How to draw folded sheets depicting roof flashing

Hi I’m a newbie to SketchUp and need help to draw some roof flashings.
It basically is a series of 1mm thick rectangles joined together at different angles.
The virtual metal sheets need to be folded on various axis to create a multi faceted flashing much as a peice of paper would be folded various ways.
Is there a simple method for this anyone can explain or direct me to a tutorial?
The end result needs only to show the shapes and relationships of each piece, the look of the material is not important.

Thanks for your help

First of all, is the material thickness really that important to not be ignored? Folding faces about mutual edges is quite simpel: dragging the cursor along the edge sets the axis of rotation. Or is your question less SketchUp related?

Indeed the thickness is not important. Merely depicting a folded flat sheet is quite sufficient.


Maybe there are some, But at the moment, I can’t think of any flashing profiles which I’d draw using a folding technique.

I think the more typical approach would be to draw the profile shape and then extrude it via the push/pull command, or to use the follow me tool and extrude it along a path.

But don’t let me talk you out of, or into, anything. Folding with the rotate tool is a good technique to know and to have mastered, and of course there are many ways to do things, luckily.

Please post up a rough sketch or picture of the profile you have in mind. That will get the ball rolling forward pretty quickly.

Roof Flashing example.pdf (127.7 KB)
Thanks for your reply, attached is an example of what im trying to achieve, The blue part in the middle of the picture.

If you don’t want to give the flashing any thickness, you could use TIG’s Extrude Edges by Vector which is included in his Extrude Tools set from Sketchucation.


Avoiding the thickness issue for the moment… because folding a thick sheet will warp the thickness to varying degrees.

I think it’s easiest to first have a roof drawn up and group it all together. From there you can fold your sheet metal directly on top of the roof structure—using the ridge and pitch to control the direction and angles of the folds.

When working on inclined planes within SketchUp two commands come in handy, both being available on the right click context menu… Align View, and Align Axes . . . Use either of these to orient the rectangle tool to the inclined roof.

To avoid folding issues, I think it easiest to just fold a copy of your section and then go back and delete the overhang.

The trick for rotating along a specific axis to the use the click-hold-drag approach. Click once to set the starting position, and HOLD that click down until you’ve extended out a rotation axis towards some other point in/on the model. Once you’ve established the rotation axis then let up on the click and SketchUp will lock in your rotation axis to whatever you chose.

From there you initiate a COPY by pressing on the alt/opt key… look for the little ‘+’ symbol to be added to the rotation icon. . . and of course, choose the starting and stopping points for the angle of rotation.

Use the overhang again to also copy/fold the drop onto the gable wall. Or delete it and just draw that part in.

However you manage to create them doesn’t really matter in a way… Once you group things together—or create components from them—they start to act as a unified set.

An alternative work-flow:

  1. form the roof shape

  2. use the off-set tool to create lines for hips and leadwork (Then add some lines to separate the shapes - not shown)

  3. group all the “lead” surfaces together and all the “hip” surfaces and all the “tile” surfaces. Make sure that each face is facing the correct way before painting each group with the relevant colour

  4. put some thickness into the surfaces with the push-pull tool (I use 5mm for lead and 30mm for the hips, you may have to tap [ctrl] if some surfaces don’t want to pull in the direction you want them to) - this makes sure that you don’t have two surfaces on top of each other, fighting for which gets to display.

Thanks for your help everyone, I have made great leaps forward in the last 24hrs. I’ll post the finished article up when its done.