1:3 The Building Materials of SketchUp

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What are the 5 Core Basic Concepts of SketchUp

1) Everything in SketchUp is composed of surfaces and edges. A surface cannot exist without a closed loop of coplanar edges, and the simplest surface possible is a triangle
2) Because it is a surface modeler, there are no true curves, arcs, or circles. However you can still represent circles and curves through small lines.
3) SketchUp geometry tends to stick together called "stickiness of geometry". Adjoining surfaces stick together and move with each other. Connected end points will move with each other and stretch the correspondence lines.
4) Geometry does not stack in SketchUp. Only one edge or surface can exist between the same series of points.
5) The "inference engine" is the brain of sketchup and assumes meaningful relationships between points, edges, and surfaces.

Define: Point

A point is the simplest element in SketchUp. A point is the quintessential element of all other objects in the application. Nether edges or faces can be created without points. In SketchUp, a point defines a single location in three-dimensional space

Define: Edge

Edges are created by the connection of a starting and an end point (Figure 2). One of the simplest ways to create an edge is by drawing a line with the Line tool. The position of an edge is determined by the position of the starting and end points. The distance between the two points will determine the length of the edge.

Define: Faces

A face (or surface) is the closed loop of edges on the same plane (Figure 3). The simplest face is a triangle, which can be created by the closed connection of three edges. However, surfaces in SketchUp can get exponentially complex.

Define: Entities

An entity is simply any line or face drawn. Grouped entities retain and protect specific relationships, but also allow the user to select and modify granular elements if needed

The x-axis is the east directional line and is represented by a red line

The y-axis is the north directional line and is represented by a green line

The z-axis is the vertical reference line for the height of all objects and is represented by a blue line

Define: Origin

the center point where all three axes converge also known as the zero point for all measurements

Point Inference

based on the exact point of your cursor in your model. For example, a ScreenTip will say “Origin” when your cursor intersects the red, green, and blue axes.

Linear inference

snaps along a line or direction in space and will display a temporary dotted line, when actively drawing

Shape inference

will display the exact moment a shape becomes mathematically identifiable, like the square or golden ratio indicator


is a special kind of line in SketchUp that can be used to guide placement of objects and modifications relative to others. The Tape Measure tool can be used to create a guide for distance relative to other edges . The Protractor tool can be used to create a guide for an angle relative to another edge.

What are the 4 different types of arc tools?

1) 2 point arc tool
2) Arc tool
3) Pie tool
4) 3 point arc tool

2 point arc tool

The 2 Point Arc tool allows you to create an arc by placing the start and end points, then adjusting the bulge of the arc.

Arc tool

The Arc tool will let you draw an arc by setting the center point, and using a protractor guide to set beginning and end points based on a desired angle, and creating an open arc.

Pie Tool

The Pie tool works similarly to the Arc tool, but will create a closed face once the operation is complete.

3 point arc tool

The 3 Point arc tool allows you to draw an arc based on a pivot point.

What are two types of freehand lines?

1) Curve entity: behaves much like the line of an arc or ellipse as a series of connected line segments that act as a single line. Point and edge inferences are still available for curve entities, and curve entities can be used to snap to, create faces, and affect geometry.
2) Polyline entity: does not snap, generate inferences, or affect other geometry. Because of this, polyline entity lines are typically used as a decorative element. Hold down SHIFT key as you draw

You can select entities two different ways with your cursor: Left to right, and right to left. Describe what is selected for each.

Left to right: Only entities that are completely within selection frame will be selected. Even planes that cannot be seen.

Right to left: Any surface area/entity that is in selection area (even if its partially included) will be highlighted.

Entity Selection Keys

To add (Option)
to Subtract (Shift+Option)
To Inverse (Shift)

Define: Groups

are unintelligent containers that simply hold geometry. If you make a copy of a group, there will be no connection between the original and the new copy.

Define: Components

They are intelligent compared to groups. They hold geometry like groups do but there is a link between all copies of a component. Suppose you make a component and then copy it several times throughout a model. If you edit any one instance of a component, all instances of that component will update simultaneously to reflect those changes