How Do You Make a Geodesic Dome in Sketchup?

Geodesic domes are fascinating structures that can be built using the Sketchup software. These domes have a unique design that maximizes strength and efficiency while minimizing materials and construction time. In this tutorial, we will explore how to create a geodesic dome in Sketchup, step by step.

Step 1: Getting Started

Before we begin, make sure you have Sketchup installed on your computer. If not, head over to the official Sketchup website and download the software.

Step 2: Creating the Base

To start building our geodesic dome, we need to create a base shape. Open Sketchup and select the ‘Rectangle’ tool from the toolbar. Click once anywhere in the workspace to set the starting point, then drag your cursor to create a rectangle of any size.

Note: The size of your base rectangle will determine the overall size of your dome.

Step 3: Drawing the Dome

To draw the dome, we will use an extension called ‘Soap Skin & Bubble’ for Sketchup. Go to the ‘Extensions’ menu, select ‘Soap Skin & Bubble’, and click on ‘Start’. This extension allows us to create complex shapes by inflating surfaces.

Note: Make sure you have Soap Skin & Bubble installed before proceeding with this step.

Step 3.1: Setting up Soap Skin & Bubble

A new toolbar should appear after starting Soap Skin & Bubble. Click on the ‘Edges’ button in this toolbar to select all edges of your base rectangle. Then click on ‘Apply’ to generate a surface based on these edges.2: Creating Dome Sections

Now that we have the base surface, we need to create the sections of our dome. Click on the ‘Curved’ button in the Soap Skin & Bubble toolbar to activate the curved surface mode. Then click on any edge of your base surface to start drawing curves.

Note: The number and size of these curves will determine the complexity and shape of your dome.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Once you have created all the dome sections, you can add final touches to your geodesic dome. Use Sketchup’s native tools like ‘Push/Pull’ to give depth to your dome or ‘Paint Bucket’ to apply textures and colors.

Note: Feel free to experiment with different materials and styles to customize your geodesic dome.

Step 5: Saving and Exporting

After completing your geodesic dome, it’s essential to save your Sketchup file. Go to the ‘File’ menu, select ‘Save As’, and choose a location on your computer. You can also export your model as an image or 3D file format using Sketchup’s export options.


Congratulations! You have successfully created a geodesic dome in Sketchup.

Geodesic domes offer a unique combination of strength, efficiency, and aesthetic appeal. With Sketchup’s powerful tools and extensions like Soap Skin & Bubble, you can create stunning architectural structures like these domes with ease.

Remember: Practice makes perfect! Don’t hesitate to experiment with different sizes, shapes, and materials to design your perfect geodesic dome.