Make A Single Body with Multiple Open Contours in SolidWorks 2013

SolidWorks 2013
has a great new set of behaviors with thin feature extrusions. In the past, if you wanted to work with open contours, only one open contour was allowed. In SolidWorks 2013, multiple open contours can be extruded as a thin feature.

One behavior to note: contours that don’t meet at a corner are “separate” in that they create separate bodies when the sketch is extruded as a single item.


If you want SolidWorks to make one body, the trick is to use Contour Selection; this allows you to pick the separate contours in the sketch and result in one body, much like we do with multiple closed contours already.



John Setzer is the Training Coordinator at Graphics Systems, a SolidWorks Value Added Reseller with locations across Wisconsin and Illinois. He is a regular contributor to the Graphics Systems’ blog:, your source for SolidWorks, Simulation, Data Management, & Product Communication Tips & Tricks.

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  • Brandon

    I know that this is a really old post, however, my question is relevant to this feature. If I have multiple contours use in a thin feature, how can I control the direction independently? I have 2 u shapes that I want to make into channels, but the direction on the feature treats the contours oppositely, with one being inside and the other outside. I need them both inside. Is there a way to control this so that I can get them to both work the same way while still only using one feature?

    • Emily Lonetto

      You could crosspost this to the MySolidWorks forums. The discussion there is more active and I’m sure the expert users there could help you figure it out!