How to Extrude in SOLIDWORKS

By Caleb Overcash on

The Extrude, one of the most basic commands users learn when starting out in SOLIDWORKS. Sounds straight forward, right? It is! An extrude boss/base will add material, while an extrude cut will remove material from the solid model. While this command is quite simple to use, there are several options that live within the property manager that allow users to make intuitive selections for creating flexible designs. In this article we will discuss how to perform an extrude in SOLIDWORKS, a cut extrude, and a few useful end condition options inside the property manager.

The Extrude Boss/Base is located to the far left on the features tab of the command manager. This command requires one prerequisite to create 3D geometry, a sketch. The sketch can be created either before selecting the Extrude Boss/Base tool, or after selecting the tool. When selecting the tool first we are prompted to select the face or plane to place the desired sketch (Pictured Right). The reason being that SOLIDWORKS knows, there must be a 2D sketch to create this feature. Once our sketch is complete, we can then begin the extrusion. With the competed sketch active, simply select the Extrude Boss/Bass to launch the property manager. The property manager is where end condition type can be selected and the size, or depth, of the extrusion can be set. In this example, we have selected the Mid Plane option and set a depth of 50mm. This will add material equally to both sides of the sketch to promote part symmetry, whereas a Blind extrusion would only add the specified depth in one direction. With the desired end condition selected and the depth input we can then hit “OK” to create the extrude feature. Thus far we have created a sketch and used this sketch to create a 3D solid model.

extrude base in solidworks

message in solidworks extrude

cad image in solidworks

How did we get there? First, we selected our plane and created a sketch. Second, we selected Extrude Boss/Base from the features tab of the command manager. Lastly, we set out desired end condition and specified its depth. The result is the U-bracket pictured to the right.

Now that we have an extruded part, lets add an Extruded Cut feature. To accomplish this, we must first create a sketch of the desired cut out, just as if we were going to perform an extrude boss/base. In the image to the left, we see that we have created an arrangement of holes to be cut into the bottom face of our bracket. Since we are still inside our active sketch, we simply go back to the command manager and select the Extruded Cut feature tool.

instructions for extruded cut in solidworks

extruded cut in solidworks

This will open up the property manager, which will look almost identical to the one for the Extruded Boss/Base; the only difference is that we are now removing material instead of adding it. In this feature, since we are wanting to remove all the material within the hole geometry, we will select the Through All end condition. This will create the cut feature and remove all of the material from all model geometry in the specified direction of the extruded cut. Now that the end condition is selected, we simply hit “OK” and the cut extrude has been created. We will now make one more cut extrude in the bracket feature, this time adding slots to the side tabs. To create this cut, we create a sketch on the Right Plane, to utilize the Through All – Both end condition, as pictured below. By selecting the Through All – Both end condition in Direction 1, the Direction 2 option in the property manager is automatically activated, and the Through All end condition selected. We can now hit “OK” and complete the cut feature. The final modification made to this bracket is to add fillets to the top corners of the tabs, this results in the finished part pictured below.

through all extrusion instructions How to Extrude in SOLIDWORKS CAD Image

As we can see, creating Extrudes and Cut Extrudes in SOLIDWORKS is quite simple and intuitive. By following the steps outlined in the graphic below, you can create error free features every time.

extrusion order instructions

If you are interested in learning more about how to use SOLIDWORKS, check out our TriMech training classes.