3D Celtic Knot in SketchUp

I told @DaveR that I would post something in the Gallery, so here it is! A little something that I worked on in the evenings:

I modeled a quarter of the file with single lines, then used follow me to create the geometry.

Lots of polys, but all SketchUp!


Nice work Aaron. I’ve thought about doing something along those lines for awhile but I’ve never had the time. Are you familiar with an old Dover book by George Bain called Celtic Art: Methods of Construction?


I am not, but I will check him out! I really just love the line work of most celtic designs; clean, intricate, consistent… That’s what got me! Moving 2D designs with overlapping geometry into 3D seemed to be the next logical step… of course, this took about 3X as long as the same design would have in Illustrator and about 10X as long as if it were had drawn… but then it wouldn’t have been so shiny!!

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If you can find a copy of that book, you’ll discover just how intricate it really is. :wink:

Some years ago I did a Celtic border thing in SketchUp. It was to be used for an inlay pattern around the lip on a turned bowl so it isn’t 3D but I think it still looks cool.


very nice effort…

I’ve made far too many ‘wire like’ objects in the past, but have recently been reworking some using the ‘Pie Tool’ for primary construction of the paths…

I think it results in a simpler workflow and cleaner geometry, but time will tell…


“Pie Tool”? Sounds delicious!

When I searched Google, this was all I found…

(yeah… after googling I realized you meant the Arc/Pie command… :flushed:)

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@TheOnlyAaron This is the SketchUp Forum after all !!




I, too, have always been a fan of Celtic knotwork (and have that Dover book in my library.) I modeled a Celtic knot, a couple of years ago, posting it to the warehouse. The model includes layers that depict my progression in developing the knot. It might be of help to interested readers trying their hand at weaving similar knotwork:

(There’s a rendered version, at deviantART)



That’s hot! Great job, @taffgoch! is that all one “piece”?

It is, indeed, one piece (strand,) although the strand is composed of repeated, identical segments. This layer is included in the model, depicting the development of the sinusoidal path:


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That IS impressive! I ended up drawing the 2D representation on three “levels”, then I locked those groups and drew the path of the two lines back and forth, from one level to the next. I ended up with a much looser knot, but it kept the look I was shooting for (kind of like a celtic knot made from exhaust pipes). Very nice!

I think sinusoidal paths are the ideal shape for something like this … arcs (and even ellipses) don’t quite give the same result. I’ve experimented with wrapping a sine into a spherical helix to create a “celtic sphere”, but it looks more like a basket weave than a knot :frowning:


Well, what is a woven basket but a bowel shaped knot?

I’m glad the contents of this bowel isn’t visible.


Agreed. I initially tried arcs, as well, finally settling on sinusoidal paths, which provided more-attractive results.



That’s so awesome! I love celtic knots. That would be a fun build challenge for a group of modelers.

Very nice, like it a lot! Now how making the Monkey Fist?!

Cool work.

I have been wanting to create a woven pattern of rectangular wire in the Turks Head woven pattern. But not twisted rope, just woven rectangular wire like you see on some nautical jewelry.

I have no clue where to start but will have to sit down and figure it out someday.

This Celtic Knot Generator and Advanced Grid Maker are great resources for vector images and tying directions of knotwork.