Simplify Your Models Using the Intersect Tool

Has this ever happened to you?

Imagine that you get this super complex model with a lot of intricate internal details from your customer or supplier. The file size is huge and the rebuild times are long, considering that you only need it for any one of these reasons:

  • Use your customer’s model as a reference for modeling a nest in a fixture or tooling. You need to remove all the interior details.
  • Use your customer’s model as a reference for modeling an enclosure around it. You need to keep only the external faces.
  • Insert your supplier’s model as one item in your assembly and BOM. You need to remove as many details as possible,
  • Just need to 3D Print it for your customer. You need to remove all the cavities (completely “fill” the model).

The first thing you will try is, of course, using the Defeature tool (introduced in SolidWorks 2011). But what can be done when defeature does not produce the expected results?

Starting with SolidWorks 2013 the answer is simple: use the magic of the new Intersect Tool to fill any internal cavities and also merge all the solid bodies that touch (on faces) or intersect each other.

Watch this video for a demonstration of this procedure:



Alin Vargatu is an Elite Applications Engineer and CSWE at Javelin Technologies, a SolidWorks Value Added Reseller with locations in Ontario and Nova Scotia, Canada. He is a regular contributor to the Javelin blog.

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