Why are these solids combining to make nonsolids?

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Why are these solids combining to make nonsolids?

Postby iansan5653 » Mon May 26, 2014 10:35 pm

I'm trying to combine three solid groups using the Outer Shell tool. I know they're solids because I checked using the Entity Info box. They must be solids after being combined because I need to 3D print this model, but they end up as nonsolids. I have spent hours wracking my brain trying to fix this and I can't seem to do it, as a new Sketchup user. Any ideas? I tried using the Solid Inspector, but its results don't make any sense. The objects have lots of curves, and I think it might be that the tiny faces are causing problems, but I'm not sure.

I attached the model so that you can understand better, I can't really explain it well.
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Re: Why are these solids combining to make nonsolids?

Postby olishea » Mon May 26, 2014 10:44 pm

can you share the model in sketchup version 8 or 7 please, not all of us are using SU2014.
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Re: Why are these solids combining to make nonsolids?

Postby xiombarg » Tue May 27, 2014 12:47 am

I have this problem all the time, and it's nothing wrong with your models it's just that the solid shell tool is buggy and often only works simple solids, but here is what you can do to make this happen...

First try to use the Boolean Helper plugin. Sketchup doesn't like boolean operations with small models, so the trick is to scale up the size of the model and do the Outer Shell operation, then check that it's solid, and then scale it back down again. Scaling up and scaling down is what the Boolean Helper plugin does.

If that doesn't work, don't use the Outer Shell, just select your objects and then do a right click and choose intersect faces, and then by using the solid inspector manually get rid of the junk by selecting and deleting the leftover polygons inside the model.
EDIT: YOU HAVE TO EXPLODE THE OBJECTS FIRST TO MAKE THIS WORK CORRECTLY. Don't leave them grouped as individual objects. They have to be in the same group.


If the solid inspector doesn't make sense in what it's telling you, try using it with your x-ray turned on, or hide portions of the model so that you can clearly see what is going on. This often will make a lot more sense when using Solid Inspector.

If you still have problems, let us know and if necessary I can probably put it together for you. Not to brag at all, but I've probably combined a couple hundred objects to make print ready solids in SU so I've gotten fairly good at recognizing what needs to happen with non-solid geometry.

Hope this helps.
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Last edited by xiombarg on Tue May 27, 2014 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why are these solids combining to make nonsolids?

Postby xiombarg » Tue May 27, 2014 12:52 am

One last thing...

Always be sure to Solid Inspect your model with hidden geometry turned on. SU often leaves hidden curves after doing boolean operations. If you turn on hidden geometry you will be able to see these artifacts, select them, and delete them.
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Re: Why are these solids combining to make nonsolids?

Postby pbacot » Tue May 27, 2014 2:28 am

1. When I loaded this model SU said it had problems. Fixing problems made the hulls unsolid. So I chose not to fix.
2. Like you the solids did not make a solid when combined.
3. Solidsolver could not solve it.
4. Starting back with the three separate components: Solid inspector found one tiny tiny hole in the hull at the inside gunnel. I fixed this and made it a component and placed the hull mirrored on the opposite side.
5. Combining the solids again failed to make a solid. Solid inspector showed numerous errors in the resulting group. Too much to work out.
6. I scaled the model up 1000 times before using outer shell. That worked and scaled down OK to be solid.
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