The «Move» tool in SketchUp, is a very useful tool, with which we can perform even more functions. Inside the «Move» tool, are also hidden the «Copy», «Array» and «Multiple Divider» functions. All these three, have one basic target, to Copy an object, but each one of them, in their own specific way.
As we have mentioned before, SketchUp has the mentality to simplify the design, without confusing the user with more tools, so that’s why we find these three functions inside the «Move» tool, for faster 3D modelling. The use of these tools, is very popular, especially when we have many objects in a group, and we want to add more of them. Let’s find out, how these tools work.
First of all, we will see how to perform a simple Copy & Paste of a chair, by using the Move tool. We must first select the object or the group that we want to copy, which in this case is the chair, as you can see in image 1. Then we take the move tool, we left-click anywhere on the object, and then we move it to one direction, just like we do when we want to move an object. While we are moving the chair, we press once the Ctrl button, and rightaway we notice a second chair appearing, with the first one remaining at its’ starting position. Then we click once to drop the chair where we want.
The greatest advantage of copying objects this way, is that we can copy a large amount of objects, and paste them in the same direction.
Such an example can be seen in image 2, where we want to Copy & Paste the same objects from one shelf to the to the other. We select all the bottles at the same time, then we pick the Move tool + Ctrl button, and we move them from one of the shelf’s corner to the same corner of the shelf above. All this action is happening from corner to corner, along the blue axis.
Let’s see now how the «Array» tool works. The «Array» tool is basically an extension of the previous function (Copy – Paste). As we did with the chair earlier, now we will work on the shelf. First, we select it.
Then we move the object with the Move tool along the red axis, and press the Ctrl button.
Then we left – click once to drop the shelf at the spot we want.
And now we are going to use the Array command. Once we left – click to drop the second shelf at the spot that we want, we press immediately the «X» button on the keyboard, then we type the amount of copies that we want to make of the shelf, and finally press Enter.
Once we have completed these steps, we can see that the shelf has been copied along the red axis, as many times as the number we typed. The distance between each shelf, is exactly the same with the distance that we gave when we copied the first one.
But what happens when we want to equally spread our objects along a certain distance? In order to achieve that, we need the Multiple Divider tool. This tool works in the same logic with the Array tool, which means we have to Copy & Paste using the Move tool, only that this time, the second half of the process is different.
As you can see in image 8, we need to equally divide the window with vertical wooden louvers. We start off as we know, we select the piece of wood at the begining of the window, and with the Move tool + Ctrl, we copy it, but this time at the end of the window.
This way, we basically set a certain distance, a begining and an end on the axis.
Then, in order to complete the process we press the «/» button, and we type the number of copies we want to create along this distance, meaning the window.
As you can see in image 11, the number of louvers that we typed, is now equally divided along the window.
Here, we have the opportunity if we want, to press again the «/» button, and type a new number of louvers. Then once we press the Enter button, we can see the number of louvers changing.
In SketchUp, Move tool is probably one of the most useful tools we can find inside the software. Learn how to work with its’ addtional tools and functions, and rest assured that your life will be a lot easier.