All About Zebra Stripes

Zebra stripes is one of those ultra-powerful tools in SOLIDWORKS that is fairly underutilized. Mostly because it seems like not everyone understands what it’s all about. Recently TriMech Application Engineer Andy Barnes made a great video documenting this struggle and eventually showcasing what zebra stripes is all about. Check it out here

With zebra stripes, you can get a detailed look at your SOLIDWORKS geometry. Through the lens of zebra stripes, you can really understand the shape and quality of your model surfaces. You can even see examples of zebra stripes in real life, check out the example of the strips of light reflecting of the surface of the cell phone. There’s some obvious defects visible where lines appear warped, most likely because the phone was dropped. Without the zebra stripe tool turned on, something like this would be pretty difficult to see.

With zebra stripes you can easily see any defects or imperfections in the surface, but you can also instantly identify the type of boundary that exists between two adjacent surface.



  • Contact: Zebra stripes match at the boundary
  • Tangency: Zebra stripes match at the boundary, but there is an abrupt change in direction
  • Curvature Continuous: Zebra stripes continue smoothly across the boundary. Curvature continuity is an option when creating face blend fillets.

As you can see zebra stripes is a very powerful tool that can be used to quickly understand the details of the quality of your models. If a high quality, good looking surface is what you’re looking for, zebra stripes is the tool for you.




Stephen Petrock
Since 1998, TriMech has helped our clients design better products by partnering with them and offering, not only CAD, CAE, PDM, FEA, CAM software products, but also by engineering solutions involving full-time and temporary staffing, contract design, analysis and drafting services, rapid prototyping, custom programming and implementation services. TriMech is a value-added reseller of SOLIDWORKS and Stratasys 3D Printers in the Mid-Atlantic and South-East including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Stephen Petrock