Just give us a sphere/ellipsoid, darn it

I’m so tired of this stupid darn sphere hack. It is so fiddly, so much trouble to organize when you have other things in the view, and so easy to get it wrong. Slightly mis-shapen, got a hole in it somewhere so it is not solid.
Just. No. Someone is too clever in the UI. This sticks out like a sore thumb as a continuing source of dread, oh darn, now I need a curved surface. It should be easy and accessible, not a challenge.

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You could try my version of SU Shapes.

From SketchUcation plugin store at

Install in the usual way, and find it on the Draw menu.

It’s derived (with their permission and support) from the SketchUp team version parametric shapes, referenced second in the next post, on the Extension Warehouse.

It has several extra shapes including Sphere, Helix and Helical ramps). The shapes can be placed anywhere, not just at the origin. Once drawn, they can be edited by R click and Edit .

If you want an ellipsoid, draw a sphere and Scale it to the proportions you need.




Thanks guys! I will explore these, it looks like what I want. I’ve been using SU for a month or so for occasional stuff and did not realize it was time to explore extensions.

Really a sphere is such a basic thing to model in SketchUp, it wouldn’t hurt to learn how to make one with the native tools.

And perhaps it might be prudent to be a little less critical if you have been using SU for just a month. Work at it, and you will find a deep well of help here.

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I have. As I said, it never seems to come out right for a solid. Part of the problem is that it is really a polygon so the follow does not spin on a precise axis. And even when I fixed that it refused to be a Solid, for reasons that were never clear. And then it is simply annoying to have to do so much to create a basic entity. Why? So tedious. There is a steep learning curve to SU, I am glad of the strong community because it makes the product usable.

Anyway, the extensions are very helpful, and did what I need. I will eventually invest some time in learning how to build an extension and if I find something useful to contribute. But for now, still climbing that curve.

In that first one, Place Shapes Toolbar, it seems to create single-unit size shapes, and no dialog to adjust the parameters. What is the trick to resize them?

Use the scale tool. That’s what it does.

That sounds like a setup issue.

I’m not discounting the extension but there are plenty of modeling situations more complex than a sphere that will require proper setup to get results. If you don’t learn how to make a sphere correctly with the native tools, those more complex things will likely remain outside your capability.

Understood. I found the reason for the hole, but a sphere without a hole was still not solid and I needed to get today’s tasks done. It sure would help if they had better diagnostic messages, I write software for a living and these messages are like MSDOS quality. They have a rules engine that could explain better, we would learn faster as well as waste less time.

To be defined as a solid a group or component must contain edges that are shared by exactly two faces. No more and no less. You could use Solid Inspector to help identify why groups and components aren’t solids.