How to Use SketchUp’s Follow Me Tool
At its core, SketchUp’s Follow Me tool lets you create forms that are extrusions. It’s a little bit like Push/Pull, except that it doesn’t just work in one direction. You tell Follow Me to follow a path, and it extrudes a face all along that path. So, you need three things to use Follow Me:
A path: In SketchUp, you can use any edge, or series of edges, as a path. All you have to do is make sure that they’re drawn before you use Follow Me.
A face: Just like with Push/Pull, Follow Me needs a face to extrude. You can use any face in your model, but it needs to be created before you start using Follow Me.
Undo: Imagining what a 2D face will look like as a 3D shape isn’t easy. Getting a Follow Me operation right usually takes a couple tries. That’s what Undo is for, after all.
Follow these steps to use Follow Me:
Draw a face to use as an extrusion profile.
In this example, you create a pipe, so the extrusion profile is a circular face.
Draw an edge (or edges) to use as an extrusion path.
Although the edge (or edges) is touching the face in this case, it doesn’t have to for Follow Me to work.
Select the complete extrusion path you want to use.
Activate the Follow Me tool by choosing Tools→Follow Me.
Click the face you want to extrude.
Magic! Your face (extrusion profile) is extruded along the path you chose in Step 3, creating a 3D form (in this case, a section of pipe).
If you want to use Follow Me all the way around the perimeter of a face, you don’t need to spend time selecting all the individual edges. Just select the face and then use Follow Me; the tool automatically runs all the way around any selected face.
You can use Follow Me another way, too: Instead of preselecting a path (as in Step 3 of the preceding list), you can click any face with Follow Me and attempt to drag it along the edges in your model. Although this works on simple things, preselecting a path works a lot better — it’s really the only option for using Follow Me in a predictable way.