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How to Cut a Solid Body with Surface in SolidWorks?

In SolidWorks, there are multiple ways you can cut a Solid Body with a surface. In this article, we will discuss all the ways there are to cut a solid body with a surface.

In this article, we are going to show how to use these features and where can you use them.

1. Cut With Surface Tool:

Cut With Surface is a tool available in SolidWorks that is used to cut a solid model by removing material with a surface or plane. It is faster and does the job most of the time as compared to other tools listed below.

1. Click the Cut With Surface tool present in the Features toolbar, or click Insert Cut With Surface.

2. In the PropertyManager, under the Surface Cut Parameters menu, select the surface or plane that you want to use to cut the solid body.

3. An arrow indicating the side that is going to be cut will be shown in the graphics area. If that arrow is pointing in the wrong direction, click on the Flip cut icon present alongside the input box to reverse the direction of the cut.

4. Click OK and you will find that your solid body has been cut.

5. Click on the surface in the FeatureManager Design Tree or in the graphics area, and click on the Hide icon to hide the cutting surface. Or if no longer needed use the Delete/Keep Body tool present in the Direct Editing toolbar or go to Insert -> Features -> Delete/Keep Body and delete the surface body.

Left image: Original Part || Right Image: Part after using Cut With Surface Tool

Left image: Original Part                                                                                       Right Image: Part after using Cut With Surface Tool

5. If you are working on a multibody part file, you will have an additional menu called Feature Scope. Select one of the following:

  • All Bodies: This will cut all the bodies that the surface can fully remove.
  • Selected Bodies: This will cut only the bodies that you have selected and can be fully cut by the surface. Unselected bodies will remain intact. You can select bodies by either clicking on them on the graphics or selecting them from the Solid Bodies folder present in the FeatureManager Design Tree.
  • Check Auto Select to allow SolidWorks to automatically select all the bodies that the surface can fully cut.
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2. Intersect Tool:

The Intersect tool has a lot of uses in SolidWorks but in this article, we will explain how you can use it to cut a solid body with a surface.

Tip: Intersect tool is quite powerful and uses complex computations and hence may increase rebuild times by a lot.

1. Select the Intersect tool present in the Features toolbar, or go to Insert Features Intersect.

2. Under the Selection menu, select the surface with which you want to cut and also select the solid body that is to be cut in the Solids, Surfaces, or Planes to intersect input box.

3. Next, select one of the following:

  • Create intersecting regions: This option creates regions that are intersected each other.
  • Create internal regions: This creates an internal region from a closed (hollow) volume within the intersection of the sections.
  • Create both: Creates both intersecting and internal hollow regions.

Tip: It is recommended to keep this setting on Create Both if you are not sure which option suits your requirements.

4. Next click on the Intersect button provided at the bottom to create intersecting regions.

5. In the Regions to Exclude menu, select one of the Preview options according to your liking:

  •  Show Included Regions: While this is selected only the regions that will remain as solid bodies will be shown and all the other regions will be hidden.
  •  Show Excluded Regions: When selected, the regions that you are selected to be excluded will be shown as transparent bodies, and all the other regions will be hidden.
  •  Show Both Included and Excluded Regions: When selected, this option will display both included and excluded regions. Included regions appear as solids and excluded regions will appear as transparent bodies. (Recommended)
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6. Next click on the regions that you want to delete and if you have selected  Show Both Included and Excluded Regions in the preview options that region will become transparent as shown in the image below.

7. Selecting the Merge result option will tell SolidWorks to form the union of the included regions. All the touching regions are formed into one body, when possible. If this option is not selected, SolidWorks will create a separate body for each included region.

8. Select Consume Surfaces if you no longer need the surface that you are using to cut the solid body and the intersect tool will automatically remove that surface. Or you can leave this option unchecked if you want manually hide or delete that surface later if and when needed.

9. Click OK to finish and your Solid Body will now be cut as per your surface.

3. Thickened Cut Tool:

Thickened Cut is used to thicken a surface to cut a solid and create multi-body parts.

1. Click on the Thickened Cut tool present in the Features toolbar, or go to Insert Cut Thicken.

2. Under Thicken Parameters menu, select the surface which is going to cut the body from the graphics area.

3. In the Thickness menu, select on which side the surface would thicken so as to cut the solid body. A preview surface is shown in the graphics area to show in which direction the surface is going to thicken.

4. Click in Direction of Thicken input box to specify a direction other than normal to the surface.

5. Enter the thickness value in the Thickness input box provided. The thickness value should be enough either that the thickened surface actually covers the region you want to remove or it splits your solid body into two or more bodies.

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Tip: When you select Thicken Both Sides , the specified thickness is added to both sides.

5. Click Ok. If the Thickened Cut is splitting the solid body into multiple bodies then the Bodies to Keep dialog box appears, in which you can select which bodies you want to keep. All Bodies will keep all the bodies but if you choose Selected bodies, then only the bodies that you specify will be kept and the other bodies will automatically be removed.

4. Split Tool:

This tool is extensively used to split a Solid body. You can also use it to cut a Solid body with a surface.

1. Select the Split tool present in the Direct Editing toolbar or go to Insert -> Features -> Split.

2. Under the Trim Tools menu, select the surface with which you want to cut the Solid body.

3. Under Target Bodies, select:

  • All Bodies: SolidWorks will split all the bodies that are intersected by the surface.
  • Selected Bodies: Only the selected bodies will be split if intersected by the surface. Select all the solid bodies that are to be cut in the input box provided.

4. Click on the Cut Bodies button to allow SolidWorks to show you the preview of split bodies.

5. Select the regions that you want to cut either from the graphics area or from the Resulting bodies table.

Tip: You can also store the selected regions individually in a separate part file by double-clicking on them in the Resulting Bodies table.

6. Select Consume Cut Bodies to allow the split tool to automatically remove the selected regions or leave the option unselected if you want to manually hide or delete that solid body later if and when needed.

7. Click Ok.