How to Create a Jack-O-Lantern in SolidWorks

Article by Matt Campbell, CSWE updated October 17, 2013



In the spirit of Halloween which is a couple of weeks away, I am going to show you a couple of surface modeling tools that can be used to create a Jack-O-Lantern. In this article, I am going to use Revolved Surface, Split Lines, Deform and Thicken features.

The first thing to do is create a sketch on the right plane and then create an outline of your pumpkin. Using Splines will give a more organic look, as opposed to using Arcs.

pumpkin sketch

When the sketch is complete, use the Revolved Surface tool to create a Surface Body.

Then create a new sketch on the Top Plane. This time create a closed loop Spline.  This sketch will be used in the Split Line to control the deformation later. A smaller size loop is recommended.

 pumpkin sketch top

Now use the Spit Line command (Insert–>Curve–>Split Line). Choose your second sketch for the sketch and chose your Surface-Revolve for the face.

Now create another sketch on the Top Plane to create the “ribs” in the pumpkin. Create several splines that cross over the second sketch and outside of the pumpkin. See image below for clarity.

 pumpkin sketch spline

Now create another Split Line using this sketch. This will break the sketch out in to several faces.

Now comes the fun part! The Deform tool will be used to give the pumpkin a more organic look as opposed to the smooth surface it has now.

The Deform tool is found under Insert–>Feature–> Deform. The Deform tool will mesh only one surface at a time.

Click on the one of the surfaces that has been created using the Split Line tool. In the Property Manager click on the Add Cure button, and then click the middle of the mesh surface. Next, click on the Add Points button and add at least two points to the curve. Right click when you are done adding points.

Click on a point and a Triad will appear. The topology of the surface can now be moved based on where the point is moved. Do this to both points until you are satisfied with the look.

The last step is to set the contact edges to tangent. This gives the pumpkin a more realistic look. The bottom edge can be left to contact because it will not be visible.


Once a Deform has been created on all of the surfaces, the model can be turned in to a solid. To do this click on the Thicken tool (Insert–>Cut–>Thicken) and select Try To Form Solid.

Now that the model is solid, the Shell tool can be used to hollow out the pumpkin. Now on the Front Plane, Extrude Cut can be used to transform the pumpkin in to a Jack-O-Lantern.


 In my next blog I will show how to add a Spotlight, light fog, change the scene and then render the Jack-O-Lantern to look like the first image of this blog.

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Matt Campbell, CSWE