Make roller door follow track?

Hello Folks,

I’m hoping someone can show me how to make the slats of a roller door follow a track for them.

In the model I’ve attached there is a box group called “OuterBoxFrame” and it has two risers on either side called “RunnerBoards” that each contain a slotted track for guiding a slatted door group called “Door” rather imaginatively :slight_smile:

The door consists of slats with rounded edges that are intended to run in the track when I eventually build it for real.

I’m not good enough yet to work out how to get the slats to follow the track, short of manually moving each one into it. Before enduring that pain, it occurred to me that there is probably a plugin of some kind that can be used to tell them to follow a path in the track …

Can anyone tell me if this is possible?

Thanks in advance


RollerDoorWardrobe.skp (741.9 KB)

So you are trying to create a tambour door? Something like this?

There are some extensions like PathCopy and Component Stringer that can distribute components along a path however in a case like this, I find it easier to use Move/Copy and Rotate to do the job. It is easy enough to do and lets you get an idea of how the slot geometry needs to be set up. The highlight edge is copied out the grove you drew in the case side. I made an individual slat component and the guidepoint is the center of the arc. Not really needed but makes quicker work when rotating the slat components.

Are you adding any sort of pins to the ends of the slats or are the raw ends going to run in the groove?

Hi Dave

Thanks for the reply. :+1:

I don’t think pins will be needed if I round off the edges on the end of the slats and run some wax in the groove. But this will be my first attempt at a tambour door, so that’s the confidence of the foolhardy talking :wink:

After struggling with the dove tails all morning I was a bit exhausted to be honest and was hoping someone could point me at a plugin to do the job. Now I’ve eaten and rested the moving of the slats doesn’t seem as daunting so I’ll give it a go.



Good luck.

Although the dovetails shouldn’t be all that much trouble to do with the native tools, I would use an extension for them to save doing the math.

I was looking at your dovetails more closely and see that you have modeled them so the pins are wider than the tails. Is that intentional? Traditionally the tails are wider than the pins. I drew a set of dovetails with the narrower pins.

With the use of components and two extensions, Wudworx Dovetails and Eneroth Solid Tools’ Trim, dovetails go like this. Unfortunately it’s not so quick in the shop. :wink:

Note that the slats which all run straight vertically down the front can be easily placed using the Move tool in its “array” mode. Using @DaveR’s drawing, the first six slats would be placed manually one-by-one. The sixth one is apparently the first slat to be straight vertical.

With that sixth slat placed, use the Move tool to create a copy of it (which will be the seventh overall slat); position that seventh slat straight below the sixth, at the desired distance from the sixth (you can type in a distance to make it exact). Now with the Move tool still active and without having done any other moves, you can type “x10” or “x50” to cause SketchUp to replicate 10 or 50 etc. slats, instead of just the one single slat (the seventh) that you had manually positioned.

You can experiment to get the desired number of additional vertical slats. If 50 is to0 many, type “x45” to see if that fits better. If 45 is too few, type “x48” to change the number of them again. You can continue to revise the number of objects in the “array” until you leave the Move tool or you manually position something else.

By the way, there is an alternative form of the Move-copy-array tool which can be helpful in other circumstances. You can type “/” instead of “x”, for example “/10” or “/50”, to cause SketchUp to distribute lots of objects BETWEEN the starting point of the object you copied and the position of the copy. For example, if you wanted 25 slats evenly distributed down the front of the object, you could use Move to copy the sixth slat all the way down to the bottom end of the object. Then type “/25” to cause SketchUp to fill in a total of 25 slats (instead of just the one you manually placed at the bottom). You can revise the count after the fact: type “/24” or “/35” etc. to tweak it.

1 Like

Thanks Dave,

Sorry, I’ve only just noticed your post about the plugins. They look great.

Many thanks