Perforating curved surface


Hi all,
Usually figure things out by myself, maybe not most elegantly, but good enough. I have something I’d like to do, and don’t know how to go about it, and would appreciate suggestions as to appropriate plugins to try. Want to create a guardrail for a mid-century modern type of house for around the edge of a patio in locations where the height above grade requires a guardrail. The guardrail follows a rock wall that is curving, and I thought of an approach that would take 10ga. +/- Corten steel sheet, laser cut an appropriate pattern in it, and roll the sheets to the curves. So the SketchUp problem is, how to cut a pattern in a singly-curved surface? I could easily cut the pattern in a flat face, either as a single face since it’s thin anyway, or I could push-pull it to an 1/8" or so, and then curve that product. Or is there an entirely different way to go about this?


I would look at extensions such as Shape Bender and Flowify. I think at least one of those would do the job.


Eternal thanks, Dave! Finally met with success, though the biggest problem wasn’t the Shape Bender. I started with an online image of a pattern that would work, placed it in Illustrator, used autotrace, and exported it as a .dwg. From there I had endless problems in SU, both because there were too many edges, and also I think some element got corrupted and kept crashing SU. Tried tracing it with the arc tool in SU, but that was never going to come out looking good. So I took the dwg into Vectorworks and it was beautiful. Cleaned it up an exported it from VW as a dwg, but regardless of what I tried, it was horrible in SU! In a dwg viewer, it looked as good as it had in VW. So I took the VW dwg into Illustrator again, though I had to experiment with what version to save it as so Illustrator would open it. Then I exported the dwg from AI into SU, and with a little cleanup, it was beautiful. Is your head spinning?


You could also consider building this with the Profile builder extension.

You would create vertical and oblong components and a top and bottom profile, then you just draw a path for PB to build the assembly along.

You can add more depth to components if necessary and everything would be parametric too.


Thanks for the suggestion. I do have that extension, but just not enough time to play with things in SU!


Profile builder would be useful if the railing was a design feature and you needed to make a few design changes, etc.
You do have to like math though, as you have to input all the dimensions of where your components exist in relation to others.