How to use SOLIDWORKS Instant3D – Part 1

Are you an experienced SOLIDWORKS user but don’t know how to use Instant3D? Instant3D is enabled by default. You can create a feature like extrude boss, cut, etc. while Instant3D is active. But what does Instant3D actually do?

Instant3D lets you work in the graphics are only, you do not need a property manager to modify dimensions and create other features. You are just going to use the handles and rulers like the Instant2D to quickly modify these features dynamically. Instant2D and Instant3D can do the same but you have to exit sketch mode to activate the Instant3D.

Here is the location of Instant3D in the Features toolbar:

SOLIDWORKS Instant3D – Part 1

It is very easy when you use Instant3D to modify and create a feature in SOLIDWORKS but there are only few features that are supported by Instant3D:  extruded boss/base, extruded cut, fillet, simple hole, revolve and shell. In order to create these features, you must create a sketch first then exit the sketch mode.

Here are the features you can create with Instant3D:

  • To create extruded boss/base using Instant3D.

SOLIDWORKS Instant3D – Part 1

Select an entity in the sketch contour like a line which is not touching the face of an existing solid body. If a sketch contour overhangs a face, you can select it on an area that does not touch the face. After selecting the entity in sketch contour, you can now drag the pointer which shows up after selecting it.

  • To create extruded cut using Instant3D:

SOLIDWORKS Instant3D – Part 1

It is like how you create the extrude boss, the difference is you must select the entity in the sketch contour that touches the face, and if it overhangs a face, select the entity on an area that touches the face of the existing solid body. Then, drag the pointer.

Tip: If the sketch contour is inside the solid body and using midplane, you can’t create an extruded cut even though you selected an entity of the sketch contour on an area nearest to the face.


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