"Routing" a channel around a corner

I’m not a professional SketchUp artist so my terminology may not be quite right, but I’m having trouble “routing” an angled channel around a square object. I’m trying to simulate something like this:

DS1 Plate

I’ve been able to do this on non-adjacent sides, but can’t seem to complete the adjacent sides. In my attached file, I’ve labeled the four sides A, B, C and D for discussion. Side A worked fine by drawing a square on the edge of side B and bisecting it with a line. Then I could push the triangle along side A. When I do the same on side C to “route” side B, you can see how the channel stops. The same happens on side C. I don’t know how to do side D at all. Is this a complex operation or am I missing something?

Angled routes.skp (183.7 KB)

Have you had a look at the Follow Me tool?

Is that a Swiss Arca plate? As Box says, that’s a job for the follow me tool, and if you have rounded corners on the square base that makes the path, it will do that too.

You might find it easier to draw a section as a profile for Follow Me and a path with rounded corners.

Then work on the holes and the recess after you have the overall shape.


Wonderful! I haven’t done anything with the follow-me tool yet. Hadn’t discovered a need for it. I do now. Thank you.

Yes it is. The actual model will be offset to move the center point of the arca swiss plate to inline with the lens and unblock the battery compartment on a Canon SX50. With the groove all the way around, I can release the clamp and turn the camera 90 degrees without unscrewing the plate and remounting it. Now that I know about follow me, next I’ll work on rounding the edges.

I will definitely study what you’ve drawn. I see you’ve also guessed the arca swiss plate. I plan to include an offset for my camera to move the arca mounting position 3/4" from the camera’s mounting point. I do need to learn about rounding corners and edges.

I thought that might be what you’re modeling. I just tried to draw what I saw in your photo and guessed at dimensions.

It’s usually easier to round the corners on the profile and the path as I showed in my first screen shot than it is to make the corners rounded after going 3D.

I’ve drawn portions of this model dozens of times trying different techniques and I still can’t get where I want to be. The Follow Me tool worked well for drawing the top portion of the model but I can’t complete the extension of the hole for the mounting screw. If I remove the offending surfaces, it opens up the geometry. How did you remove the center channel in your example?

How did you round-over the edges of your model?

I feel like I’m close with what I have so far. I’m just missing some details I can’t quite figure out.

FYI: The official size of an Arca-Swiss plate is 38mm wide to fit into a mating clamp. It can be any length. I’m using an exact square so I have the 38mm dimension in either orientation. Normally, the mounting point is centered or positioned along that center slot in your model. My camera would benefit from a bit more offset. The two outer slots in your model are only there for weight reduction.

Camera Offset Plate III.skp (211.5 KB)

Like this?

Check your private messages, Ray.

Out of curiosity, this would ultimately need to made of aluminum, so will you be going from SU to CNC to have it made?

That is indeed the desire, but I don’t have a plan yet. I’ve read articles and discussions that lead me to think it is possible to convert a SketchUp file to something suitable for CNC although probably not directly from one to the other. One path may be through Blender and Python: http://www.cerebralmeltdown.com/cncstuff/sketchupcnc/index.htm

With the expectation that it can be done, I’m hoping to create a complete 3-D model in something I’m at least a little familiar with then convert it or at least work from it to recreate it in some other application. Do you have any experience making this conversion or any thoughts on how to get to a working CNC file?


It might also be possible to have the object printed in aluminum (or other metals). Some 3D print service providers have metal material options such as i.materialize. I have never had anything printed by them in metal, but I’ve used i.materialize for some plastic/resin-like materials.

There are at least a few extensions that can generate files for CNC cutting of the part if you want to go that way.

With the right material you could 3D print the piece and get more than adequate strength.

I have an old lock with a rather simple key. I wanted a spare key for it so i took measurements, modelled it in SketchUp, and had it 3D printed at Shapeways in black stainless steel (not the variety where they make a mold and cast). Works OK, but the precision needed was not very great. Perhaps not suitable for things that have to slot precisely into each other.

Slic3R is a good program for making the G-Code for your 3D Printer I have Slic3r Prusa Edition ! . . Also have a 3D Printer and just bought a newer one which can print in any of 3 colors or mix them to a new color

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