Shop vs. mm spheres, I give up

I have used Sketchup for around 10 years now. I have been a shop subscriber for 2 years. Making Spheres has always been a pain. The follow me tool is unreliable. I can use it on a basic right angle corner with a 1.5 mm radius curve but if that corner is a 1.5 mm curve it wrecks the geometry. Maybe it’s an issue with Shop. I just wanted to round the edges of a button with a 1.5 mm radius curve along 3 converging edges. Rounded along X,Y, & Z basically. The last straw for me was trying to create a concave quarter sphere solid and use the Subtract Solid Tool to round the corners. Like ever CAD software I’ve ever heard of can do. But Shop tells me the quarter sphere object is not a solid. I expose hidden geometry and there is no reason this component isn’t a solid. I tried importing spheres from the 3D warehouse and there were ALL also not solids as well. The follow Me tool can’t make a sphere at the mm scale and drawing one larger then scaling it down still leads to holes in the model and unconnected edges. The circle in a circle with the follow me tool method for making spheres creates an indescribable shape with jagged points and a hole at the top with anything less than a 15 mm radius.

Sketchup just doesn’t support round surfaces well enough. A decade of use and there is still no official sphere tool. The Shop license doesn’t have plugin support. So, I can not use a third party’s work to solve my Sketchup problems that should have been solved by Sketchup long ago. Sketchup is just terrible at mm scale. I’m constantly having to reduce segment for angles when drawing them.

I give up.

Spheres are an especially difficult case for the kind of algorithm FollowMe uses. It produces a mesh similar to the latitude-longitude system on earth, in which the longitude lines all converge at the poles. Unless the latitude lines are spaced far enough apart (fewer edges in the profile curve or enlarged via scaling or the Dave method), that will always produce infinitesimally small triangles that SketchUp doesn’t tolerate.

But there are other ways to cover a sphere with a mesh that doesn’t have this problem. Think of how a soccer ball (football if you aren’t from the US) is tiled with hexagons and pentagons. Think of a geodesic dome. If there is an extension that does spheres that way, I’m not aware of it. It would be very useful and would be a valuable added native Tool in SketchUp.

I suppose it’s too late but…

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WTF. Sketchup won’t draw an arc with 12 segments at 1.5 mm but you add thousands of faces to a sphere. And were able to create one… somehow. I can you please describe what you did?

Box already gave you the answer.

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“The Dave Method” is not a helpful answer. Searching for that phrase yields mostly all links to forum posts with people being told “use the Dave method” rather than a useful explanation of what it is and how to do it. Posting your image with no real instructions just shows it could be done. That just salts in the wound. If I have to create a geodesic dome like shape manually then that’s how I’ll finish this project. Next time I’ll use different modeling software.

I did those as an example to show what the link Box provided can result in. I modeled that tiny sphere use two circles and Follow Me. I was only illustrating but I regret that now. My apologies for getting involved…

If you are lazy to check the link what is included in the Box’s post… you deserve it.

The “Dave method” is quite simple: Before starting an operation that is likely to create small edges, make a component from the part(s) of you model involved. Make a copy instance of that component off to the side and then scale it up (zoom extents so you can see it all). Do your work on the enlarged instance and when finished, just delete it and zoom back to the small original. It will preserve the changes you made to its larger sibling.

It wasn’t clear that there was a link in Box’s post. It looked like quoted text from a user named “The Dave Method” at first glance to me. So I searched for it myself. Thank you… you deserve it.

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Thanks. You and Box are very helpful. I’ve done the scale up, edit, then scale down song and dance enough times before. I’m surprised it was labelled “The Dave Method” at some point in the past.

Many times in my young life (unfortunately sometimes even now), I’ve thought about doing something my own way. After all, I’m sure how… Failed. I tried again. Harder. I didn’t get it either. I got angry. Hell, let’s leave it all. It sucks. All.

But there is another way. Drink a beer or take a walk in the woods. Smile and listen to others.

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Actually the “Dave method” doesn’t require scaling back down, since It uses components.


Besides the tiny face problem which the Dave Method deals with, follow me doesn’t do well turning corners if the profile comes to a point. Besides a quarter sphere, I saw this with a simple bevel turning a corner that I wanted to form a quarter of a cone. The first and last segment of arc don’t work the way you’d like just because of the way follow me does things.