How to use SOLIDWORKS Surface Extrude without Pre-drawing a Sketch

Article by Mehdi Rezaei, CSWE updated July 13, 2018


Using the SOLIDWORKS Surface Extrude feature, we can extrude the boundary edges of a face of a solid body or edges of a surface body in a customized direction. When we run the Extruded Surface command, two things can happen: Either a sketch is active or preselected or no sketches exists. In case no sketches exists or is selected, a message in yellow color shows in the property manager window on the left. The message is guiding us to select a sketch or a planar face to start drawing a sketch for extrusion purpose. In addition, the message guides us to extrude from a 3D face or use “Alt + planar face” to extrude.

If no Sketches Exists for Surface Extrusion, a 3D or Planar Face Could Be Selected for Surface Extrude Feature

In the following picture, three different SOLIDWORKS Surface Extrude features are demonstrated using the above method:

  • A planar face of a rectangular cube is extruded.
  • Also, a planar surface body is used to extrude its boundary edges.
  • Finally, a 3D surface is extruded in the defined direction.

To Specify the direction of the extrusion a sketch line or edge of solid or surface body could be picked.

SOLIDWORKS Surface Extrude

Extruded Surface Feature Can Be Initiated from a Planar or 3D Face without Preselecting a Sketch

This technique could be used to design cool design such as a hat as shown below. To see details of this design, check out this SOLIDWORKS Help article.

Extruded Surface Feature Is used for Cool Designs

Extruded Surface Feature Is used for Cool Designs

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Mehdi Rezaei, CSWE

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