How to Create Openings in Sketchup?

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How to Create Openings in Sketchup? | Top 5 Ways to Create Holes & Openings

Have you been frustrated creating openings in Sketchup and couldn’t figure out how to do it no matter what you tried?

In this blog, we will look at the top 5 ways how to create openings in Sketchup, starting with the easiest way and we’ll work our way to using plugins and more.

Here are the top 5 ways to Create Openings in Sketchup (Video at the bottom of the post)

The Free Way

1. Using the Rectangle & Push/Pull Tool.

Once we create a wall and make it a group, the easiest way to create an opening is by simply drawing a rectangle on top of the wall (inside the group) and then pushing it out using the push/pull tool.

But the biggest mistake most students commit is that they make the rectangle outside the group as a separate entity. And when they try to push out the rectangle, it creates a box instead of an opening

The biggest problems most students face:

How to create an opening in Sketchup
This happens when we don’t draw the rectangle inside the wall group. It will simply create an extra box since it’s a separate entity.

It’s always important to first enter the group (we will see a dashed line bounding box) and then create our opening. I’ll explain it in steps below

Step 1: Enter the Group (we will see a dashed boundary line which indicates that we’re inside the group)
Step 2: Create a Rectangle on the face of the rectangle (Make sure we’re inside the group)
Step 3: Use the Push/Pull tool and push the rectangle to the backside of the group.

Voila! We have our opening!
If you haven’t made a group yet, then you can simply draw our rectangle on any face and then push it out to create the openings.

2. Using Solid Tools

Solid tools is a great way to create openings fast.

We need to first activate the solid tools from the Sketchup toolbars. (View>Toolbars)
We will then need to make sure that we have two solid groups to make this work, like the one shown above.
We can then use the subtract feature of solid tools to subtract the first solid group from the second solid group.
We need to select the cutting group first and then select the wall group to create our opening. It’s as simple as that.

It is important that both your groups are ‘solid groups’, else the subtract feature will not work.

The Paid Way

3. Using the Double Cut Sketchup Plugin

Using the double-cut plugin can enable you to create openings in Sketchup super fast.

We will get this error when we try to create the opening without entering a group.

So always double click to enter the group and then add your cutting component on top of the wall face to create the opening.
We can then use the scale tool and adjust the opening to our requirements and it will adjust parametrically.

4. Using Booltools from Mindsight Studios

The booltools works similar to the native solid tools in Sketchup. Here are the features that it includes which makes it stand out from the Solid tools.

  • Union, Difference, Intersection, Trim, Split
  • Designed with 3D Printing in mind to work with small complex objects (no more scaling workarounds!)
  • Works with nested solids!
  • Does not create new components!  The original component is modified as expected.
  • Maintains the Layer and Names of the first object selected
  • New Single Object Union tool (click a single group or component to union all nested solids inside of it)
  • Results in solid 3D printable objects in almost all cases (if the original objects were also solids)
We will use the ‘difference tool’ to create our openings. And this time, instead of selecting the cutting group first, we will select the wall group and then select the cutting group.

It works the other way when compared to the Solid tools.

5. Create Smart Openings in Sketchup with Flextools

If you’re feeling lazy to create your openings and windows, then flextools is an awesome plugin to use.

You simply need to select the window or any other cutting component and then place it on the face of the wall group. It will automatically create the opening and also dynamically change the size of the window when you stretch it using the scale command.

Bonus: Intersect Faces

I rarely use this option but it’s a great way to create openings, especially when you’re doing it on a curved surface.

Intersect Faces makes new geometry from existing geometry. It takes faces you’ve selected and creates edges wherever they intersect.

Intersect with Model
Creates edges everywhere your selected faces intersect with other faces in your model — whether the other faces are selected or not.

Intersect with Selection
Only creates edges where selected faces intersect with other selected faces. This is handy if you’re trying to be a little bit more precise.

You will need to select all the faces and right click and click on intersect faces with Selection
Simply delete all the additional faces, and you will be left with a nice clean opening in your curved walls.

Intersect Faces doesn’t have a button. To use it, you have to either

Right-click and choose Intersect Faces.

Choose Edit→Intersect Faces.

Now you know 6 awesome ways to create openings in Sketchup. I would highly recommend that you start using paid plugins to boost your productivity and save time in the long run. It really helps!

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Don’t forget to check our other Sketchup & Vray blogs if you found this one useful.

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