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Spiral-threaded bolt, Part 2: Assembling the spiral

The threaded part of the bolt is trickiest, so I do it first. I start with my "shoulder" or shank-to-spiral transition piece.

the shank and shank-to-spiral-transition components

Select your Move tool. Click on the shank piece, and hover your mouse over the endpoint you want to use as handle for moving it.

hover your mouse over an endpoint to use this point as a handle for moving a selected SketchUp component

Left-click and hold down the mouse button, dragging it until the shank endpoint matches up with the thread component, which will turn purple. If it looks to align nicely, release.

drag your endpoint to the matching point on the second SketchUp component

Rotate the view so you can be sure that the pieces connect properly.

two joined SketchUp components

Now, we need to extend the thread. The total threaded section in this bolt is one inch long. At 16 threads per inch, this means 15 central thread components, plus the shank transition at one end, and the end-thread component at the other.

Using the Move tool, join a central thread component to the shank-transition piece. Select an endpoint that is easy to join to its counterpart on the other component.

select endpoint in thread component

Left-click, hold and drag, and release.

drag-and-join thread component to shank transition piece

Now, you only need fourteen more. Easy.

Hold down the Control button while you re-select the piece you just added using the Move tool. With the Control button down, select your endpoint, left-click and hold.

Control-drag a selected component with the Move tool to copy it in SketchUp

Drag down the copied section, lining it up with the original, and release. co

drag the component to be copied to its destination

Yes, you could do this thirteen more times. Or, you could just type "13x" (minus the quotation marks; this will show in the Value Control box at the bottom right of the program interface) and hit Enter.

enter the number of times you wish to Copy-and-Move the selected component

Thirteen more copies are added, using the same alignment and spacing.

spiral bolt thread made from multiple copies of thread components

Finally, add the end-thread component. Select it using the Move tool ...

select end-thread component

and move it up, joining the appropriate two endpoints. Rotate and view from below, to make sure the whole assembly looks right.

join end-thread component to spiral bolt thread to complete it


Previous Part 1: Spiral-threaded bolt toolkit

Next Part 3: Resizing and scaling the thread components

- PD


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