How to Create a Sphere, Dome, or Curved Shape in Sketchup

how to create spheres in sketchup

Once you have the basics of sketchup down, chances are you’re going to want to learn how to create spheres.  Creating curved shapes is a bit different from how you would create boxes and rectangular prisms, but it’s by no means difficult or impossible.  Let’s jump in.

How to Create a Dome in Sketchup

First things first, we want to create a dome.

  • Create a circle with the radius of the dome you wish to create
  • Create another circle that is perpendicular to the circle you just created. If you don’t want to have a perfectly round dome, I recommend making a round dome and then stretching it to the height you want.  You can use ratios and proportions to figure out the exact scale you need to get your height.
  • Split one of your circles into quarters and delete all but one quarter.

createcurvedshapessketchup01

  • Offset your quarter
  • Select the follow me tool (Tools > Follow Me)

createcurvedshapessketchup02

sketchup dome

How to Create a Sphere in Sketchup

Once you’ve created a dome, creating a sphere isn’t too hard!

  • Group your dome and make a copy of it
  • Flip your copy along the blue axis (Right-Click > Flip Along > Blue Axis)
  • Line the edges of your dome up

how to create a sphere in sketchup

If you want to smooth the edges of your dome, explode both of your domes, right click, and select soften/smooth edges.

How to Create other Curved Shapes

Now that you’ve unlocked the power of the follow me tool, you can create custom shapes by extruding 2d faces along curved lines!  If you have a complex shape, try breaking it down into bite size pieces and then joining those pieces by exploding and smoothing edges.

Curved shape in sketchup

 

What kind of crazy curved shapes are you making in sketchup?  Let the design nation see!  Post images!  Feel free to use imgur to upload them and get a link.

 

7 Comments

  1. Tony June 29, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Deciduous trees should only be used for shade (especially in temperate climates). Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and will have little protection against wind in the winter when it is most needed. Likewise, the leafless trees allow solar heat gain in the winter when it is desired, and shade in the summer.

    Coniferous trees are only to be used to block wind and views. Since they don’t lose their needles, they work great for these two items year-round.

  2. Shahid Logan June 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Hello. My name is Shahid. This comment is for anyone who would like to reply. On the Siteplanning test. To block the wind, can you use a Deciduous tree or must you use a Coniferous tree?

  3. Mike January 4, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Tony,

    I need to take 5.0 PPD & PDD. Do you plan on posting notes such as “Caroline’s Notes” that you had posted for the various 4.0 exams for either of those sections? I found those notes to be some of the best resources in studying for the 4.0 sections. If so any idea when? Thanks

  4. Stephen October 17, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    Hi Tony,
    Any updates on the SS exam ? If there’s an expected release date ? Thanks

  5. DesignerHacks October 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    Paige,

    We are releasing practice exams for the SS exam later this fall.

    Best,
    Tony

  6. Paige October 4, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  7. Daniel September 9, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Great post, very helpful with the lists of suggested materials, I just passed CDs in July and am taking PPP in November so I definitely needed the list.

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