How do I run SOLIDWORKS Interference Detection on a Multibody Part?

Article by Mehdi Rezaei, CSWE updated July 25, 2018


One of the main evaluation tools in an assembly is Interference Detection. This command shows any possible interference between components so that we can modify the parts and prevent issues in manufacturing.

Designing multibody parts is very similar to working with an assembly; and the solid bodies could also have interference, however, we don’t have access to the interference detection command at the part level. In this article, two methods are provided to run SOLIDWORKS Interference Detection on a multibody part:

What are Multibody parts?

Using Multiple bodies in part modeling is one of the advanced 3D design techniques. This method not only allows design of more complex 3D models but also takes advantage of assembly modeling techniques. For instance, you can insert a part into another part similar to inserting a component into an assembly. Positioning and defining mates are very much similar in both cases. The only difference is that in the part environment, the newly inserted part works as a solid body and does not have detailed features inserted with it, while in assembly, the newly inserted part works as a component which has all the features and sketches with it.

Option 1: Combine Command in Part Level

In parts, we have the Combine command which is accessed from Insert > Features > Combine. This command allows boolean operations between solid bodies in part level. With the Combine command three types of operation can be performed:

  • Two or more solid bodies could be merged together to shape a single solid body.
  • One or more solid bodies could be subtracted from another solid body.
  • Finally, the common area between two or more solid bodies could be extracted by removing the rest of those solid bodies volume.

We can use the Combine “Common” operation type to detect interference between solid bodies at the part level.

Interference Detection SOLIDWORKS Multibody Part

Operation Type “Common” from Combine Feature Is Used to Detect Interference between Solid Bodies in Part Level.

Option 2: SOLIDWORKS Interference Detection at Assembly Level

As an alternative, a multibody part can be inserted into an assembly file. As we know, within the assembly environment, we have an Interference Detection command. In the Interference Detection PropertyManager we can check off the “Include multibody part interferences” option which will detect interference between solid bodies within that assembly component.

Check off "Include multibody part interferences" to Detect Interferences between Solid Bodies within a Multibody Component.

Check off “Include multibody part interferences” to Detect Interferences between Solid Bodies within a Multibody Component.

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Mehdi Rezaei, CSWE

Mehdi is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert (CSWE) and works near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada