How to Draw Your SketchUp Model’s Profile in Place

By Aidan Chopra

Consider that you have a model of a house in SketchUp. You want to use Follow Me to add a gutter that goes all the way around the perimeter of the roof. You decide to draw the profile in place (right on the roof itself) because the edges of the roof are drawn parallel to the colored drawing axes.

This means that you’ll have an easier time using the Line tool to draw in midair.

The trick to drawing an extrusion profile that isn’t on the ground is to start by drawing a rectangular face. You then draw the profile on the face and erase the rest of the rectangle. The figure shows how you’d draw the profile of a gutter directly on the corner of a roof.

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The steps that follow explain the same things in words:

  1. Zoom in on what you’re doing.

    Work without filling your modeling windows with the subject at hand is like trying to do a crossword puzzle while looking the wrong way through a pair of binoculars. Get close — SketchUp models don’t bite!

  2. Using the Line tool, draw a rectangle whose face is perpendicular to the edge you want to use for Follow Me.

    Pay careful attention to SketchUp’s inference engine; watch the colors to make sure that you’re drawing in the right direction.

  3. Use the Line tool (and SketchUp’s other drawing tools) to draw your profile directly on the rectangle you just drew.

    The important thing here is to make sure that your extrusion profile is a single face; if it’s not, Follow Me won’t work the way you want it to.

  4. Erase the rest of your rectangle, leaving only the profile.