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In Sketchup, if have a shape that I want to cut a section out of, I can use the pencil tool to draw an area and then extrude the area down (using the push / pull tool). The outside edges are removed:

Sketchup: Draw in pencil tool Sketchup: Push down

In Blender, I'm trying to do the same thing but it isn't working in the same way. I used the Knife tool to draw the area I want to remove and extrude down, but the outer edges are still remaining:

Blender: draw shape with Knife tool Blender: extrude down

I haven't yet figured out a way to manipulate the mesh to get the desired result after this extrusion.

Is there a faster / better way to do this in Blender? Is there a tool that behaves similarly to Sketchup's push / pull tool?

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you need an addon to do that, Blender Destructive Extrude:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beZau_wpR-U

https://gumroad.com/l/cQjUX

or you need to delete and fill some faces, or try to extrapolate before modeling.

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  • $\begingroup$ The version of the addon linked from the YouTube video (on GitHub) doesn't appear to work properly but version 0.8.9 from the gum road link worked perfectly. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Zach Hall Nov 18 '18 at 20:47
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Unfortunately this feature is lacking in blender. You've got two options here - move all the faces down and only extrude the ones you want higher upwards. This would work fine in your case.

Before the extrusion

Afterwards

Alternatively you can delete the faces you don't want - this option is for when it doesn't work out with the first method.

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