Drawing a cable

I’m modeling a technology cart, and I’m having trouble drawing a cable that connects two components. My strategy was to draw a set of arcs to build the cable as it curved from one to the other, but I couldn’t achieve anything even remotely realistic, like a real hanging cable would resemble, with the twists and turns.

Here’s what I’m trying to achieve (see cable), and here’s my SketchUp file. I’m not looking for anything beyond a simple bezier curve; I’m not interested in the spiral. This is after all supposed to be relatively low poly overall. You can see the terminals where it should start and end.

salamander lift tilt.skp (466.4 KB)

Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

You could use “clothworks” which will work on a line as opposed to a surface. Otherwise I find it best to create a flat plane between the two points and then draw your curve on that to keep it from getting lost in space. You can always then skew it a little more afterwards by adjusting individual points (edit vertices)

salamander lift tilt (SU 2017).skp (623.3 KB)

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Thank you @mihai.s that is exactly what I was looking to do. Greatly appreciated.

Please let me know how you did this so quickly. Thank you.

Sample using clothworks. You can stop simulation at any point, then run profile on path.


You’re welcome!


Another way is to use the PipeAlongPath plugin, once you have a path (series of arcs and lines, or a Bezier curve, or some other shapely path to follow.

Thanks, but it was drawing the final curve that was holding me up. Once done a simple native Follow Me was enough to finish the job. I wouldn’t use a plugin for that most likely.

One of the tricks for getting good ends on a bezier curve is to start with straight segments that are perpendicular to your ending faces. Adding more control points will shape the curve further. I’ve used Curviloft here so the two ends of the Cable can easily be different diameters or even shapes.


Thanks Box. Can you tell me what extension you’re using to draw the Bézier curves please? I have a few more to work on and want to teach myself. Thanks.

Hi again. I’m looking to draw more similar cables. Can you provide some background info on the specific extensions you’re using here?

Fredo’s BZ Toolbar same as @mihai.s


Thank you! That might explain why I didn’t find it in the Warehouse.

I have very few from the warehouse.

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Alright you two, I’ve got Fredo6’s bezier extension installed and I’ve successfully created the bezier curve that I would love to use as a simple Follow Me path. I also inserted perfectly tangent line segments on each terminal to ensure the start and endpoints are perfectly perpendicular.

Problem I’m having now is that when I run a Follow Me, one end is thicker than the other. The staring diameter is 3/16, but it ends much smaller. Please advise.

Did you somehow scale the path group/component before you ran Follow Me?

I did not scale it, no. I’ve even tried welding the bezier curve with the two endpoints, and the same thing happens. When I start from the other end, it scales up in reverse.

I’m going to edit the curve some more to see if that kinda resets things. It’s still my first day doing this :slight_smile:

Follow Me on its own wouldn’t result in a tapered extrusion so something else must be happening.

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I 100% agree with you on that. Take a look, let me know what you think.

696774 Darwin Cart 2b.skp (754.0 KB)

One of the things about follow me is the path can’t be grouped as such.
Explode the g/c that the path is in and try again.