curved surfaces with sketchup

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Forum topic by Mark posted 03-02-2014 08:33 PM 1181 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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911 posts in 1971 days

03-02-2014 08:33 PM

Afternoon all. I’m having a bit of a time tying to draw a curved back for a chair I’m drawing. It’s actually the Kevin Rodel chair. The plan is to draw the chair and add arms to it, to see what it will look like before I build it. As most of the surfaces are straight, it hasn’t been a problem to draw, but I cannot figure out the curved back spat(upper and lower). Any thoughts and or suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you.

-- Mark

2 replies so far

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10381 posts in 3644 days

#1 posted 03-02-2014 08:44 PM

I approach this reductively in Sketchup. One can
draw the parallel curves in free space and push/pull them
into a part, but try the following approach too:

Put oversized blocks in where the curved parts are, as if
they are blocks you’re going to band saw the curves
from. Then you use the curve tool to draw a curve
on top of the block and use the push/pull tool to erase
the part of the block you don’t want. Then do the same
the back of the curved part.

Extra leftover “artifact” lines you clean up with the eraser
tool. They can interfere later so I like to get rid of
them as I go.

Sometimes you may have to back off on work you’ve
already done in order to draw things in a different
sequence. To a real expert probably this isn’t a problem,
but if you’re like me you’re grateful to discover one
way to solve a drawing problem in Sketchup.

It gets easier with practice. I drew a Gypsy wagon awhile
back and learned some new skills that had eluded me
in trying to draw furniture pieces.

You might try a fresh Sketchup page and experiment
with making curved components just to see how
it works.

In designing my recent chairs (side and armchair) I
didn’t use drawings to figure things out. I used
mockups, which are a hassle for sure, but considering
the aesthetic complexity of arms in relation to some
chair forms it made sense. I tried a lot of shapes
before I settled on something to go forward with.
If you don’t plan to sculpt the arms or arm joints
it could be feasible to draw them out and have
a realistic aesthetic understanding of what you’ll
be dealing with when you build the arm chair.

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911 posts in 1971 days

#2 posted 03-02-2014 11:51 PM

Thank you for your tips and advise Loren. I will give that a shot. The plan was to copy a set of arms from the Stickley Catalog. They usually provide a dimension from floor to top of arm that will come in handy. I did a google on how to draw curved chair splats and came up with an add on for Sketchup from a guy that calls him self Fredo. I gather he writes a program (add on) called Curviloft 1.3A (Beta). Do you know anything about this? Looks like quite the deal. Thanks again. Mark

-- Mark

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