Jump to content


Custom Columns

post lathe sketchup

  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 Andrew Maletz

Andrew Maletz


  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • LocationNew Albany, Ohio

Posted 29 January 2020 - 10:02 AM

I've been trying to find a good solution for creating and/or modifying decorative columns. We do a lot of Georgian Architecture and being able to create the exact proportions and details are critical. There appear to be 3 ways to create/modify these 3D objects:


1. Use SketchUp (or similar 3D authoring tool) to create the desired massing and import into Softplan (I am using v. 2020). This requires the purchase of SketchUp because the free version does not allow export.


2. Create the desired mass using a combination of solids and profiles. Once you create the solid for the column (example, 12" x 12" x 10' tall) you can then sweep a profile around the top and bottom to create a base, neck and capital. The issues with this approach is that the resulting column cannot be saved as a symbol and when you cut/paste/ move, it does NOT bring the profile sweeps along.


3. Use Lathes to create the desired profile, but the Softplan documentation on this is VERY limited and I cannot seem to save the resulting profile into the Posts> Decorative directory. There must be a step I am missing, but I cannot find any documentation to guide me. 


Id be interesting in know if anyone else has found another way to accomplish this. The pre-loaded content is pretty good, but does not have the necessary detail/ proportions/ options to use beyond a concept model.


Thank you! Andrew


#2 Martin Livingston

Martin Livingston

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 694 posts
  • LocationHalifax, Nova Scotia

Posted 29 January 2020 - 10:34 AM

You don't need to export the Sketchup drawing. Just save the .skp drawing file to your 3D symbols.

Five out of four people are not very good with fractions


#3 Keith Almond

Keith Almond

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,105 posts
  • LocationBrockville, Ontario, Canada

Posted 29 January 2020 - 11:21 AM

Yes, you can directly use the .skp file in Softplan and create a Softplan symbol with it using the symbol wizard. However, - in theory - if you are using Sketchup in a professional environment, then you should purchase it, as the FREE version is limited to personal use only.


There are 10 types of people in this world ....... Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Softplan user since version


#4 Michael Roman

Michael Roman

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 115 posts
  • LocationPeshtigo, WI

Posted 01 February 2020 - 07:40 AM

I have Sketchup Pro and use it extensively with Softplan.  They work great together.  I have used it to make all sorts of different columns and brackets that I want to extract into my live interior and exterior elevations.

I used to try to model as much as I could in Softplan but once I started using Sketchup I have not used anything else.  It takes MUCH less time to create in Sketchup than in Softplan.  If you do decide to use Sketchup and you use Live Elevations I would suggest that when you create your model in sketchup paint the various parts of your column a different color, even if you want them all the same color.  If you don't, when you bring into Softplan it will put those on the same layer and in a live elevation you will lose detail if you display silhouette in the options.  If they are slightly different colors when you import into Softplan it will put each on a different layer and they will display correctly.  Just paint it all the same color in Softplan.

#5 Kevin Rabenaldt

Kevin Rabenaldt

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 391 posts
  • LocationSan Antonio

Posted 01 February 2020 - 10:18 AM

I bought Sketchup many years ago.  Used it briefly and not since and never kept up with the upgrades.  I need a tudorial or maybe some good articles or books written on the use of Sketchup as a supplement to another program such as Softplan.  For example, I know there is a book on using Sketchup to draw and design furniture although I have never looked at a copy.  To simplify my work load, I use as much "canned" symbols either inside Softplan or in Softplan + and even from manufacturers symbols on occasion.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: post, lathe, sketchup

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users