SOLIDWORKS Quick Tip - Combine, Cavity, and Indent: What's the Difference?

By Christopher Ma

Often the most time-consuming parts of an analysis isn't setting it up or even waiting for it to complete, it’s the simplification of a CAD model for analysis. We do this for a specific reason: simplifying the model is key to reducing analysis error messages and solve times. A major part of simplifying a model is removing interferences and filling unnecessary gaps. There are three tools I use within SOLIDWORKS to help me do this: Combine (Add and Subtract), Cavity, and Indent (using the cut option). Let’s take a quick look at how I choose which tool to use.


The Decision Flowchart

Click on the chart and a larger version will open in another window.

SOLIDWORKS Combine, Cavity, Indent


Filling gaps just takes one additional step:

  1. I add material to the part/body and “overfill” the gap.
  2. I use the appropriate tool from the flowchart to remove any material interference.

Conclusion: Choose the Right Tool for the Right Job I recently posted a YouTube video that shows how and when you can use these tools in SOLIDWORKS. Have a look, and tell me what you think below!


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