Anssi.

I suppose with the tools that exist right now, a close working method would be:

  • Besides the section views you save for output, you can keep 6 “working” section planes in your model. By “working” I mean you keep moving them about your model where you need them as you work.
  • Create a scene for each “working” plane, and each time you move them to a new location, update the scene to remember that location for now.
  • You only get one section at a time, but using scenes, switching from one to the other is pretty quick and only takes one click.

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