The Curve Maker, Taper Maker and Stock Maker plugins created by Terry Ross on DrawMetal.com are great plugins for those in metal working or sculpting. This plugin comes with 3 plugins as mentioned and is compatible with SketchUp 8.
The first is The Curve Maker, this plugin is going to be your main tool in creating your designs. The plugin offers you a variety of standard curves. Including the Archimedes spiral, Bernoulli (logarithmic or equiangular) spiral, Catenary, Cornu spline, Cotes spiral, Euler (clothoide or Cornu) spiral, Fermat spiral, Golden spiral, Helix, Hyperbolic cotangent spiral, Hyperbolic spiral, Hyperbolic tangent spiral, Lituus (volute, shepherd’s crook or bishop’s crook), Parabola, and Sine wave and Cosine wave functions. Once selecting a spiral the plugin allows you to input the measurements such as radius, length, height etc. At this point though your not done.
Once the spiral is created you will need to give it a shape. The Taper Maker thus comes in handy here. You can choose from a variety of standard shapes such as circular, square, diamond, octagon, etc. And these can be tapered or kept the same at both ends. If you have a more complicated shape then the Follow-Me Tool would come in handy. But unfortunately using the Follow-Me Tool will not taper, thus an additional taper plugin may be necessary.
Also as part of the DrawMetal package, The Stock Maker is available. This tool allows you to have an accurate estimate as to the stock of metal to be used. These raw material requirements are important for metal working. Using this tool has a few steps and I suggest referring to the DrawMetal website. But essentially it will give you a print out of what is needed for your project.
Overall, The Curve Maker, Taper Maker and Stock Maker plugins created by Terry Ross on DrawMetal.com is a great plugin for those in the metal working industry. At the time of this review this plugin is FREE and is available at DrawMetal.com. I give this plugin 4 out 5 stars.
Download Notes: Note that ther are 2 versions, one for MAC and other for PC. The file contains all 3 plugins.