How to recreate this shape in Sketchup?


I’m pretty new to Sketchup and really struggling to recreate the shape found on this image:

I believe it’s raised along the middle by 2 to 3mm and then drops off to the side which creates the shadows.

Would welcome any hints / tips or links to useful videos.

Thank you in advance.

First of all, it’s a repeating shape, also mirrored, so you only need to do one as a component. Include a rectangular ground plate around it with hidden bounding edges.

As for the shape itself, one side consists of two arcs that enclose a surface. (one vertical and one horizontal arc)
Make both arcs with equal number of segments and connect corresponding endpoints of both arcs to get SketchUp to form the facetted surface in between.

Shaddows may make it appear more realistic in the end.
You can even export it as an image to then use as a seamless texture.

@Wo3Dan words in pictures…


After a very good and clear explanation about how to model it in geometry, can I recommend that you use a textured material applied to a face.
It’ll be far less strain on SketchUp processing, and look as good [if not better]…
The attached SKM is a variant of the old bonus-pack material.
diamond_plate.skm (119.5 KB)

You can of course make your own image-file to use as a texture for your own material - perhaps from an image like you posted - with some removing to make it square and tiling [so no ‘joins’ are shown]…


I agree with @TIG, but with one caveat: when you use a texture image the shadows will correspond to lighting from one specific direction and will not change as you orbit the model or change the day and time (if using sun for shadows). If you are looking for high realism, that could be off-putting.

You can of course flip and rotate a textured material on one face so that the highlighting/shadows can be approximated to the sun direction, and then use the material’s eyedropper tool to sample and reuse that material set up elsewhere.

If you imagine the example I pasted made from geometry, even with a very simplified set of ‘bumps’ there will be thousand of edges and faces to receive and cast shadows etc, making Sketchup’s rendering / processing quite difficult…

Perhaps a trade-off of a semi-accurate image based solution is more preferable ?

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Perfect. Thank you very much for the answer and visual explanation. Got it working as required.

Also, I note the comments regarding using textures to reduce processing time and will look into that if needed.

Cheers guys.

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I agree with @TIG about using texture instead of geometry, hence my last remark in my first post. SketchUp can be quite handy when it comes to creating simple seamless but realistic textures with shadows involved. Export to 2D (jpg or png). Then apply “back” again on appropriate faces.
It’s certainly worth the effort to keep the file size down.