I'm trying to create a "3d shaded look" for drawing cables and wires with a plastic coating on them. I think this can be achieved by drawing a path and shading the edges of the path to be darker than the centre.

This is shown (for drawing pipes) nicely in an Illustrator here, although I'm having difficulty recreating this effect in Inkscape.

So far, I've been following the discussion at: http://www.inkscapeforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=10242, where it is shown that a pattern can be applied to a path. However, when I try to do this with a pattern that only varies radially (not longitudinally), it doesn't attach properly to the path (using the Extensions -> Generate from Path -> Pattern along Path option).

My example concept is attached: (http://svgshare.com/i/13K.svg). The alternating red and yellow squares are taken from the aforementioned link and attach nicely to any path. When I draw a new pattern (the red path containing a thinner yellow path), I cannot attach this to the path properly.

Could anyone help please? Either to get the method above working, or by suggestion other tutorials for nice-looking cables and wires?

Thank you.

2 Answers 2


Quickly applied pseudo-3D effects for tubes or cables are the inbuilt bevel effects of Inkscape.

After selecting an object or group of objects these can be accessed by Filters > Bevels. Below I used Deep Color Plastic effect:

enter image description here

  • Unfortunately all of the links in this thread are broken. Your method looks like it would work, but I can't replicate it by simply applying a filter to a path, and when i fill between two paths, it looks bad
    – jay
    Feb 10, 2022 at 0:26
  • @JayStanley: just tried it again with Inkscape 1.1.1 - all is still in place. The path width and color need to be adapted to your needs.
    – Takkat
    Feb 12, 2022 at 12:05

Try with a much smaller shape and it should work...


Additionally, add some extra notes to the path you're bending. This allows Inksccape to 'shape' the object more easily.

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