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Stretching Geometry

When you move geometry that's connected to other geometry, SketchUp stretches your model.

To stretch your geometry, select the Move tool () and click and drag any of the following:

  • An edge
  • A face
  • A point

In the figure, you see a basic box (1) and copies of that box that were stretched by an edge (2), a face (3), and a point (4), respectively. If you want to stretch a surface entity (basically, any form with a curved edge) or bend a face (like Box 4 in the figure), special rules apply, which are covered in the following sections.

Tip: If you want to stretch part of your model to a specific scale (for example, make a box twice as wide), see Scaling Your Model or Parts of Your Model.

Resizing surface entities

In a surface entity, if you click and drag a control edge, you resize the surface entity without distorting the geometry. You create a surface entity by extruding an arc, circle, or polygon; see Softening, Smoothing, and Hiding Geometry as well as articles about arcs, circles, and polygons for details.

When you position the Move tool over a surface entity's control edge, the edge lights up in a way that nearby edges do not. In the following figure, the Move tool has selected a control edge in the cylinder's surface entity, and you see how dragging that edge enlarges the cylinder.

Tip: To make a surface entity look smooth, SketchUp by default hides surface entity edges. Viewing hidden edges can help you find the control edge easily. To see hidden geometry, select View > Hidden Geometry.

Note: A surface entity extruded from a curve entity does not have a control edge. Similarly, if you stretch a circular cylinder into an ellipse, the surface entity also lacks a control edge.

Bending faces with Autofold

In SketchUp, faces must remain planar. If you stretch geometry in a way that bends a face, Autofold makes a crease so that all the faces in your geometry remain flat. The following figure shows before-and-after examples of Autofold's handiwork.

Tip: Sometimes, SketchUp constrains an operation to keep all faces planar instead of creating additional fold lines. If SketchUp isn't Autofolding when you want it to, hold down the Alt key (Microsoft Windows) or Command key (Mac OS X) key as you drag the geometry. The modifier key enables Autofold so that geometry can move freely in any direction.

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