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Surface Modeling


Surface Modeling is the method of showing or presenting solid objects. The process requires you to convert the 3D objects to show procedural surfaces, validate imperfections, and apply smoothness. Wireframe Modeling is complex whereas Surface Modeling is easier to achieve than Solid Modeling.

Using CAD software, it is possible to fully produce a model using only surface modeling. But real-world objects need solid modeling techniques as well. You cannot design a Real-world object designed and build using surface modeling only. The difference between solid and surface modeling is the designers interact and manipulate an object using CAD software.

Surface Modeling Explanation

Surface modeling can build out a visual representation of an object. You can create its exterior and its contours. These objects can be mechanical components like an airplane engine or complex organic shapes like the human body. No matter what you’re designing, surface modeling requires you to define the exterior curves and shapes of your objects.

Unlike solid modeling, the object’s geometry and physical form can be incorrect. The object will have no property of mass defined and no thickness. This gives the designer the unique ability in surface modeling. The modification in solid models doesn’t have this capability. The surface model cannot be sliced open like its solid counterparts. As the object is essentially hollow.

What can you do with Surface Modeling?

When you import existing models into CAD software that wasn’t originally built, it can give errors. Most notably it opens without any details of the features it’s made up of. As making changes to complex surfaces without these details can be extremely challenging. The flexibility of surface modeling allows you to delete or replace the faces. This way you can generate or design the surface of the required shape and geometry.

Solid modeling tools have their limitations. Like you cannot build out several sides of a shape at once in Solid modeling. Surface modeling lets you build out faces individually. Thus, giving you control over the exact contour and direction.

Trimming Surface in Solidworks

For trim surfaces, we first need to design or open surfaces in the Solidworks. To apply the trim surface command make sure the two surfaces are in contact. So, In this article, we are using two surfaces one Rectangular hollow surface and one cylindrical open surface which are in contact as shown.

Click on Surface Tab > Trim Surface.

In property manager, you will have options like Trim typeStandard and Manual, Selections of Trim tool and Keep or remove selections, and the last Surface Split Options- Split all, Natural and linear. 

  • We have two examples of the trim surface under setting Standard– Keep Selection and Removal Selections.

  • Under Mutual Setting – Keep Selections and Removal Selections.

Select the needed options and surfaces and then click on OK.