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How to Subtract from a Model with Follow Me in Google SketchUp 8

The best way to round off edges in Google SketchUp is to use Follow Me. In addition to using Follow Me to add to your model, you can also subtract from your model.

If you draw an extrusion profile on the end face of a longish form, you can use Follow Me to remove a strip of material along whatever path you specify.

If the extrusion path you want to use for a Follow Me operation consists of the entire perimeter of a face, you can save time by just selecting the face instead of all the edges that define it.

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But what if you want to create a corner that’s rounded in both directions, as so many corners are? That one’s a little trickier to do in SketchUp. The basic technique involves using Follow Me on a corner you’ve already rounded with the Push/Pull tool. After you have a corner that’s rounded with an arc of the correct radius, you can use copies (or component instances, if you’re clever) of that corner several times, wherever you need them. It’s not elegant, but it works when you need it to.

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  1. Draw a box.

  2. With the Arc tool, draw an arc on the corner of the box.

    When you’re drawing an arc on a corner, keep an eye out for the inferences that help you draw properly:

    • After clicking to place one endpoint of your arc, as you cut across the corner, the point at which your line turns magenta is where your endpoints are equidistant (the same distance) from the corner across which you’re cutting.

    • After clicking to place your second endpoint, you see a point at which the arc you’re drawing turns magenta — this means your arc is tangent to (continuous with) both edges it’s connected to. You want this to be the case, so you should click when you see magenta.

  3. Push/pull down the new face to round off the corner.

  4. Draw another identical arc on one of the corners directly adjacent to the corner you just rounded.

  5. Select the appropriate edges.

  6. Activate the Follow Me tool.

  7. Click the arc corner face to extrude it along the path you selected in Step 4.

  8. Hide or smooth any edges that need it.

After you have a fully rounded corner, you can use a bunch of them to make anything you want; it just takes a little planning.

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