How to draw a pipe in SketchUp?

sketchup draw pipe

Either you would like to:

  1. draw pipe
  2. create tube
  3. generate lines 2 tubes
  4. transform lines to pipes
  5. pipe along path
  6. draw pipe from lines
  7. make tube profile
  8. construct pipes from edges
  9. do piping

...simply you need to draw a pipe. There is a few ways to do that basic operation like is drawing a pipe in 3D SketchUp space. In first step we need to choose tools we are going to use for that.

You can draw a pipe using:

  1. Native SketchUp tools
  2. Basic plugins - only drawing
  3. Advanced plugins - drawing, editing, reporting

What pipe dimensions and parameters are important when you create pipe's 3D model?

You need to be aware of:

  1. Outer diameter - eg. used for construction designs
  2. Inner diameter - eg. used for pipelines
  3. Wall thickness
  4. Length
  5. Circle segmentation

Depends on designation pipes are measured in a different way. In some cases it is outer diameter (O.D) and wall thickness and in other it is inner diameter (I.D), representing internal section and wall thickness. Those pipes dimensions describe material and the length parameter is strictly connected with designed element. So in your 3d SketchUp model you can have only one type of pipe bar dimension but every of them can have different lengths. More about circle segmentation setting you can find here: SketchUp arc curve circle explained. In few words this parameter make your model less or more precise but in same time it takes less or more of your computer power. If you need only general view of your design or your model has many of pipes and other complicated objects use small value eg. 12 segments for whole circle. On the other hand if you going to make some precise object connections, solid objects operations or just want to make it looks smooth and great… use 90 segments.

It can be important to know if there is a possibility that you will need to change pipe diameter in the future. Sometimes during the design process for example you need to make a decision to change wall thickness of all pipe in the project. This situation will add a lot of time to your work if you use only native tools for that. Same scenario is connected with pipe segmentation. If your projects gets bigger and bigger it will be also slower during working on that file in SketchUp. Easy solution would be to change arc segmentation value for all drawed pipes. This is possible only when you decide to use SketchUp pipe extension that can edit circle segmentation parameter.

How to draw a pipe using native SketchUp tools?

To draw pipe object in 3D follow the steps:

  1. Activate Circle Tool
  2. After you activete Circle Tool you can set Sides of the circle (segmentation)
  3. Use mouse or keybord to set Radius of the pipe (half of the outer diameter)
  4. To draw inner circle you can use Offset Tool
  5. Delete face created in the middle
  6. Use PushPull Tool to set length of the pipe
  7. Last step is to create group from created geometry
sketchup circle tool
sketchup circle sides
sketchup circle offset
sketchup erase face
sketchup puschpull
sketchup pipe group

Draw in SketchUp a pipe with native tools.

Pros:

  1. No additional programs
  2. Easy to do
  3. No cost

Cons:

  1. Long and slow process
  2. Hard to position pipe object in 3d space
  3. Can't edit pipes dimmensions
  4. Can't edit circle segments

How to draw a pipe with SketchUp extension?

To be more eficient you can use SketchUp extension Pipes from edges. It creates pipes based on selected edges. Once you draw shape that represents pipes middle lines in 3d space you can generate all needed pipes in one buton click.

sketchup extension pipe from edges

You can easily set pipe diameter and choose if you measure OD or ID. In the settings of the extension you can set segmentation parameter.

Two additional useful functions are:

  1. Length changing tool
  2. Reporting
sketchup extension pipe from edges report

Draw a pipe with advanced SketchUp pipe extension

All of the above and many additional functions you can find in this advanced SketchUp pipe extension.

Among many other valuable features are:

  1. Pipe dimensions edition
  2. Pipe segmentation edition
  3. Aligning tool
  4. Extrude and pipe profile cut
  5. Miter joint
sketchup extension pipe tubes profiles