Using Contour Sketches in SOLIDWORKS for Multiple Features

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated September 9, 2022


One of the benefits of using contour sketches in SOLIDWORKS is that it provides users with the ability to not only add multiple features from the sketch but also a separate part body as well.

Contour Sketches in SOLIDWORKS


In this example, I need to create the two end plates and casing seen above. I will be starting with the two sketches shown below.


Sketches in SOLIDWORKS

SOLIDWORKS Contour Selection

Using the selected contours section of the property manager allows me to select only the regions I want to extrude. This allows me to add all the contours to a single feature and has the added benefit of minimizing the number of features in my Feature Manager.

Selected contours extrusion

Selected contours extrusion

Extrusion completed

Solid body created

Repeating this process on the second contour sketch allows me to add another boss extrude similar to the first. And since the two extrude don’t contact each other, I now also have a part with multiple solid bodies.

Additional solid body

Additional solid body

Two SOLIDWORKS Solid Bodies

Two SOLIDWORKS Solid Bodies

Show and repurpose SOLIDWORKS Sketches

By default, SOLIDWORKS absorbs the sketches into the features that were created from them. But if we take the time to “show” the sketches, they can be reused for subsequent features down the line. With the two newly created Bodies “hidden”. I can now repurpose the outer rim of those sketches to create my outer casing.

Reusing SOLIDWORKS Sketches

Reusing SOLIDWORKS Sketches for a Loft feature

I am choosing to use a loft feature in order to build the outer casing. Since my front and rear profiles are different Lofts allows me to create a shape that blends and fits between the two profiles. Ensuring that the merge result is cleared in the property manages means that this new feature will also be created as a separate solid body.

left facing SOLIDWORKS sketch

Left facing SOLIDWORKS Model

Right facing SOLIDWORKS model

Right facing SOLIDWORKS model

From this point, each of the solid bodies could then be saved as their own unique part files if desired. All of this from just a couple of contour sketches in SOLIDWORKS still impresses me.

Learn more about Part Modeling and Contour Sketches in SOLIDWORKS

Take TriMech’s SOLIDWORKS Advanced Part Modeling training course to learn how to create complex parts and use more advanced features; including sweeps, lofts, boundaries, and every type of fillet.

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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.