Parabolic curve creation

I’m trying to model entities that will be very difficult without gathering experience from SU users that have created parabolic curves. These curves might be categorized as “splines”. I’d like input from you creators of splines, if the Fredo6: Bezier Spline v2.2a Sketchup Plugins of Fredo6 is the way to go. My task is greater than creating 2D geometry. The final splines will need 3D volume, because the actual end product will need to have a triangular cross section. Will other SU Plugins be necessary ? - Stephen Skinner

My computer is a Cybertron CLX laptop ANUBIS model w/ NVIDA Geoforce GTX graphics card. This a custom built Gaming Computer.

See this SU file for ideas about creating paraboloids.

Paraboloids.skp (329.8 KB)

Any proper method of importing the curve will do.

I cannot figure what you want by your words “the actual end product will need to have a triangular cross section”.

Can you post an image of what you want?

What are you trying to model exactly, do you have images or something to have an idea? There are usually more than one ways to model something on sketchup. For organic shapes I prefer to model creating low poly versions of the object using quads, then use subdivision surface to make it more organic.

No plugins needed.
You can use a cone and intersect that with a face at a specific angle, parallel to a side edge of that cone. See attatched image, the most right intersection.

  • intersection parallel to ground plane, base of the cone creates a circle (left object)
  • intersection at a small angle, less than a side edge, creates an ellips (object in the middle)
  • intersection parallel to a side edge (purple) and through the cone creates a parabolic curve
  • (intersection at an angle greater than the side edge results in a hyperbolic curve, not shown here)

Model created in SketchUp Web Free without plugins

Once you have your desired parabolic curve you can use @jean_lemire_1’s method with ‘Follow Me’ to create a 3D volume, (see previous post).


Jean creating a cone or geometric 3D form and then creating a cross section is kin to a cartoon. Back to my

original post about “plug ins” or whatever you guys call them is the REAL question. I’m attaching a hand sketch

of the proposed model. This a far from the details needed in a 3D (X,Y and Z coord. system)


I hope I got your name correct. My original post was about “plug-ins” to make

parabolic curve creation more feasible. What I’m exactly modeling shouldn’t of

been the main topic of concern. I’m attaching a hand sketch of the project. The

need for a X,Y and Z coord. 3D model to enough accuracy to be about .13+ or

minus is OK. This sketch is only conceptual in regard to the final details to create

Tooling to build the thing. - Stephen Skinner 310-256-0771

You can model parabolic curves with extensions like Bezier Spline and FredoSpline or with Curve Maker. First two from Sketchucation. Last one from the Extension Warehouse.

It actually is important to know, as I said above, there are multiple ways of modeling anything on SketchUp, for example I would model the two arcs with the method of low poly quad modeling, the center can be modeled with native SketchUp tools.

I believe a parabola is scalable, so once you have the correct form, you can use the scale tool to attain the dimensions you want. @Wo3Dan beat me to it, but that’s the method I’ve used before, and then scaled the results to fit.

Yes. The cone properties and intersecting face position determine the parabola.

Click in sequence on the scenes tabs of this SU file for ideas.

Building using parabolic curves.skp (797.5 KB)

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I new I had seen this structure before.

This is the Los Angeles airport tower.

See this:

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Off topic, but that’s the LAX Theme Building with the parabolic arches - the tall structure (in your attached image) behind it is the “new” air traffic control tower (old one is still there to the east).

My present hand sketch is a miniature version of that LAX icon.

I need to 3D model the 20ft.dia. X 10ft 4" tall for my proposed

historical kiosk at the Hollywood Park Entertainment District

in Inglewood. The model will provide information on the cost

for construction and Tooling to build it, so the City Council has

an idea of the build cost. It is complex build up of steel rebar

and wire fabric, before it is shot with concrete(blastcrete process).

I hope SU and its appropriate “plug-ins” that the softwares and

some hints from expert SU users will bring results needed. I’m

a long past original rusty SU user of 15-18 years ago, when it

was just crossing over from a MAC base to PC usage.

I’m also a experienced retired and broken down Aerospace

CAD designer of many programs and companies.

  • Stephen Skinner

You can do a search on Google with LAX theme building blueprints to get precise images, some with dimensions.

Then you cam model the building using these real world dimensions.

When done, simply scale down you model to the required size.

If its for cost estimation or basic visualization and a simple model would do, you could look on the 3D warehouse. Of course its much better to model yourself, you’ll learn a lot along the way and end up with the exact product you need, and there is plenty of help here if you get stuck. As long as the effort fits the end result.

huh, having trouble with forum links today, standby…

LAXmap.skp (1.6 MB)

Jean I have searched for more than rendering and photos. I don’t like Goggle for anything if at all possible.

My search engine has always been “Dogpile” for over 20 years. In doing another search with key words of

BLUEPRINTS in various combinations, hasn’t´t come up with anything of value. I have modeled with SU

the arches as non parabolic curves. It doesn’t look correct, neither aesthetically and the strength will be

sacrificed until I can get the SU Fredo6: Bezier Spline v2.2a “plugin”. My user/password seems to be an issue

not allowing me to download the software. I’ve reaches out to the SU Support people. I’m assuming this

SIGN-IN is with the “Community Forum” Group,not my Trimble PASSWORD. My USER NAME is the same for

both. When I try both separate PASSWORDS it doesn’t recognize either, so I request a NEW PASSWORD and wait

for the e-mailed PIN number. I receive nothing after numerous requests. As a long past user of SU, some of

it is coming back. It is a quirky program that I haven’t used in about 12 years. I have over 20 years as a

CAD molder in the Aerospace field on many different solid modeling programs that are a bit 310-256-0771 different than

SU’s wire frame surface fill methods. I’m long past retired and disabled trying to complete and build one

last project that will have great impact for the upcoming 2028 Olympics held at the SoFi area site.

Thanks- Stephen Skinner