Wrap a 3D wire around a 3d rectangle structure


I am trying to draw a 3D of an electronic component - an inductor as shown here:Capture

How do I go about wrapping a wire around the structure as shown in the graphic?

inductor_1.skp (87.4 KB)


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Create a path and use the follow me tool, you only need to create one pass and then simply duplicate it. SketchUp Training Series: Follow Me tool - YouTube


Keep in mind your geometry to be used with the follow me tool needs to be perpendicular to the beginning and in segments of your arc path

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Also the true scale may be too small for SketchUp to handle so convert mm to cm/m if you do run into any issues.


You could also use the plug-in lines to tubes to make the wire all at once after having selected and welded the segments

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Download “Curve Maker” from the Extension Warehouse. It puts a helix command under draw > curve maker > helix. First click - drag - click to make a helix of any size, then fill in the parameters in the measurements box. It’ll change the helix you just made every time you change a parameter and press enter. It’ll ask how many turns it makes, how many edges per turn, height per turn (divide your desired helix height by the number of turns the helix makes, then put in the number), and whether it’s clockwise or not. After that, align a circle (preferably 5-12 sided) to the end of the wire, then use follow me.

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I thought it was ‘spiral’


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Since the core of the inductor is not round, you’ll be looking for something more like this, correct?

I don’t think I finished the ends exactly right but your diagram shows up rather small so it’s hard to tell.


Hello, this is exactly what I wanted. How can I accomplish this? Thanks.

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I created a helical path with the desired pitch, placed a circle perpendicular to one end and ran Follow Me to create the wire. I made the path manually because I don’t know of any extensions that would make the proper helix. I haven’t had time but I think one extension could be made to make it work. I need to play with it a bit. (Edit: Nope. It doesn’t work for that. Manually seems to be the best at this point.)

A key thing to remember is that due to the small size of the object you are trying to draw, you’ll want to work at a larger scale. I used The Dave Method, of course, because I almost always do for modeling small objects.

I used Perpendicular Face Tools from the EW to put the circle on the end of the path correctly.


Hello Dave, can you share your procedure to draw the helical path. I am having difficulty. Is there a Tools from EW to draw the helical path? Thank you!

I will do something up after I finish a different tutorial I’m in the middle of editing.


All native tools except for weld. I should have figured out the size of the “wire” earlier in the model though. It took a bit of scaling the way I did it. I’m sure DaveRs method is faster. Took me about 45 minutes to figure it out.
Below is the method I used to build the path. Dave showed me this years ago.

and here is the corner radius with just the arc tool

after the first wrap select all the edges. Move them up as many steps as desired. rotate as needed.
I only hid the scaled up box. Don’t delete it. you’ll need it at some point.


I used a slightly different method when I drew it so I could avoid any math and still get the pitch I was after.

Thinking about the center line of the wire, I drew a square for the width of the turns and extruded it to the height of the coil. I divided the edges into 8 segments and the top segment into 4. I did it that way so you can see the thought process but I would normally only divide one edge and then copy the four short segments around to the other corners. I made this box a component so the next edges I draw don’t connect to the box. You could make it a group but I used a component so I could delete it from the model space when I want to get rid of it and retrieve it later if I need it. If you delete a group, it’s gone.

Next, I drew the first turn of the helix by connecting the dots.

Using Move/Copy, I copied the near side of the first turn down to make another 1/4-turn.

I divided the first and last edges in my helix into two segments and erased the unneeded bits. Then I set out guide points off the corners to mark the radii for the arcs at the corners which I thin drew in using the 2-Point Arc tool.

After erasing the unneeded edges outside the arcs, I selected all of the helix and copied it down with Move/Copy to make the rest of the turns.

I added the turned ends and then used TIG-Weld, available from Sketchucation, to weld all the edge segments together. Then I used Perpendicular Face Tools (Extension Warehouse) to put a circle on the end of the helix. It’s shown selected. I could have made that circle the correct size and monkeyed with the right orientation but I just drew a circle the size I wanted on the circle created by the extension.

I deleted the face group put in by Perpendicular Face Tools and then selected the helical path. Since it was welded with TIG-Weld, a single click selects it all.

Then I got the Follow Me tool and clicked on the face of the circle.


cool lesson. Thanks Dave

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don’t forget the solved button :slight_smile:

I looked for an easier way. This works well but I’d have to find out how to change the shear point. Another hat tip to fredo! I also discovered flipping won’t work. I had to draw the curve in half to get the ends of the curve in the center of the side and then copy and scale -1 to flip the curve and reweld it.


Is it not a ‘spiral’:grinning:

for perpendicular faces, you can also use the ‘Pie’ tool:

when placing the centre of the pie, hold left-button and drag on the line.


Yeah. Whatever floats your boat.


Nice job! @DaveR and @mics_54 , are you basket maker or weave creator? Me too weave creator. I am searching for weaving functions from SketchUp. I really want make realistic basket making / weave creating in my blog website and customers will be impressiving.

It looks like peddig pipelines are wrapping at wood pole.