SketchUp Arc Tools: Drawing an arc

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Drawing an arc using the Arc Tool
Drawing an arc using the 2-Point Arc Tool

Arc entities consist of three parts: the starting point, the ending point and the bulge distance. The distance between the starting point and the ending point is also known as the chord length. To draw an arc:

  1. Select the Arc tool (Arc Tool). The cursor changes to a pencil with an arc.
  2. Click to place the starting point of your arc.
  3. Move the cursor to the ending point of your chord.
  4. Click to place the ending point of your arc. A straight line is created.
  5. Move your cursor perpendicular to the straight line to adjust the bulge distance. A straight line will extend perpendicular from the straight line.
  6. Note: Press the ESC key at any point during the operation to start over.
  7. Click to set the bulge distance.

Chord length can be specified after you place the ending point of your arc. Bulge distance, radius, and number of segments can be specified using the Measurements Toolbar immediately after a arc is drawn. See Creating Precise Arcs for more information on manipulating arcs using the Measurements Toolbar.

Drawing an open arc using the Arc tool

Open arc entities consist of three parts: the center, the starting point and the ending point. To draw an open arc:

  1. Select the Arc tool ( ). The cursor changes to a pencil with an open arc and a protractor is drawn to show the orientation of a drawing plane.
  2. Click to place the center of your arc. This locks the orientation of the drawing plane.
  3. Move the cursor to the starting point of your arc.
  4. Click to place the starting point of your arc. A straight dotted line is created which represents the radius of your arc.
  5. Move the cursor to the ending point of your arc.
  6. Click to place the ending point of your arc. An open arc is created.
  7. Note: Press the ESC key at any point during the operation to start over.

The arc Radius value can be specified using the Measurements Toolbar after you place the center point of your arc. Angle and number of segments can be specified using the Measurements Toolbar immediately after an arc is drawn. See Creating Precise Arcs for more information on manipulating arcs using the Measurements Toolbar.

Drawing a closed arc using the Pie tool

Closed arc entities consist of five parts: the center, the starting point and the ending point and 2 edges (from center to starting and ending points). To draw a closed arc:

  1. Select the Pie tool ( ). The cursor changes to a pencil with a closed arc and a protractor is drawn to show the orientation of a drawing plane.
  2. Click to place the center of your arc. This locks the orientation of the drawing plane.
  3. Move the cursor to the starting point of your arc.
  4. Click to place the starting point of your arc. A straight solid line is created (you just established a radius for your arc and created the first edge of the pie).
  5. Move the cursor to the ending point of your arc.
  6. Click to place the ending point of your arc. An closed arc is created with two edges.
  7. Note: Press the ESC key at any point during the operation to start over.
Drawing an open arc using the 3-Point Arc tool

3-Point Arcs are great for when you need your arc to pass through a specific point.

  1. Select the 3-Point Arc tool (Arc Tool). The cursor changes to a pencil with an arc and a red end point.
  2. Click to set start point of arc.
  3. Move cursor away from start point.
  4. Click to set second point. The arc will always go through this point.
  5. Move cursor to the end point. An angle will appear in the Measurements box, and you can type a precise value.
  6. Click to finish arc.
  7. Note: Press the ESC key at any point during the operation to start over.

Inferencing edges and edge extensions with Arc and Pie tools

When choosing the second point of your Arc or Pie, you can move your mouse cursor over an edge then press and hold the Shift key. Then, you can continue moving the second point of the arc and if the point crosses the direction of the edge again, an inference will appear between the second point and the edge. This is helpful if you need to have the end of the arc intersect the extension from an edge.