Maximizing segments in arc or circle



Does anyone know of a way to automatically maximize the number of segments possible in an arc or circle? And if not that would be very useful to add to future updates.

Whenever I import .stl’s or .dwg’s Sketchup always imports the circles and arcs at way fewer segments than I know SU would allow. I hope it would clear up that problem



From what I remember reading on this forum, SU will accept around 1000 segments in a circle or arc. Almost certainly you wouldn’t want that many as a default.


It depends on the size of the circle I assume but I typically receive the “too many segments in a given arc” at around ~100 sides.


It does depend on the size of the circle or arc, and on SU’s minimum distance at which it considers two points are meant to be coincident (about 1/1000 of an inch). It won’t draw circle/arc segments it considers ‘too small’, which is probably a good deal longer than 1/1000 of an inch.

But in a circle with 1000ft radius, I can set the number of segments to 999 (the maximum that the Entity Info dialogue will accept).

By further experiment: at 10inch radius, the maximum is 444 segments, and the length of a segment is 0.142 inches.

You could experiment yourself to see what the relationship is between radius and maximum segments, and see if you find a pattern. It can’t be as simple as a fixed minimum segment length, otherwise you couldn’t draw small circles.


I find that 50 sides gives good representation without adding too much geometry.
I do understand the problem/question at hand, it is frustrating.
When starting an arc you can obviously change the no. of sides to say 50 and create an arc, then draw another arc and Sketchup will remember the last no of sides and use that again which is great.
I tried this earlier by making a new file and drew an arc with 50 sides. Then imported a dwg hoping that sketchup would remember, it didn’t work like that and all arcs were imported with 12 sides.
I would have to change all properties of arcs individually to meet my needs.
I don’t know if there is a workaround but would think it would be able to be added to the import options in future versions?
I tried on 2015 btw


It’s the GUI circle and arc tools that remember the number of segments you used last. To the underlying engine it’s just a parameter passed each time a circle or arc is added. I have no idea whether the tools save it anywhere the importers could access (pretty sure the Ruby API can’t). So it seems like this would be a reasonable option setting in the importers.

By the way, it would be better to use member of sides divisible by 12 instead of 50. That puts vertices at nice positions.


Do you mean 12 or 24?


Darn phone!


Yeah thanks for that, will take note in the future