Help with Spokes?


I’m using Sketchup to draw subwoofers and speakers. Most of my time is taken drawing the Spokes and it’s taking me days in some cases.

Are there any tools you can suggest that might help/speed up the process.

This (below) took me 2 days for the spokes alone

This took me 2 days

This took me 2 days

I’ve tired by merging 2 or 3 basic shapes to give me various curvatures. But the model then becomes a total, sometimes uncontrollable mess, and I spend the day doing repair work, patching small gaps etc.


Upload the model (.skp file) so pointers can be given and get you heading in the right direction.


I’ve had a quick look at the first of your models.

It looks really good visually, but isn’t constructed in Sketchup as well as it could be (so it’s making it harder for you to create and edit).

You would find it easier to draw and edit the model if you have it centred at the origin, and show the axes - they were hidden in the model I downloaded.

And make it up of components roughly corresponding to how it is physically constructed.

You will also find it easier to see what you have drawn, as you go, if you go to the Styles window and go to Edit - then check the box marked Edges, so they show up. And turn on View.Hidden geometry.

Most of your faces are drawn reversed - with the back of the face outwards. This can cause problems later - for example, if you try to make the object into what Sketchup calls a ‘solid’ component or group. To fix this, you can select a white (right side out) face, then R-click and select Orient faces, to turn all the faces right side out.

You can see this by setting the View/Face Style/Monochrome, which looks like this: blue faces are reversed.

I’d suggest making the whole of this model into a single component, move it to the origin, then re-draw it using a separate component corresponding to each physically separate part of the speaker.

For example, you should make a component of each of the following (not a complete list - just illustrative): the speaker cone, the upper steel ring round the cone, the spokes (a ring of them, copied and mirrored so you only have to draw one half of one spoke). Then the base magnet and its housing, and whatever other parts are left that I haven’t identified or don’t recognise.

The hardest part to redraw will be the spokes, as you have found. But you only need to draw one half of one of them.

Assuming those are the white bits, I’ve tried copying part of the model to a different place, then trimming off (Erasing) the blue faces around them to leave a single spoke.

But even when I’ve cleaned it up as best I can in a few minutes, it is still, I’m afraid, a mess.

I’ve used a Section Plane, and Camera/Parallel projection and Front View to show a cross section of the speaker, to see if I could extract a profile and make faces for the FollowMe tool, but it wasn’t as helpful as I thought it might be…

I guess you have used FollowMe to draw the circular parts. Do that again, but make each element into a separate component as you go.

There is however one clean face in the spoke: highlighted here.

You could pushpull that into part of a spoke, then ‘carve it away’ using the Pro trial (download to your computer) and the Solid Tools to subtract the ‘space’ between spokes. Or use Sketchup Make, and (again drawing the space) use Intersect Faces to make the opening.

Not sure how much of this you could do in Free - most, I think. But easier in the full program, whether 2017 Make or 2018 Pro trial.


I think John covered most of it… in depth.
I would also emphasize keeping each part of the speaker a separate group or component.
I think you should draw your circles with a higher facet count so that they appear rounder (60?).
I didn’t take too much time with it, but attached is a spoke that took a few minutes to make, but was made using the “follow me” on a short curved line. The hole was made by subtracting one solid shape from this shape as a boolean op using “bool tools”. I don’t think Sketchup free has the solid tools to do this, or can add the plugin “bool tools” so making this any other way is going to be very difficult. The best way is to use the same technique (model the shape of the negative item that will be cut out from your solid spoke) and with both items as groups, line them up and use “intersect”, then explode each group and delete the negative shape parts you don’t need. This essentially does what the solid tools does with less effort.

spoke.skp (490.2 KB)


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