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This chapter is from the book

Erasing Edges with the Eraser Tool

You can use the Eraser tool to erase edges, and that can help when you're going 3D. For example, take a look at the block in Figure 5.12.

Figure 5.12

Figure 5.12 A 3D block with rectangle.

Suppose you wanted to push the rectangle you see on the block through to create an opening, but SketchUp won't let you cut out the opening. What's wrong? And, how can you fix it?

For this task we will use the Orbit tool (refer to Lesson 2) and the Eraser tool (introduced in Lesson 4, "Drawing Shapes: Arcs, Freehand, Text, and 3D Text"). Follow these steps to solve the most common problem when cutting openings:

  1. Click the Orbit tool in the toolbar.
  2. Orbit around the entire 3D object you're trying to push an opening through.
  3. Search for obstructing edges—SketchUp won't push openings through edges. In the case of the object in Figure 5.12, it turns out that there's an edge drawn across the back of the object, as you can see in Figure 5.13. This edge will stop SketchUp from pushing an opening through the object.
    Figure 5.13

    Figure 5.13 A 3D block from the back, showing a blocking edge.

  4. To get rid of unwanted edges, select the Eraser tool in the toolbar.
  5. Click the unwanted edge. When you do, that edge disappears.
  6. Push the rectangle through the object to the other side with the Push/Pull tool. The part you've pushed disappears, leaving a cutout, as you can see in Figure 5.14.
    Figure 5.14

    Figure 5.14 A 3D object with a cutout.

So that's the way you use the Eraser tool—to erase unwanted edges. And if you want to get rid of a surface, erase its edges.

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