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Learn SolidWorks 2008 – Extrude – Part III

written by: johnsinit • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 11/30/2008

SolidWorks is a popular CAD program. The latest version, SW2008 released in September , has several new features and a new look. This article continue the overview of the most basic feature (the Extrude) – dealing with various options of the extrusion length definition.

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    SolidWorks is a popular low-level CAD program – a simple alternative to the powerful CATIA software. Although SW2009 has been recently introduced, the programs previous version, SolidWorks 2008, is the one we are dealing this. The 2 reasons for that are that not many users have already upgraded to SolidWorks 2009 and also that in the SW2008 a new look was introduced – making the 3D modeling process easier both for experienced and new users. After reviewing the sketch phase - including the “Sketch" procedure and entities – and covering the constantly visible View menu, we are now providing a complete overview of the most fundamental Extrude feature. But even as you are almost sure familiar with the command itself – read below to discover several new and advanced options of the Extrude. This article is about another important stage of extrusion – defining the length of the Extruded sketch.

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    Extrude Feature Menu

    As it was mentioned, once you select “Extrude" from features tab, a menu will open on the right of your screen. The menu has several choices:

    • From (where to start your extrusion)
    • Direction 1 – the side and length of your extrude
    • Direction 2 – optionally “extruding" your contour to 2 sides of the sketch plane
    • Thin feature – a possibility to create a “thin-walled" prism instead of solid prism
    • Selected contours – adding/removing sketches that are subject to the Extrude procedure

    With “From" choices (defining the origin plane of the extrusion) covered in the previous chapter, we are now going to analyze the Extrude directions and length choices.

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    There are several options to define the length of your extrusion.

    • Blind – this is the most basic definition that allows you to specify the desired Extrude length and direction. In SW2008 you can also do it dynamically – dragging the Extrusion arrow with your mouse (notice the “ruler" that is shown besides the arrow).
    • Up to surface – it is many times more convenient to end the extrusion at certain face/pane/surface. This option will ensure that your extrusion will still be valid when you change certain dimensions of your model.
    • Up to Vertex – same as above, but specifying one vertex of your model to serve as reference.
    • Up to body – if you have multiple bodies that you want to be connected by your extrusion – use this option.
    • Mid-plane – this option will extend you sketch symmetrically in two directions – by the specified length. Dynamic arrow-drag is also available here. If you want to extrude your sketch in 2 directions but with different lengths – check the “direction 2" checkbox and provide direction 2 values as desired.