How to Create Extruded Shapes in SketchUp

By Aidan Chopra

A lot of the time, you want to use Follow Me in SketchUp to create geometry (edges and faces) that’s attached to another part of your model. An example of this may be modeling a gutter that runs all the way around the roof of your house. In this case, you already have the path along which you want to extrude a profile (the edge of the roof).

When you use Follow Me to extrude a face along a path that consists of edges that already exist as part of your model, always do two things:

  • Before using Follow Me, make the rest of your model a separate group. Follow Me can sometimes mess up your model, so keep the geometry Follow Me creates separate, just in case.

  • Make a copy of your extrusion path outside your group. There’s a consequence to working with Follow Me on top of a group: The edge (or edges) you want to use as an extrusion path aren’t available because you can’t use Follow Me with a path that’s in a separate group or component.

    What to do? You need to make a copy of the path outside the group and then use the copy to do the Follow Me operation. Here’s the best way to make a copy of the path:

    1. With the Select tool, double-click your group to edit it.

    2. Select the path you want to use for Follow Me and then choose Edit→Copy.

    3. Exit (stop editing) your group by clicking somewhere else in your modeling window.

    4. Choose Edit→Paste in Place.

      You have a copy of the path you want to use, and it’s outside your group.

When you use an existing edge (or series of edges) as an extrusion path, the hard part is getting your profile in the right place. You can proceed in two ways; which one you choose depends on what you need to model:

  • Draw the profile in place. Do this only if the extrusion path is parallel to one of the colored drawing axes.

  • Draw the profile on the ground and then move it into position. If your extrusion path doesn’t start out parallel to a colored drawing axis, you should probably draw your profile somewhere else and move it into place later.