SketchUp complex roof

by Design Workshop Sydney

Creating complex roofs in SketchUp can be simple if you use the Follow Me tool. We demonstrate how in our SketchUp training courses.sketchup-complex-roof
Once you have the building footprint all you need to do is create a profile for the roof, so first draw the ceiling profile or building footprint. Use the Offset tool to offset by 900mm for the roof overhang. Then go to a narrow part of the building and with the Pencil tool starting at the centre of the wall, draw in half of the roof profile.
Next select the ceiling and go to Tools and choose the Follow Me tool. Next click on the profile shape and the roof builds automatically. Alternatively you can choose the Follow Me tool first and click along points on a path, but this method is a bit laborious.
It’s not perfect though, due to the fact we only drew half of the profile and we drew it on a narrow side of the building first, it leaves a gap in the middle. To fill this in, use the Pencil tool on two points of an edge. Then find the next narrowest part of the roof and with the Pencil tool click in the midpoint of the line. Hold down the Shift key to come upwards in the Blue axis, and then keeping your finger on Shift, click on an adjacent roof surface to inference its angle. Click once on the point where the two lines meet and it’ll draw another profile using the same angle.
You may have to fill a few gaps in this manner, creating perpendicular mid-lines. You could go into the X-ray mode (or hit K to Show Back Edges) to clean up the extra lines on the inside. Right-click on roof shape to choose Intersect with Model and note that new lines appear defining where the planes intersect. Use the Eraser tool to get rid of extra lines. Sometimes you have to do this two or three times, depending on the complexity of the roof.
Another alternative is to download one of the many Roof-Builder plugins – these are in the format of Ruby Scripts and can often be downloaded for free.
Many useful tips and techniques can be found at the SketchUp website. And see many examples of our own clients’ work on our Facebook page.
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