How Do I Create a Parametric Pattern in SketchUp?

In this tutorial, we will explore how to create a parametric pattern in SketchUp. Parametric patterns are dynamic components that can be easily modified and adjusted without the need to redraw or recreate the entire pattern. They offer flexibility and efficiency in design workflows, making them an essential tool for many SketchUp users.

Understanding Parametric Patterns

Before we dive into creating a parametric pattern, let’s take a moment to understand what it actually is. A parametric pattern is a design element that can be controlled by parameters or variables. These parameters can include dimensions, angles, spacing, and other attributes that define the pattern’s behavior.

By defining these parameters, you can create a pattern that can be easily modified and adapted to different scenarios. For example, you could create a parametric pattern for a brick wall where you can adjust the brick size or spacing without having to redraw the entire wall.

Creating a Basic Parametric Pattern

To create a basic parametric pattern in SketchUp, follow these steps:

  1. Create the base geometry: Start by creating the base geometry of your pattern. This could be a simple shape or a more complex design depending on your requirements.
  2. Add components: Convert your base geometry into components by selecting it and right-clicking > Make Component. Components allow for easy replication and modification of the pattern.
  3. Define attributes: Open the Component Options dialog box by double-clicking on one of your components. Here, you can define the attributes or parameters that control your pattern.

    For example, if you’re creating a grid of rectangles, you could define attributes for width, height, spacing, etc.

  4. Create instances: Once you’ve defined the attributes, click on the Create Component Instances button in the Component Options dialog box. This will create multiple instances of your component based on the defined attributes.
  5. Modify attributes: To modify the pattern, simply select one of the component instances and adjust its attributes in the Entity Info or Component Options dialog box. All other instances will automatically update to reflect the changes.

Advanced Parametric Patterns

In addition to basic parametric patterns, SketchUp also offers more advanced tools and plugins for creating intricate patterns. Here are a few examples:

Polygon Tools

The Polygon Tools plugin allows you to create parametric polygons with adjustable parameters such as number of sides, radius, and rotation angle. This is especially useful for creating patterns with symmetrical shapes like stars or flowers.


FredoScale is a powerful plugin that enables you to deform and manipulate objects in various ways, including creating parametric patterns. With FredoScale, you can easily scale, stretch, twist, and bend your components to create unique and dynamic patterns.

Dynamic Components

SketchUp’s built-in Dynamic Components feature takes parametric patterns to a whole new level. By utilizing formulas and logic functions, you can create complex patterns that respond intelligently to user input. For example, you could create a dynamic door component that automatically adjusts its width based on user-defined dimensions.


Parametric patterns are an essential tool for efficient design workflows in SketchUp. By using components and defining attributes, you can easily create dynamic patterns that can be modified and adjusted without having to redraw or recreate the entire design.

Additionally, plugins like Polygon Tools and FredoScale offer advanced options for creating intricate and unique patterns. Explore these tools and unleash your creativity in SketchUp!