Freehand > 3D polyline


It has been a while (some years ago) since I asked this same question: what is the purpose of having 3D polylines in SketchUp? Why where they ever implemented? Any news “yet” ?
(Other than for tracing some shape and then exploding of course)


I have been giving this some thought recently since I did a mud hut roof example on another thread (tracing an irregular shape).

Roof modelling

SketchUp is probably a bit light on organic modelling examples - this particular example gets a lot harder if you try to do it without a poly line.


I used it just last week to draw an irregular outline of a floating chunk of ice !


Ate you guys talking about polylines or just the freehand tool.
3d polylines are those odd things that are difficult to manipulate.


I assumed it was the freehand tool, maybe it’s something else?..but please don’t eat us, it was a simple error!


Draw an edge with the freehand tool but hold shift while doing it.
Then try to use that edge.


I haven’t found any explanation for them in SketchUp help online, apart from this -

A polyline entity doesn’t generate inference snaps, create faces, or affect geometry in any way. You create a polyline entity only if you hold down the Shift key as you draw with the Freehand tool. Polyline entities are thinner than curve entities.

Could they have been created for 2D maps / terrain?


I think it would be a useful tool if you could select a bunch of geometry and convert it to this style of polyline. The fact that you can only select them by a left to right fence around their end vertex means you have linework that is effectively locked and non inferencing. Using Fredo’s convert to Polyline doesn’t have the same basically inert properties that these have.


As the title says, it’s about that mysterious entity that you get when also holding down [Shift] when applying the ‘Freehand’ tool.
Yes, I should have explained the use of [Shift] to get a 3D Polyline, not just a series of edges in a curve.


I didn’t mean you @g.h.hubers I knew what you were talking about.