Creating a Multi-Thickness Shell in SOLIDWORKS

Article by Caleb Overcash updated November 8, 2023


Have you ever needed to create a thin-walled part, but certain walls needed to be thicker than others? If you’ve tried creating this with more basic 3D modeling tools and keep getting stuck, this article is for you! We are going to take a lofted feature and create multiple thicknesses using only one command, the Shell in SOLIDWORKS.

The Shell command creates a thin-walled part by simply activating the command, inputting the desired thickness, and hitting “OK”. Following this procedure will result in a hollow solid body with an even thickness throughout, as displayed in the first image below.

If an opening is desired, then follow the same steps, but before hitting “OK” select a face that you wish to remove for the opening. This will create the same even wall thickness throughout the part but remove the selected face form the model entirely, shown in the second image below.

Please note that the images are shown in a cross-section view for clarity.

Shell in solidworks Creating a Multi-thickness Shell in SOLIDWORKS Multi-thickness shell in solidworks

The third image depicts a preview of the lofted feature being shelled, and the top face being removed as in the second image. However, there is one additional selection that has been made, the bottom face has been added to the Multi-thickness selection box. By adding any additional faces to this selection set, each face may be altered to be a different thickness if needed. In this case, by adding material to the bottom face, we can increase the thickness to allow for additional features to be added to complete the design displayed below.

multi-thickness shell in solidworksshell in solidworks

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Caleb Overcash