How to make Rounded 3D products?


Hi Wonderful Sketchup! Community,

I have been working with Sketchup for a few years now. The picture of above is a prototype that one of my sixth grade teams have created. I always struggle on where to start on rounded products like this. We use the “Free Sketchup” version.


You could start from a sphere

And for the tail, create a cone with Follow Me and a triangle.


Better with the Y-oriented sphere

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Are you hoping to model this for 3D printing or to make a flat pattern for cutting more of them out in paper? Or just a 3D model to represent the original?

One thing I would suggest is to model it large. Use meters to represent millimeters or inches.

I am hoping to 3d print. I have a build plate limit of 18 cm x 18 cm x 18 cm

This is wonderful! I am also wondering how I make this 3D printable as I believe I need to add some steps to the video you shared. What would be the next steps?

Modeling in meters will allow you to avoid issues with tiny faces not filling in. When you import the .stl using millimeters, the object will print in millimeters. So if you model the thing at 50 meters tall it’ll print at 50 millimeters tall.

Here’s an example.

The SketchUp model:

The 3D print:

got it! thanks for the tip!

Here is what I have so far. Thanks again for the tutorial video:) It helped a ton! Now to get it 3D print ready. What do I do to make this into a container I can print?

First erase any coplanar edges like the one between the square top fac e and the half circle near the camera. Look on the bottom and erase similar edges. This will rempve internal faces which would preven the model being printable. Select the geometry and make a component or group. G is the default keyboard shortcut for Create Component. Look at Entity Info to see that the component is identified as a solid. If it is, you should be good to download the .stl file.

I need to be clearer. Can you see that prototype has an opening and includes a “Hood” like apparatus? I want to open this current model to be a container that is similar to the prototype. What steps do I need to take to make this happen and printable?


my first guess is to use the offset tool to create an “inside border” on the flat top face. I am not sure what to do about the “Hood” part when trying to open that space up?


@mihai.s has shown you a good way. Another option might be to do something like this. It doesn’t have a solid bottom but it could.

On the left, a profile and path for Follow Me.
2. After Follow Me. Also copying and flipping the bottom profile for the opposite side.
3. Extrude the right end profile with Push/Pull, move the two shapes together, and erase the seam line edges.
4. I pushed the arched face toward the left end a little and then created a component which is shown as Solid in Entity Info.

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This was super helpful again! Next question: See picture: Why is it when I select the line to delete the dreaded grey/blue shows up. I interpreted from the video that I was to delete these lines. I see that something else was done that I may be missing. What might that be?

The edge you deleted was required to support the faces on either side.

The edges were softened, not deleted. After getting the Eraser tool tap Ctrl to activate the Soften/Smooth option. Then click on the edges.

Erase looks like this:
Soften/Smooth looks like this: