Expand edges (offset from centerline) - Chamfer a line



Hi all!

Say I draw a $ (money sign). I make an ‘S’ out of two curves and a line, then I draw a line through the S. Now I have a $ all with edges. Some of the edges will close borders while some will still be open.

Is there a plugin where I can grab that shape and perform an “offset”? I want edges to expand on both the left and right sides much like how offset works, but doesn’t care about edges that are not closed.

Another example:
I make a “T” out of two lines. I select both lines and use said plugin, now I have a “T” but there is area with in it. It resembles a polygon with 6 vertex points.

Right now I’m using “weld” and “double lines” to perform this. But I have some shapes much like a “$” and it doesn’t work.



Have you tried using the 3D Text application?

Tools > 3D Text


Sorry! I’ll upload a picture to better explain what I’m looking for. I’m not looking for creating 3d text or even col-linear text with volume. I’d like to take an array of connected edges and offset them, creating a conglomeration of curves which create a shape.


Can you share your sketchup file that you are working with?


Unfortunately, I cannot.

I can create a new file and draw the same said shape and share that. If that would help.

Sorry, working with high fidelity information and my current project has too much information that I’m legally obligated not to share.


Here’s an example with the shape on the left face. On the right face there is the same shape. I have “offset” one of the closed faces. What I would like is to select the whole section of edges and create what offset has done, but equally across the whole array of edges.

Above, on the right face, are some more examples. A single line becomes a rectangle. Next to it an odd line becomes a shape with parallel lines of the same length extruded from the original lines center…

SketchupExample.skp (93.8 KB)


Another screenshot example:

Turn “line” into “this”.

Just looking for a plugin. If one doesn’t exist I’ll keep taking the long way of completing this task. It just seems like a pretty easy and useful plugin… basically an “offset” that goes on by sides of an edge and doesn’t care about close boundaries.


I cannot believe there is not a plugin for this… Or maybe the forums are just rarely frequented. Before I spend time learning Ruby and doing this myself, I figured I’d check. There are far too many plugins and most of them are poorly named, so finding what you need becomes quite a chore.

Is there a better place to post this question?


At least on SU 2017 the offset tool can do most of it. It can’t do a single line because the plane in which to offset is indeterminate. It also doesn’t close the ends, but that’s easy.


Thanks for the reply, Slbaumgartner.

The two more simple shapes were to try and depict a better example. A previous comment suggested using the 3d Text Tool… so I felt maybe my description was poorly formed.

The offset tool is helpful in sections of my project. However, Sketchup has no native tools for the collection of lines I would like to expand.

Here is a shape (below) I that I need expanded (much like your example above, how the line is given “thickness”). This shape varies slightly in my project but I have several hundred of them to do.

It’s 6 lines. I can connect them into a single shape using the “weld” (by Rick Wilson) extension form the Extension Warehouse. It becomes a single selection.

I’d like to transform it into this:

There may not be a plugin for this. The closest I’ve seen is “double lines” (which makes a mess) and “linestotubes” which is close… but I don’t want a 3d tube (which also makes a mess).

Thank you!


I can’t suggest a plugin to do it, and it isn’t quite obvious how the ‘offset’ should be applied at the joins.

The lower right hand arc doesn’t intersect cleanly with the lines, either - that’s probably a drafting error rather than intentional - but further complicates the intention.

It’s not too hard to draw this particular shape accurately, with a mixture of native tools - line and arc to start one quarter of it, an offset to shift it off the axes, delete the straight lines on the inner part and add new ones for the sides of the central cross parallel to but not on the axes.

Then copy/rotate 3x and you are done.

Several fumbles in the above, but it took no longer than the animation takes to play.

Far faster than writing a plugin!

And if you make it a component, you can repeat it as many times as you like, using either linear or circular array.


Thanks John! Unfortunately, I repeat the shape I displayed above a couple hundred times, and the the angles are never the same. For me, the fastest solution will be an extension which allows for creating edge thickness based off of several connected lines.

Even better, would be the ability to create such a thickness on all lines in a project. I’m working on writing a script for it currently, since after scouring the warehouse I found no means of chamfering a line. Something that every 3d software program I have ever used incorporates in its toolset.


What do you mean by ‘chamfering a line’?

I normally think of ‘chamfering’ as something you do in woodworking or metalworking to bevel a right angled edge at an angle like 45°

Fredo’s Round Corner plugin will do that.


I did this with Chris Fulmer’s Greeble. Jim’s Protrude from Sketchucation could do the same thing. You also might look at Multiple Offsets from SDMitch also in the Sketchucation Extension Store.


Tig’s Multi Offset may come close to what you need, but you do need to have faces not just edges.


John, I’ve also heard it as “giving a line thickness”. I used multiple descriptions because different software tools use different terms. More importantly were the image examples.

Here is chamfering a line across a 2d face in 3ds max.


Hey Dave, thanks for replying!

Did you have the centerline selected (as shown highlighted blue in your image) when you used Greeble? Your result looks like what I’m looking for.

I tried greeble and got varied results with different settings. None of which offset the line correctly. Most times the faces and edges became a mess. I don’t think it was intended for the shapes I am attempting to use.

I’ll check out Protrude and Multiple Offsets to see if I get faster results than my current method.



No. I selected the faces. I just selected the centerlines to inidicate they were there when I started.


None of the listed tools or any I have found perform what I feel should be a simple function.
The act of defining a selection of connected lines and creating equal positive and negative offsets from end point to end point to form an area is a function most 3d software tools I have used include. Solidworks, Maya, 3ds Max, Autocad all have this ability. Sketchup’s geo-location references and the way the .skp is packaged made it the priority for the work I am doing.

At this juncture it looks like my best bet is seeking out another software solution if I want to improve the speed and capacity of my work. It may be a simple task of writing a Ruby script that performs what I require. I see less overhead in moving on to another tool.

Thanks for the suggestions and comments!