Using Twisted Square Rod for Conductor

I realize this is not a new topic, but I haven’t seen a recent solution in my searches (FollowAndRotate plugin isn’t supported anymore apparently). I’m adding an antique lightning rod system to an old house model & the “wiring” is twisted square rod (see attached photo). I have no trouble generating straight runs, but the twisted rods have to be bent around the roofs, eves & to the ground. I’ve tried multiple ways of solving it like Shape Bender & Component Stringer with Curviloft, but the best seems to be Fredo’s Radial Bending. It takes a lot a work to string a long length of twisted rod around a house, but it’s possible. Any better suggestions? A Follow-Me kind of tool that would make this easy?

I’m not looking for anybody to do any work, just approach suggestions.

I’ve attached my lighting rod system file for reference.

Thanks.

Pic06
LightingRodSystem.skp (4.6 MB)

I would consider using Profile Builder 3 to do that.

ETA: I just thought of another one you might make work. That’s Helix Along Curve.

I recently watch this TutorialsUp video on using Flowify to wrap a staircase. Elements of this workflow could help you achieve your goal.

Here’s my try at the wrap :slight_smile:

CD

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Thanks. I don’t have Profile Builder 3, but did look at it & wondered if it could do what I wanted. I couldn’t see from the YouTube videos I saw. I’ll get it and check it out.

I did try Helix Along Curve but couldn’t get it to twist the square shape (4-sided “pipe”) when I used zero radius for the helix.

Thanks.

Chris, this looks good. I need to look closer into this. Flowify is complicated enough that I’ll have to spend some time seeing what you did (I looked at your link and another one). Can you send me your .skp file? Thanks.

@Model4Fun

I deleted the original example with the rope so I went ahead and created another example using a twisted iron rod. I created it with a high fidelity rod so the resulting model is 15MB. You can download it from here.

Chris, Thanks. I downloaded the model & opened it. It looks like it does what I want. I’ll have to figure out how Flowify works & then apply it to my geometry. If I get hung up, I’ll get back.

Thanks.

Flowify can look intimidating but once you understand how it works, I am sure you will do fine.
The video tutorial I referenced earlier shows some of the more complex ways to use it. I advize you watch it and try to duplicate the staircase. For me, it was a great exercise, I learned a lot, and I became more confident in using the tool.

There are other videos that can help as well…especially the ones from the creators of Flowify.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0in4tZz_8Z_CETg8g_01tw/videos

Here are some that cover more of the basics, while other that cover more advanced use cases. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sketchup+flowify&page=&utm_source=opensearch

Cheers
CD

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Chris, thanks for the links & help.