How to draw a freehand wire(line) structure, measuring line length

Hello, I have an idea to create several art peaces from thick metal wire. The cutting and prepping the wire for assembly is dirty and hard job, so I would like to separate the processes of preparation and assembly. I would like to draw my art peace (let say for example a broken umbrella) and measure the length of the lines I choose to be single peaces. The problem is that so far I had only drawn rectangular stuff (made of wooden planks). And now when I try to do any freehand line It is just a mess. Even if I make it reasonably acceptable, I cannot make a second one crossing it into the 3D space.
Do I need a special pad or I can do it with the mouse?
Is this a thing that Sketchup is capable of with reasonable effort?

Do you have any example images of what you would like to achieve? That may help.

wire penguin

The lamp is a little simple, but the penguin would be a very nice project if I can make it more round.

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I would use the ‘2Point Arc’ tool instead of the ‘Freehand’ tool.
Also you can group a (combined) curve once you are satisfied with it. To then work on the next curve.
That way curves are in their own environment and won’t stick together where the cross.


Since all arcs in SU are essential a series of straight lines, it may be best to decide what level of ‘smoothness’ you want to achieve. Here is a simplistic example where I use the Push Pull tool along with the Scale tool with the modifier to create the body (for example) of something like that penguin. Then use ‘Selection Toys’ extension to select and then remove the faces. Then used ‘Path Copy’ extension to give the lines a thickness.

Same idea works if you wanted something more organic. Model the ‘shell’ that you want with as much detail as you need…then ‘unsoften’ everything. Then work with just the edges.

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