How to Create Offset on Surface in a SOLIDWORKS 3D Sketch

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated May 26, 2022


When working with surfaces in SOLIDWORKS, it can be a challenge trying to recreate complex geometry. In this tech tip video, we will walk through the steps to create an Offset on Surface in a 3D sketch and measure with the Geodesic Entities tool.

SOLIDWORKS Offset on Surface Tool

In this tutorial we are trying to create an offset from surfaces that are going in all three directions, so we will need to create a 3D sketch. We start by creating a new 3D sketch using the Offset on Surface tool. The tool offsets surface boundary edges and creates a 3D sketch on a surface model

SOLIDWORKS Offset on Surface

SOLIDWORKS Offset on Surface

Offset Types

In the Offset on Surface command, there was a change made in 2019 where you can specify how you want that offset to be measured. Since these offsets are happening along a curve being created by the surface, they added the option for the offset distance to be calculated taking the curvature of the surface into account. This is called Geodesic Entities. Previously, there was only a linear measurement option, but now you can choose between:

  • Geodesic – measure the distance along the curve of the surface
  • Euclidean – a linear measurement from your selected entity to where it is offsetting from
SOLIDWORKS Offset on Surface Type

SOLIDWORKS Offset on Surface Type

This additional option gives us more control on the offsets, the design you are trying to achieve and how it is measured.

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TriMech Solutions, LLC

TriMech provides thousands of engineering teams with 3D design and rapid prototyping solutions that work hand-in-hand, from sketch to manufacturing. Javelin became a subsidiary of TriMech Solutions LLC in 2021.