Creating a spiral tube

Can anyone tell me how best to model what I have described as a spiral tube. To imagine the shape I mean, first imagine a standard helical corkscrew. If you took a vertical section through that, the circular rod section that forms it would become an ellipse. But suppose you wanted it to be a rectangle instead. What you would end up with is something like the spiral you get when you peel an apple.

Using excellent advice from @Box here, I was able to produce something approaching what I wanted, as you can see:

But as you can also see, the segments are not vertical. I want to end up with a shape that looks as if it has been cut out of a tube.

Any ideas? (This is probably @mihai.s territory).

There are several “follow me and keep”-type extensions that are perhaps what you are after. Eneroth Upright Extruder is in the Warehouse.

Thanks, I’ll check that out.

Something like this?
tbn-3.skp (337.2 KB)

Thanks, Simon!

Not quite. I have described it badly. Take a look at the way this tube is constructed:


That is made from a single width of metal. Imagine it made of two widths in line and following one another. Now take away one of them. Then add more width to the metal sheet. That is what I want to end up with.

That’s how that tube can be modeled (using FredoTools and JPP) -
tbn-4.skp (88.4 KB),
but with what you want, if it’s possible, a sketch would help

Here’s a near approximation:

In my case, the width of the section would be much narrower than the depth.

I think this example must have been done with SU but I don’t know what tools or extensions were used.

Right, now we’re talking!

Something like this?

Yes, Jim. What tools or extensions?

I have just received an email from the Sketchup Forum that reads as follows:

"We’re sorry, but your email message to [“”] (titled Re: [SketchUp Forum] [PM] RE: Creating a spiral tube) didn’t work.

The topic you are replying to is currently closed and no longer accepting replies. If you believe this is an error, contact a staff member."

Anyone know what’s going on? @jody

I was trying to respond to a PM from @DaveR but it’s almost like he has been “cancelled”.

Do you really need to model it? I would do this with a texture

I wanted to model it for two reasons. One is that it could form the structural part of a staircase. The second was just the challenge of learning to do something new. And as so often, the forum came to the rescue!

I used my Spirix plugin. This is something that I’ve quit mentioning as a solution because it’s not very intuitive to use. However, it was easy for this shape. Create a group “a1” and fill in a few obscure parameters:


It looks like he made a post and then deleted it.

It does but his PM suggested someone else had done so.