dateAugust 22, 2019

In 3D design, we always need to extrude our finished sketch, reduce the solid body, and change the dimensions to reach our desired design. Doing these work simultaneously can be really annoying and time consuming. Everything that can make our design faster, efficient, with high accuracy will be truly a lifesaver. SOLIDWORKS introduced Instant 3D and Contour Selections features to improve users design experience by simply using drag and drop to do extrude/cut features and modifying the 3D dimensions. 

Contour Selection will be much useful when you have sketches which are done in DraftSight/AutoCAD and you can import that into the SOLIDWORKS as a part Sketch. This sketch with multiple contours which can be used to create the features. Follow below steps to know how to use this useful features. 


  1. To use this feature, Select your sketch and move your cursor to the sketch area. Right click and choose “Contour Select Tool”.

!Tips: To stop this feature, repeat the steps and choose “End Select Contours”.


2. Select the face you want to Extrude or Cut. Hold [Ctrl] key in keyboard to select Multiple Faces.



3. Drag the handle which will appear after you finished on selecting the face(s).



4. The sketch will Extrude / Cut as you drag the handle, release the handle if you reach you desired dimension. This feature also applicable on reverse direction.

!Note: If the Face(s) are void, it automatically do Extrude feature. If it drag in solid body it automatically do Cut feature.



!Tips: Hold [M] key as you drag the handle to create an Extrude / Cut in both direction (Mid Plane).



!Note: If the sketch we need to Cut is in the same sketch with we use to Extrude. We need click the Extrude Cut icon which appear immediately after you release the handle. It will change the features from Extrude the sketch to Cut the solid body along the passed direction.



5. Result of extrude the sketch and cut the solid body using SOLIDWORKS Contour Select Tool. Easy and extremely fast !!!




  1. To use this feature we need to activate it by clicking Instant 3D icon in CommandManager. Select the target face and drag the handle which appear to modify the dimensions. Release the handle after reaching the desired dimensions.



!Note: Instant 3D can only modifying dimensions (length, radius, etc.) at the same direction with original feature. We can not change the direction.

!Note: If the original feature use Midplane, it will modify both direction (can not modify only one direction).

!Note: if the original feature consist of multi faces (fillet, chamfer, etc.), it will modify all of them immediately. (can not select only particular faces).


2. Result of using Instant 3D to modify solid body dimensions. To deactivate this feature just simply click the Instant 3D icon in CommandManager.