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

ImagineFX - - Contents -

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.

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