Light Bulb shapes

can anyone direct me on how to create a bulb shape like a light bulb?? any help would be appreciated.
Example of the bulb i would like to make is a 500 watt
HID lamp or 250 watt Metal Halide lamp. Thanks in advance.

Draw a cross section shape of the bulb and use Follow Me to sweep it around a circular path.

For shapes that won’t work for Follow Me, you can probably extrude draw an end section extrude that with Push/Pull.

For something more involved like CFL, you would draw a helical path and then extrude the tube with Follow Me.

Thanks, that a good idea ill try that.
you wouldn’t know how to make a helical screw design that will follow the bulb shape would you?

the screw design would be helical like a cork screw.

For the “Follow Me” cross section that @DaveR suggested, here’s a reference drawing showing a lot of bulb shapes. For Follow Me use, you’ll only need half of the outlines shown.

To get the sizes correct, here’s a size reference.

Thanks everyone for your input so far. i still need to figure out how to make a helical design as well.
kinda like a cork screw, that design will need to follow the contour of the bulb design. any ideas on this one??

This isn’t exactly what you want but should give you an idea.


I do but it looks like Box beat me to it. :wink:

i do think that would work for me, i just dont know where to find that tool. Thanks for your help Box.

You can get it at Sketchucation.

Thanks Dave

You’re welcome.

I did a quickie CFL tube as an example. It starts with a helix that has the bottom end transitioning to vertical and the top turning and going toward the center. You could make the path to include the other half of the tube’s length but I think it’s easier to copy rotate the half tube to make the other part. Of course the circle is the radius of the tube.

I drew the path based on rough measurements of a CFL I have at hand and I drew it at the dimensions I took. Then, when I got to the point, above, I created a component. I then used my standard procedure of copying the component and scaling it up before proceeding to run Follow Me. This makes it easy to avoid the issues of very short line segments and missing faces yet still ending up with a correctly scaled model.

After running Follow Me, correct the face orientation as needed.

Next, exit the edit mode for the large instance of the component and delete it. Zoom Extents will take you back to the original one. Select the component and copy, rotate it about the center.

Due to the amount of geometry created by something like this, I would typically leave the half tube as a component and make a rotated copy of it leaving the halves separate. To eliminate the seam line, Open one of the components for editing and hide the face and edges at the top of the extrusion.


Box… how did you do that repeat…when you drew the 1st line off the circle, you then drew a 2nd…then it just filled all the way around the circle…how do you get it to “repeat” like that…how do you tell it to continue following the 1st 2 lines you drew around the circle ???

That’s a simple radial array, as soon as you rotate/copy the first one you let go of the mouse and type the number of copies you want and the x key and hit enter. In this case it was 23 as it is a standard 24 segment circle.

Thanks …i think ive got what you are saying…i’ll have to go and experiment.

Yay it works…thank you

Another variation of that (although not appropriate in this case) is to use the / keystroke in conjunction with the number of repeats (ie divide by).
An example of this would be to copy a fence post from one end of the fence-line to the other; then specify how many you wanted in total along the way…including that last one. Either way round will so…/12 [Enter] or 12/ [Enter].

Yeah …I knew you could do it with a solid object…I’ve used it to draw railings…I didn’t know you could do it with just a line…its gonna save me a lot of time …have been doing it the long way round …line by line…i’m all for short cuts … :slight_smile:

A bulb shape is an solid of revolution.

In SketchUp you can lathe a solid of revolution using the Follow Me tool…

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With sprinkles on top please, that’s so fun, thx