How to model this asymmetrical shape?

Hi there, I’m not quite sure if this is the right section for posting this question so apologies…

I want to model a column by stacking an asymmetrical shape on top of each other and rotating it 90 degrees at a time. I’m struggling with the odd curved shape of the original form. Any ideas?


It’s unclear what you are struggling with, could you be a bit more specific?
I’ve also moved this to the sketchup main forum as it’s not a tutorial.

How do I model the shape on the hand sketch , notice how the curves on each side are different?.. If I use follow me tool I loose the asymmetry…The column should look at the end like the one on the left side but in three dimensions off course…

Ah Ok I see what you mean.
Tig’s Extrusion tools would be one way to tackle it. I’m away from my computer just now so can’t give you a link. Or fredo’s Curviloft.

Here’s a rough version using Extrude Tools, you need to register to download plugins from sketchucation.


WOW!.. thanks so much Box!

Due to the angled surfaces at each end, I wasn’t able to use a straight extrusion process. I started with the cross-section you had and then rotated it 90 degrees. The rotated copy was scaled to fit the angled circles at top and bottom. Then I created about twenty cross-sections and scaled them each in x and y to connect with the four side profiles (each of which is different, of course). Then I could have connected the horizontal profiles manually, but I used Fredo’s Curviloft to create splines between the sections. The last step was to put the first shape into a group and then create a copy vertical which was then rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise. Using the crossing lines at each end, I used the front view to align one set by rotating and then the same in the side view for a second rotation. Then I repeated for a third section rotated 180 degrees and then a fourth section rotated 270 degrees (-90 from original position). The result is not quite what I expected … it seems to spiral gradually away from the origin.

BTW, I should have made the first shape a component before moving and aligning the next ones. I needlessly used separate groups for everything.

[edited] It’s late … that’s when I make mistakes. I used a component, after all, but not for the group of four components.
[add later] One more picture:

Thanks so much jimhami42!!..Amazing help both of you.


And yet another method using the Circle, Push/Pull, Move and Scale tools.

Thanks catamountain! I like this option too, good when exploring new shapes. Btw, how do you guys do this animated gif? I think it is a brilliant way to communicate!


On Mac I use the free utility Licecap. It has limited capabilities, but is very simple to use.

Revisiting this model using Spirix …

2016-01-05 08h12_00.mp4 (1.4 MB)