Creating a channel in an odd shape (numbers)

I’ve been messing with this for hours and just can’t figure out a great way to accomplish this task. Imagine you have a piece of wood shaped like the number 6. You want to use a router to carve out a groove inside the number to embed LED lights. How would I draw this in SketchUp? I’ve tried the follow tool, but because of the odd shape (even created stopping points), it didn’t exactly come out right.

So then I thought about creating a flat 6 and creating a duplicate 6 inside of it by scaling to be smaller, then extruding (push/pull) the outside to create the thickness, thus leaving a routed out channel inside it (the reduced size copy). But scaling the original 6 down doesn’t work for obvious reasons. What I need to do is “shrink” (constrict?) all the walls in by X mm. I’m just not sure how to do that.

The whole purpose for this is that I want to 3D print these numbers so I can put LEDs inside them to eliminate them from behind.

Have you tried the’Offset’ tool on the top face as a start?


It has been an ABSOLUT Monday! I knew there was a tool, but for the life of me, I could not remember the name. THANK YOU!!! ::

Just make sure the width of the number is consistent otherwise the edges are not uniform as seen here.


This is something I had to ensure was accurate. But in testing things out, I decided on a fatter font to increase the width and lessen the chance of a problem, as you mentioned above. As long as the walls are thick enough for the strength, I only need to ensure the space between the walls is 1/2" to fit the LDE strip. Larger was fine, but not smaller.