Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding Boolean operations, part of SketchUp Pro: Tools and Techniques.
Let's start off by taking a look at the solid modeling tools that are available in SketchUp Pro. Now these have a number of features and they allow you to do things such as booleans as well as trims. So let's first off take a look at how to do booleans. Now when you're working with solids you need to make sure that your models are in fact solid. Now a solid model is something that does not have any holes in it. All the faces are connected. Now your solid models should also be in either groups or components when you work with them.
So let's take a look at this model here. What I want to do is I want to connect these two pieces together using a tongue and groove. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to use these two smaller bits to actually create a tongue and a groove using boolean. So I'm going to add one to one piece and subtract one out of the other. So let's take a look at how to do that. First, I need to position these pieces, so I'm actually going to start here on the left-hand one and we're going to use the move tool here on this piece.
Now what I want to do is position my cursor over the midpoint in the group, left click and drag along the red axis. Now I'm holding down the Shift key to make sure that I don't slip off of that axis. And you'll get to a point where it will snap to the face. And it actually says here constrained on intersect plane. And that makes sure that the piece that I've connected there is actually half way in and half way out of that first piece. Now we're going to do this again for the second piece.
And so let's go ahead and do that. And the reason I'm doing this is because I want the hole to be the exact same size as the tongue on the other piece. So again I'm going to select my second piece here and let's go ahead and move that and again I want to make sure that I'm at the midpoint in the groove and then shift and drag along that red axis. And then I'm going to be constrained on line to intersect plate. So now what I have is I have two pieces that are constrained right in the middle. In fact, if we look at them from the front viewport here, I've got a couple of tabs here, so I can switch between viewports here.
And if we look at it in X-ray, you can see that each of these pieces intersect. In fact, we can also see that in the perspective view here. So I'm going to go out of X-ray mode here by going Face Style > X-ray. Now let's go ahead and work with this first piece here. So what we want to do is we want to add this piece here to this one. And we can do that using the solid tools. So we go into Solid Tools, we have a number of options here, we have intersect, union, subtract, as well as trim and split.
So let's take a look at these in order. We're going to start with intersect, and actually intersect is not what we need, but let's take a look at how it works. Intersect creates a piece that is basically the intersection of these two. So let me show you how this works. I'm going to turn on X-ray. Select this one and this one. And you'll see when I do Solid Tools>Intersect, what remains is only that stuff that is overlapping. So I'm going to go ahead and undo this here, so as you can see, intersect basically creates this piece here.
But really what we want to do is a union, so I'm going to select the first one, select the second piece, Tools>Solid Tools>Union. Now this adds the two pieces together. And when I do that you can see now I have a little protrusion here and that basically connects the two together. Let's go ahead and take a look at that out of X-ray mode. So I'm going to go ahead and turn off X-ray and we can see this. So now we want to do the other side and what we need to do here is we need to cut a hole into this big piece here.
So, first, I'm going to select the piece that is being subtracted, the small piece. And then I'm going to Shift+Select the large piece. And then I'm going to go Tools>Solid Tools>Subtract. And when I do, you can see now I have a nice little hole in there. And these two should actually mate up. So now I've used basically union and subtraction to create a tongue and groove. So let's go ahead and move this one here. I'm going to go ahead and grab this bottom corner here and snap it to that other corner.
And if we turn on X-ray, you can see that the pieces match perfectly. So, as you can see this is just one of many ways that you can use booleans, but they're very, very handy tool to use in creating complex shapes within SketchUp.
- Solid modeling
- Creating advanced cameras
- Changing camera properties
- Working with terrains
- Working with custom attributes of Dynamic Components
- Creating dynamic materials
- Adding interactivity like motion and rotation
- Creating documents with LayOut
- Installing plugins