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SolidWorks Quick Tip - Using the Intersect Tool

Ricky Huynh

By Jordan Lemley

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 takes intersecting surfaces and solid bodies and uses them as boundaries to create an enclosed volume or cavity.

Here is a router design that needs to be made more appealing by adding some cosmetic features such as a smooth, curved surface with an embossed WiFi logo instead of a plain, flat surface.

Router

To do this, we’ll use our Intersect tool.  First, we have created a curved surface which cuts through the top of the router housing creating the cross section below.

SolidWorks Intersect Tool - Router - Curved Surface

We’re going to delete and add material simultaneously based on the intersection of the surface and solid geometry.  There is a resulting cavity towards the center between the top of the router and the curved surface, which is where SolidWorks will add material.  Next, we’ll click on the Intersect tool and then choose the red surface feature along with the router housing as the features we want to use as intersecting geometry.

SolidWorks Intersect Tool - Menu

Then, after SolidWorks has found regions created by the intersection (such as the cavity mentioned earlier), we can select the regions that we wish to exclude from our new feature as shown below.

SolidWorks Intersect Tool - Router - Extrude

The Intersect tool then ignores those regions, either adds or removes the appropriate material, and then creates the new cosmetic feature.  As a result, the profile of the router is raised and the Wi-Fi logo is incorporated.

SolidWorks Intersect Tool

The Intersect command can save you time and increase productivity by eliminating some tedious steps such as Cut with Surface, Combine and Extrude up to Surface to achieve the desired geometry. 

For more information, please see the SOLIDWORKS help page here.

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