The How to on Sketchup Complex Curves – Q&A

sketchup complex geometry

Once you’ve mastered the basics of sketchup you’ll probably find yourself face-to-face with sketchup complex curves. I know this can be a daunting task. I’ve seen a lot of people throw in the towel VERY quickly on sketchup once they get to more complicated geometries. But I promise, if you take the time to increase your modelling IQ you’ll be able to create and edit complex geometries like the pros.

To illustrate the power of sketchup complex curves, I’ve highlighted a question from Wordplayyy of the design nation.

Obviously, your problem is going to be unique to your situation, but through solving this specific question, I hope to be able to unveil the secrets of modelling a complex object in sketchup.

Wordplayyy asked me how to create the complex curves  present at the Sakirin Mosque.

sakirinmosque

The Process for Sketchup Complex Curves

With any complex geometry I quickly study it to see what smaller geometries comprise the more complex shape.

It’s pretty clear that this particular geometry is made up of an arch at it’s core, so I start with 1/2 of the arch and then copy and mirror it.  I do this to ensure that my arch is equal on both sides.
sketchup arch
I delete my mirror line and since the arch looks more like a gothic arch, I want to squish it a little to round it out.  To do this, I hit M to move and select the point.  I then hold the up arrow on the keyboard to move along the blue axis.

I push/pull my face to move it into 3-dimensions.

This next tip is key.

I select the face and hit S for scale.  This lets me blend the from one face to the other.
Pro Tip: If you hold ctrl or cmd while scaling it will scale both sides uniformly.

sketchup complex curves

I then offset the face I just scaled, push it in, and scale the inner face as well.

To get rid of any extraneous lines that may have been created through the process, I double-click on faces with extra edges, right-click, and select Soften/Smooth Edges.Soften sketchup edges
Typically I try to select the smallest angle to soften edges between.  This helps me maintain the integrity of my model as much as possible.

Hope this helps!

Have your own tips or suggestions on how you create sketchup complex curves?  Leave a comment below!

If you’d like to download the 3d model of this click here.

 

 

12 Comments

  1. Aartiwalvekar November 21, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Nice post

  2. Aartiwalvekar October 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    Great post!

  3. Tony August 30, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    In the NCARB ARE 5.0 handbook they reference Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods in both of their example questions for cost estimating. Unfortunately there isn’t a specific chapter on cost estimating, it’s woven throughout the content.

  4. Spencer August 30, 2017 at 1:15 am #

    What is the best reference for cost estimating for PDD.

  5. Amy July 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks! Great advice

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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

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

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

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

    Paige,

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

    Best,
    Tony

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

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  12. 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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