Help With Building Light Fixture Replicas - Sonneman


Looking to build these two light fixtures for an upcoming project:


I’m hoping to build these as accurately as possible but I’m having trouble getting the thin domes to have the same type of curves. Would anyone be able to help me with this or provide a how to tutorial?

Many thanks!

The form looks like a parabola. I’ve had a back burner project to show how to make a parabola in SU with native tools, but never quite finished enough to post. The end result looks like this:

Any idea how I would get the curved lines like on the sconce?
For the pendant I attempted making a dome and then push/pulled an arch through it to merge, then deleted the arch. I assumed it would remove the arch pattern from the dome but it only cut out a small square at the bottom of the dome.

I’m guessing, but it looks like they are both some form of intersection of sine wave with parabola. I did a thread on making a sine wave here.

Creating solid objects and then using solid tools to do the intersection seems like the way to go, I would think. What did you use to Merge the shapes?

Does this look close? It’s pretty rough but just a quickie.

Hard to show that the sine way runs around the edge but it does.


Actually, I think the pendant is a partial elipse, not a parabola. The sine wave is strung around the circle not a solid intersecting linear object.

Hahaha! I should know better than to just wait for @DaveR to nail it.:grin: Ok, the partial elipse is just a stretched half-circle, but distributing the sine wave around the rim - do you need flowify, or is there a simpler way?

For the dome I use a profile and circular path with Follow Me. The dome shape is a parabola drawn with the Classic Bezier tool from Fredo6’s Bezier Spline set. Offset to make a thin profile and wind up with a solid component.

For the sine curve, I started with a 3-cycle sine curve made with Curve Maker. I added a few edges to get a face which I extruded to make it 3D. Then ThomThom’s True Bend to make the circular shape which is also a solid.

Then I used Trim from Eneroth Solid Tools to trim the dome.

It may not match the original exactly but since it isn’t likely this will be needed for engineering drawings to make the lamp shade, I’m sure it’ll be close enough.


If you plan to do a lot of this type of shape it would be worth your time to learn about using SUbD.


I think this is all a bit above my skill level. Any way to break this down in to step by step laymans terms?

I also posted on the podium forum and got the response here:
I was able to build the dome shape but extruding the curve (step J) left me with a whole mess. Not sure how to create the back curve.



If you plan to do a lot of this type of shape it would be worth your time to learn about using SUbD.


Could you please explain how you built the dome before using SUbD? I’ve added extension but am unable to get to where you are.

To merge object I pushed the curve in to the dome then selected all, right click, and intersect faces with model.

That should be workable in general. Cleaning up the unwanted bits after that can be a bit fussy. Using solid tools where possible can leave less mess, but does the same thing basically. From what @DaveR said, he chose Eneroth’s Solid Tools to do that rather than the native ones.

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I prefer Eneroth Solid Tools because they don’t convert components to groups. In the example I made, I didn’t bother about the size of the model but if I’d been modeling it as something I wanted at the correct size, I would have started the model with the shade at the given dimensions and then used the Dave Method for trimming the bottom. The native Solid Tools don’t allow that method to work.


Just draw the profile you want and follow me it with a polygon, not a circle.


This is great! Thank you so much! I’ve never utilized follow me :grimacing: Much easier to create this shape this way.

Which extension is Split Tools?

Split tools is a combination of Split Donut, Split Sausage and Split up tools and brings them together along with a toolbar that Box shows.

In the gif you can see there is what is known as a donut, that needs breaking into “quads” for Subd to work nicely with the geometry. You don’t “need” the Split Tools to break the donut and make the Quads, you could just draw edges in manually if you like. But it’s much easier being able to automate the process.

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Alright, I made it here:

But when I click sub tools I don’t get the pretty curves like yours. Just sharp points:

Womp Womp.

Not excited to spend another week on the sconce :confounded:

Note that I did say

I didn’t suggest it as a quick fix, SUbD is a whole other way of thinking with other tools and things to learn before you are proficient.

Having said that, did you click the first button on the toolbar? as it looks like you have only clicked the one that turns edges off.
If that isn’t the case I’d need to see your model to understand what is wrong with it.

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Couldn’t help myself, had to get in on the fun. Got the pendent light modeled with Vertex Tools and SubD. Box is correct that there is a definite learning curve to using these tools. Would have to say I wouldn’t pick this lampshade for someone new to the tools. Hope the images give you an idea how I got there.


I like to make myself crazy… Had to try the sconce. The reference pics aren’t the greatest. Took a while messing about to get the proxy shaped up for SubD. It’s pretty darn close to the correct measurements of the real deal and will sit flat to the wall. Not sure if I got that close but you can’t tell from a runaway horse :crazy_face: .

Just plain nuts… went back in and tweaked a little with Vertex tools … here’s the final result and the model :crazy_face:curvy sconce final.skp (882.5 KB)