SOLIDWORKS Hidden Gem: The Delete Face Tool

SOLIDWORKS contains a lot of features, but most users only use a small selection of them. In this tech blog I want to reveal a feature, which is relatively unknown to many users, but yet very powerful: Delete Face. It is a feature which I use often on day to day basis to solve some customer issues.

Where to find it?

You can find Delete Face  on the Surfaces toolbar (CommandManager), or Insert > Face > Delete.

What can it do?

The main target of Delete Face is to delete faces, as you probably already could tell based on the name of the feature. The command itself has three options to choose from:

  • Delete
    Deletes a face from a surface body, or deletes one or more faces from a solid body to create surfaces.
  • Delete and Patch
    Deletes a face from a surface body or solid body and automatically patches and trims the body.
  • Delete and Fill
    Deletes faces and generates a single face to close any gap.

Example of Delete and Patch

Let’s take a look at an example of an imported sheet metal part. In this case you can use the Insert Bends feature, so you can generate the flat pattern of this imported file. But the problem is that you cannot change the bend radius which is already defined in the imported body. So here Delete Face can help you out.

In the image below you can see that all the bend faces are selected in the Delete Face PropertyManager.

With the Delete and Patch option, these faces are deleted, and the adjoining faces will extend to form an unbroken surface. Now the Insert Bends feature can be used and any bend radius can be entered without any problem. The images below show the result of this action.

Example of Delete and Fill

Another example is about a fillet feature which created a lot of small faces. Also here Delete Face is the solution. In this case the option Delete and Fill will be used.

In the image below you can see that all the unwanted faces are selected in the Delete Face PropertyManager.

With the Delete and Fill option, these faces are deleted, and are filled by a single unbroken surface. The Tangent fill option is used to create tangent transitions between the new face and the rest of the part. The image below shows the result of this action.

Conclusion

We have seen how the Delete Face tool can easily solve some issues with your SOLIDWORKS models. Note that Delete Face is also very helpful to delete unwanted details from downloaded library parts, so these are better to handle in a large assembly. It can even help to delete a simple hole, without having the risk of ruining your design intent.

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