Hi! Could anybody help on how to create a golf ball in Sketchup?

# A golf ball in sketchup

Can you explain why you need to model the golf ball, rather than just draw a sphere with a golf ball texture?

Or is it just a skill-developing exercise?

I just had a look at a close up photo of a golf ball. It’s quite hard to work out how to get the even distribution of dimples on a sphere. I tried to see if the pattern would map onto an icosahedron - it looks as if it might, but not easily.

It’s just like I didn’t find a way to create such a shape here in SU and supposed that somebody could advise a way to do this and it will be a helpfull next time when I need some similar shape to be created. And I’m trying to get to know abilities of SU.

If you look closely at the above image, you can see ‘spherical triangles’ of dimples which looks as if an icosahedron might be a place to start.

There’s a plugin on the SketchUcation plugin store to draw regular Polyhedra, including the icosahedron - https://sketchucation.com/pluginstore?pln=polyhedra.

You can draw the sphere manually, but it’s much easier to use the plugin 3D Shapes, also from the SketchUcation plugin store. See https://sketchucation.com/pluginstore?pln=jwm_shapes

You could then draw a sphere of the same radius as the icosahedron, work out where they intersect, around one face, and subtract the dimples using Solid Tools (which you have in Pro) then array the result around the icosahedron.

Not simple, though. I haven’t the time to try to work it out, but those hints might get you going in the right direction.

Looking again, though, the triangles aren’t big enough to fit an icosahedron. Maybe a bigger spherical triangle to start with on the golf ball, covering four dimples rather than three?

This patent shows several different ways to space the dimples - note that the dimples are not all the same size.

@jimhami42 thanks - a useful resource. So my guess of a possible icosahedral pattern wasn’t too wide of the mark!

It’s still difficult to see how to draw a spherical triangle with regular and symmetric faces though. Maybe a bit of Ruby coding? The usual method of rotating a semicircle doesn’t produce the right pattern of faces for this purpose.

Haven’t time to pursue this line of thought any further tonight, though.

Maybe do some trig to calculate the positions of all the circular dimple centres, then convert from spherical coordinates to cartesian to place them? I saw reference recently on this forum of a plugin to do that.

Did a bit of Goggle searching and the only thing standard about golf balls is the diameter and weight. The number of dimples varies among brands. Seems to run in the 300 to 400 range. Seems most use a layout around some form of Polyhedra. Do some research and try the plugins john mcclenahan. suggested and good luck. I’m getting a headache from the math potential already.

This is one of the simpler-appearing patterns from @jimhami42’s reference:

This one is more octahedral than icosahedral.

Whereas this one IS icosahedral:

Happy head scratching, @yuri_ch!

NOT a simple question to answer, but an interesting one.

You could try something like this, but with more hexagons (of course):

or you could modeling in Blender and import it in SketchUp (it’s more easy)

I also remembered Box’s solution for something similar: Flattening faces on a sphere