"Projecting with SketchUp Follow Me Tool”

Subhra Bera: Editor

SketchUp users have worked with various tools in 3D models and among them SketchUp Follow Me tool is one that is used to control a face collaboratively along with a path.

There are many tools within SketchUp which are useful in creating 3D models or geometry and one of them is the SketchUp Follow Me Tool. It is the Pied Piper of 3D geometry that controls a face collaboratively a path for creating a 3D shape and it is the only thing this tool does. But it has a multitude of applications and enables users to draw complex 3D models with only a few clicks. Follow Me tool is users favorite tool as it is very handy in modeling finishing details that track a perimeter or edge like crown modeling or gutters and also make easier to work with modeling boarded objects like a spindle and curved vessels etc.

This tool can be found in the places of SketchUp like: Tools menu, Edit Toolbar, Large Tool Set Toolbar and Tool Palette in macOS. Here are some examples of applying Follow Me tool in different modeling:

  • Automatically projecting a profile with Follow Me:
  • It is the easiest method of all and usually preferable way using the Follow Me tool, the method follows the steps to extrude the face automatically. At first users need to raw a profile of the face that needs to follow the path and this profile has to be nearly perpendicular to the path; then using the Select Tool the continuous set if edges have to select that depict the path. Next select the Follow Me tool and click on the created profile where the surface is projected automatically along users’ preselected path.

  • Manually projecting a profile with Follow Me:
  • Extruding or projecting a profile along a path manually is a matter of a bit more work but users can easily control the direction the extrusion goes through some steps. Users at first have to identify the path for the extrusion, they need to draw a face or profile that want to follow the path and this profile has to be perpendicular to the path. Then select the Follow Me tool, click and drag the created face along the path; while dragging the mouse pointer will touch the created path and SketchUp will automatically highlight the path in red color. If the starting edge does not start the profile, then Follow Me will start extruding at the edge; at last click to finish the Follow Me operation after reaching the end of the path.

  • Modeling a lathed shape with Follow Me:
  • Follow Me tool can also be used to replicate a lathe through the following steps: at first draw a circle using the Circle tool; next the Line, Arc and Freehand tools are used to draw a cutaway of half of the final shape. Now the cutaway will create a face which is perpendicular to the circle and the bottom of the cutaway aligns with the center point of the circle. Now use the Select tool to select the circle, next click o the Follow Me tool on the face of the cutaway; this particular step needs some time to complete.

Projecting with SketchUp Follow Me Tool