We can create just about anything in SketchUp – but before we launch in we need to step back and break objects down into their basic parts. One of the easiest and most effective tools is the Follow Me tool. And we explore its versatile uses in our SketchUp courses.
The Follow Me tool can be used to create all sorts of shapes. For example bottles, spindles and spheres are all lathed forms where a profile is rotated around a central axis. Pipes, gutters and moldings are created by extruding a profile along a path. And chamfers, fillets and dados by using cutaway profiles. Any shape can be used as profile for a Follow Me path, eg. Guttering, skirting boards, picture rail, cornice moldings, circular pendants, etc.
To create some piping as in the above illustration, draw a path with the Line tool, then a circle at the base of the path. Select the path first then the Follow Me tool (Tools > Follow Me) > click on circle.
To create a sphere: first create a circle – note you can specify the number of sides by then typing 20s > Enter. Select the circle face > Q (Rotate). Hold down Ctrl, then click & drag to create an axis. Click on the circle edge, then type 90 > Enter. Select one circle then the Follow Me tool, and select the other circle. You can hide the seam by pressing Shift and selecting with the Eraser tool (E). Later go to Edit > Unhide > All to bring back hidden lines.
To create a bottle first create a rectangle first and use the Line tool to create the profile on the rectangle and the Arc tool to fillet the corners. Erase extra lines and rotate the profile (Q). It can be helpful to stand the human figure Derek on a cube – this can be used to help orient the Rotate tool (pressing Shift to constrain the Rotate tool to a particular face). Next create a circle under the profile. Select the circle, then the Follow Me tool, then click on the bottle profile.
Handrails, gutters and moldings are similarly created using a path with the Line tool and a shape as a profile.
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