SOLIDWORKS Quick Tip - Using the Intersect Tool

Now you can combine surfacing and solid modeling techniques using one powerful and convenient tool that was introduced into SOLIDWORKS in 2013. The Intersect tool can be used to modify existing geometry or create new geometry based on surfaces, solids, and planes that intersect each other. One example of using the tool is forming a solid body with another surface body using the "Create intersecting regions" option. Another is measuring internal volume with the "Create internal regions" option.

Forming a Solid Body

In this example, I have a surface body and a solid body intersecting each other. SOLIDWORKS attempts to create a solid shape based on where the two bodies intersect. The bodies can also be imported solid/surface bodies.

  1. The surface and solid body intersects, as seen in the picture. The surface body is set to transparent for better visibility of the entire model.

    suface body that is intersecting with a solid cylindrical body.png

  2. Activate the intersect tool. It can be found in the Features CommandManager tab > Intersect. 

    features command manager tab intersect highlighted.png

  3. Select the bodies that are intersecting and use the option Create intersecting regions. Click Intersect.

    intersect tool property manager, select intersecting regions, Intersect.png

  4. SOLIDWORKS has automatically split the existing bodies based on the intersection. Select the regions to exclude.

    intersect tool property manager, regions to exclude, options.png

  5. Check on merge entities or consume surface (deleting the surface body after this operation) as appropriate to the end result you want to see.
  6. Click OK in the PropertyManager.
  7. The remaining body is now formed.

    remaining body after intersect tool.png

Measuring Internal Volume

In this example, a water bottle shaped model is used. I will be measuring the internal volume of the bottle near the top.

  1. Create planes that intersect with the solid body of the bottle.

    planes created and intersecting with the solid water bottle part.png

  2. Activate the intersect tool. It can be found in the Features CommandManager tab > Intersect.

    features command manager tab intersect highlighted.png

  3. Select the solid water bottle body and the plane that you want to measure from and change the option to "Create internal regions" > Intersect.

    plane and solid body selected for the intersect tool.png

  4. Check on bodies in the list to exclude. Uncheck the merge body result to result in a separate body. Click OK to finish the command.

    intersect tool property manager, check on body to exclude, uncheck merge result for separate body.png

  5. You can now use the Mass Properties tool, select the solid body that was formed through the internal region, and look at its volume.

    solid body highlighted, mass properties volume highlighted.png

For further technical support please contact Hawk Ridge Systems at 877.266.4469 for the U.S. or 866.587.6803 for Canada and

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