Lining up your components
SketchUp components will save you lots of time, but you’ll need some finesse to achieve the best results. Mark Roosien shows you how it’s done
Mark Roosien on how to save time with SketchUp.
the previous Core Skills article [issue 111] explained how to create and combine components in SketchUp (get the free version, SketchUp Make, at www.sketchup.com). Combining components will require you not only to move them around, but also to line them up nicely and hide unwanted lines. Only then will a combination of components appear as one solid 3D model. In other words, you’re looking for seamless welds between your components. This asks for some finesse, but is in no way difficult to achieve. Here’s how it’s done, in three easy steps. As an example, I’ll use a simple model of a crane driver cabin, consisting of two components.
Hide unwanted lines
Right-click a component and select Edit component. Then select the inner surface of the component. Rightclick and choose Select and Bounding Edges. All surrounding lines become blue. Now click on the surface again while holding down Shift. The surface is deselected, but the lines remain blue. Place your cursor on one of the blue lines, right-click and select Hide.
Delete unwanted surfaces
The lines need to be hidden instead of deleted, because they’re important for the shape of the component. The inner surface of the component has no further purpose though. It’ll be invisible once the two components are combined to form the cabin. Getting rid of unnecessary surfaces reduces the SketchUp file size. So select the Erase icon and erase the inner surface.
Line up your component
Select the Move icon and bring the cursor towards the component you want to move. Select a line endpoint that will touch the other component once the cabin’s assembled. Click it and move the cursor towards the same endpoint on the other component. Once the components are close, SketchUp will line them up nicely for you.