Spinning in Sketchup


What is it?

SketchUp allows you to spin flat shapes around circles to get complex solid forms.

What's the tutorial?

  1. Open SketchUp.

  2. Set up your view:
    • Select the figure and press delete to remove the figure from the scene:

    • Select View>Hidden Geometry to see latitudinal and longitudinal lines:

    • If your large tool set is not visible, select View>Tool Palettes>Large Tool Set to make it visible:

  3. Adjust the view with the Orbit tool (O) so that the horizon line is more in the middle of the document:

  4. Select the Rectangle tool (R) to draw a vertical rectangle from the origin point (the point where the red, green, and blue axes intersect) to the left.

  5. Select the Freehand tool:

  6. Draw a line on your vertical plane connecting the top line to the bottom line:

  7. Select the Eraser (E) tool and delete the extraneous lines:

  8. Select the Circle tool (C):

  9. Click on the red axis line near your shape. Make sure your circle is lying on the ground plane:

  10. Drag the radius out to the origin point:

  11. Press spacebar to select the Select tool and select the circular plane:

  12. Click on the Follow me tool and click on the vertical shape:

  13. Select the Orbit tool (O) and move the view to the bottom of the form, then press spacebar and select the circle:

  14. Press the Delete key to erase the circle.

  15. If your form is blue gray
    • Click on the spacebar and triple click on the form to select it:

    • CTRL+ click on the form and select Reverse Faces

  16. Edit the form as you'd like. You can navigate to top view (CTRL+1/Command+1) and select the Scale tool (S):

    To scale from center, click a node while holding ALT/OPTION

Now what?

  1. Create a model by spinning.