How do I bend a rectangle?


First of all, let me say I’m very new to SU and CAD in general, so I don’t know much of the language and feel very stupid when reading about it all - so apologies in advance for any misinterpretations of your answers or dumb follow-up questions!

I’ve been designing some furniture, primarily made from steel, but have always hand drawn my designs. I’ve recently made 3D models of one or two simple pieces using SU, but a lot of what I do involves bending flat/round steel bar and I can’t see a way of doing this in SU.

I’ve been unable to find any tutorials on here or on YouTube, but I fear this maybe due to my aforementioned lack of understanding of technical language.

I would like to know if there’s a way of taking a rectangle and bending it 90 degrees. In the attached .skp I’ve created a 30x8mm rectangle (as these are the dimensions of the bar I’m currently using) but in order to achieve the ‘bend’ have had to create a second rectangle on the horizontal axis, then curve the inner and outer edges of the corner. This was pretty time-consuming and I’m sure there must be a tool/method for simply bending one shape rather than ‘faking’ the bend using two and joining them?

Any help much appreciated!

bend_test.skp (19.9 KB)


I think for a shape like that, you’d find it better to draw the edge shape and extrude it to width with Push/Pull.

For round stock, it’s easier to draw a centerline with the bends as a path and then use Follow Me on a circular profile placed at one end of the path.

Sorry. Want to write more but just heading out the door to work.


No worries, already really helpful - thanks very much!

What is the best method for creating the bend when drawing the initial edge shape? I drew a vertical rectangle and a horizontal rectangle then joined them using arcs, but this felt quite labour intensive.


There are many ways to draw it but you could start with a larger rectangle. Round one corner with the 2-Point Arc tool and then use Offset on the arc and the two adjoining edges to create a set of edges that are offset by the thickness of the metal. Then erase the unneeded edges leaving the L-shaped face as in my example which you would extrude to width with Push/Pull.

You could also draw a path representing the edge of the piece (I assume front leg and arm rest?) and a rectangular face the size of the end of the stock. Then use Follow Me to create the bent shape.

I can think of several other variations but I’m on my phone now. Too hard to type it all out.


I’m really sorry, I forgot to thank you for your second response - it was incredibly helpful and much appreciated!


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