Bending an object over a surface


Hi all,

Imagine a sphere or whatever simple surface. Now imagine a hexagonal grid like a mesh.
what I want to do is to bend over this grid over the sphere so the new object will be a spherical hexagonal grid.
Is there any way to do that?

I believe Sandbox does not quite do what I want as it just projects the object over the surface if I’m correct.

But I don’t want to project the grid, otherwise it will become distorted over the sphere :frowning:

Thanks in advance!


Hi there,

It may not be exactly the right solution for a spherical hexagonal grid, but you may want to try the CLF Shape Bender extension and see if this helps you get a little bit closer to the forms you’re looking for.

Alternatively, you might also try combining extensions like Soap Skin Bubble and Fredo’s Joint PushPull (available on SketchUcation) to see if you can create this effect through lofting and extrusion.

Let us know if either of these approaches helps!



The first time I played with CLF Shape Bender it crashed my Sketchup but I
will give it one more try even if it only allows following a single line
instead of a surface so I’m not very optimistic about it.

With Soap Skin I always get awkward surfaces that don’t fit ‘inside’ my
line, don’t ask me why. The last one I never tried so I will look for it as

I’ll give feedback ASAP.



The term Geodesic Sphere comes to mind.
These pages may be of interest:

TaffGoch’s Geodesic Help Group!topic/GeodesicHelp/DolXrzpzAQs

TaffGoch’s 3D Warehouse Collection


Honeycomb patterned surface (newbie question)


Those are very nice Geodesic domes! But I couldn’t find any plugin that would allow me to define the relative size of the sphere and the hexagon. Therefore I’m limited to choose from the available drawings on the 3D Warehouse. Unfortunately none resembles what I want to do which is the mesh covering a tweeter dome like this. On this picture it is not very clear but the grid lies over a dome and not a plane surface.

The best that I could do so far, and because the dome is almost plane, was to create the grid and intercept it with a cylinder but of course this is not accurate and the more the dome is curved the worse it gets.

CLF Shape Bender is a very nice plugin but also very temperamental as it doesn’t work too well if the curve is not very pronounced on all the tests I’ve done. Moreover there is also all that fiddling with the line that has to be drawn on the red axis or something like that. Notwithstanding there is no way to bend an object over a surface but only over a line which doesn’t suit me.

With Soap Skin Bubble I simply can’t imagine how to integrate my hexagon with an already existing surface.

Any more ideas?

Thanks in advance!


maybe use a texture instead?

just using a random texture i found online then fredo’s ThruPaint to apply it:


Thanks for the idea but the problem with a texture is that it is repetitive
but not in a totally controlled way and applying a series of rectangles
over a dome surface will not result very well. Besides that there is the
problem of the transparency as the hexagons are not all solid but actually
a frame.


valid points but not really :wink:

• speaker grill is supposed to be repetitive, right?
• some pretty good extensions out there for mapping/controlling (like ThruPaint)…
• use a transparent texture…

and hey, i’m not saying this is the best way (though it’s certainly the easiest… the longest part about doing this was finding the texture… and that only took about a minute)… it’s just way better than ‘bending an object over a surface’… if you want it to be real geometry, you’re going to have to model it… some plugins will help along the way but there’s no easy way out…


Is this the sort of geometry you are after?


Wow!!! This is exactly what I’m looking for! :smile:
How did you do that?


This is great!!! I didn’t yet play with that plugin but it looks promising.
There is however one small problem, even if I find or replicate that texture which is the tridimensionality that doesn’t exist with a texture.


I just bent it twice with shapebender…
Make one bend, rotate 90deg and make another…So technically it’s not part of a sphere, but more than likely all you need for what you want. You could bend on the diagonal too if you want.
Shapebender is an excellent tool, you simply have to understand how it works.
The relationship between the two lines and the component is important.
Your component must be positioned along the red/blue axes.
The straight line on the red must be a single unattached line.
The curve should be the same length as the line otherwise the shape will stretch or shrink…
So to bend a piece and retain it’s shape the line should be the full width of your component and the arc should be that length too, including the bend, not the straightline endpoint distance.
Varying the length of the line and arc can be usful for making curved ramps and such.


Finally I also managed to do it with Shapebender, although how the plugin works is still a mistery to me and the results aren’t always what I would expect. :confused:

This idea of texture was also very interesting, particularly for other things I have in mind.

So, thank you all for your precious help! :smile:



Not to kick a dead horse but you may get what you are looking for using ThomThom’s [Vertex tools][1].

I’ve attached my quick speaker model for your evaluation. hex.skp (485.3 KB)



There are quite a few ways to achieve the shape, here’s a quick one using the smoove tool



Very interesting plugin! It’s a pitty it’s not free :disappointed:

I can only open your file on my pc at work because at home I’m running version 2014 as I still have Windows XP.


I must read the instructions of that smoove tool carefully as I don’t understand how to give this 3D efect after bending but it also looks smashing!

Thank you both!


Sorry I did that very quickly on the way out and wasn’t clear.
Smoove pulls the face up, but to do the thickening I used Fredo6’s Excellent plugin Joint Push Pull.


i also want to create this one but i dont know how =( i want to use hexagon as holes instead this sqaure shaped
can you help me?


The plugin Flowify can do this (it’s like shape bender in 3D)…


Thank you so much for your support. Any idea how to bend the same shape (transparent) over a full ball shape like a lamp shed base? Thank you in advance,