Help with dragging a line upward whilst on a curve?

Hi Guys, I’ve been using Sketchup for a while but im certainly no pro. When I am drawing I cannot work out how to grab the end of something and lift it up. So if I am drawing a curved stair case handrail, how do I get it to curve upwards

You will find it simplest to use a plugin to create a helical shape. It can be done with native tools as well, though it is a good deal slower.

Search the forum for ‘spiral stairs’ - here’s one good resulting thread:

Once you have a helix, use FollowMe for a round handrail, but if it’s rectangular or profiled, use Eneroth’s Upright Extruder extension from the 3D Warehouse - FollowMe will rotate the profile.

While you are at it, you should clean up your stair model.

All the visible faces are blue-grey - or Reversed. Select them all, then R-click and Reverse faces. That should make all the faces show white outside.

It looks as if you have rather a lot of edges in your curves, and not of even length either.

Try redrawing them with the arc tool.

Or use a Spiral Staircase Dynamic Component. One I developed is on the 3D Warehouse, and may do most of what you want - it draws the steps, handrail and balusters with several editable parameters to get the shape and size you want.

Search for spiral stairs dynamic for a range of options, or try this direct link to my component. 

OOPS - the image is showing in preview, but not in the uploaded forum post. I’ve edited the post to show a link you can copy and paste into a browser.

Hi John. its the first time I’ve used the follow me option ( and I’ve had sketchup since 2009!)
Im getting this now

Not sure I understand what you are ‘getting’?

This result from drawing with the native tools?

The idea of using an extension to draw a helix?

Something else?

It would be helpful if you can upload your sketchup model (.skp file) here to be able to help you better.

Wilkie FRONT 3d.skp (348.1 KB)

It’s a lil clunky, but you can produce the curves you want with either solid tools or intersect faces.

This is an example where I made the “cutter” out of a triangulated plane that would respect the top/rear and bottom/front edges, then manually drawn into 3D. You could also intersect faces with the same plane but that’s potentially a bit wonkier.

The original surface, push-pulled up (and grouped to form a Solid):

The cutting solid:

The resulting surface is too simple. You can use an extension to re-grid it, or delete it and make a new face from your curves with curviloft.

Example re-grided result (with clothworks > Adaptive Grid):

I didn’t bother to rebuild your curves, which are very Frankenstein’s Monster-y. Because you haven’t kept your walls, steps, floors as separate groups, it’s difficult to change any existing geo.

You have a lot of your raw geometry in tags. Tags control visibility but do not “organize” raw geometry. This is akin to having all your keyboard input apply to all your open background apps at all times. Only groups and components should be assigned a tag other than Untagged.

If you need more on Solid Tools, there’s good info in Skill-Builder:

Thank you. I’ve had a quick look.

Your model is almost entirely ‘loose geometry’ with only one group to separate the remain ‘plan’ part from what you have drawn.

You need to learn more of the basics of modelling, particularly using groups, components and tags - see for example and the YouTube video series Line Tool - Square One and subsequent tools in the series.

Generally speaking, it is a BAD idea to assign tags to edges and faces - DON’T.

Instead group your geometry or (better) make it into components as you go, and assign tags only to groups or components - leave edges and faces Untagged, and set (and LEAVE) the ‘pencil icon’ in the Tags panel at Untagged.

How did you draw this part of your model?

I’d have expected a single arc for the bottom front edge, and for the outer edge of the plan at the front. Instead, they are a mixture of short arcs and loose edges, of different apparent radii.

Your curves don’t seem to be any particular radius - at least, they aren’t round numbers in metres or sometimes even centimetres.

Is it deliberate that the straight edges at either end of the plan arc are not square to the front edge? The blue highlighted edges are at right angles to the front edge:

I’ve redrawn part of the model for you, using true arcs for the curves, all concentric about the midpoint of the opening in the floor, made a few components of the redrawn pieces, and uploaded it here.

I’ve also draw verticals from which you can draw the sloping side walls. They are just equally spaced over the difference in height between the bottom and top corners.

Wilkie FRONT 3d JWM.skp (349.7 KB)