Types of ruled surfaces in SOLIDWORKS

   By John Lewis on September 30, 2022

Ruled surfaces are surfaces that extend a specified distance in a chosen direction from selected edges of a solid or surface model. They can be used in different applications and are especially useful in mold design.

There are five types of ruled surfaces:

  1. tangent to surface
  2. normal to surface
  3. tapered to vector
  4. perpendicular to vector
  5. sweep

I’ll demonstrate each type of ruled surface by selecting the bottom edge of this revolved surface. The ruled surfaces will be colored red.

Ruled surface

1. Ruled Surface – Tangent to Surface

This type of ruled surface extends a surface a specified distance from the selected edges and is tangent to the adjacent surface.

2. Ruled Surface – Normal to Surface

This type of ruled surface extends a surface a specified distance from the selected edges and is normal to the adjacent surface. The normal direction can be reversed.

3. Ruled Surface – Tapered to Vector

This type of ruled surface extends a surface a specified distance from the selected edges and at an angle from a reference vector. The reference vector can be a plane, a flat face, a part edge, or a sketched line.  The angle can be reversed by highlighting the edge and selecting “Alternate Side”.

4. Ruled Surface – Perpendicular to Vector

This type of ruled surface extends a surface a specified distance from the selected edges and is perpendicular to a reference vector. The reference vector can be a plane, a flat face, a part edge, or a sketched line.  The angle can be reversed by selecting “Alternate Direction”.

5. Ruled Surface – Sweep

This ruled surface uses the selected edges of the part as guide curves.

6. Ruled Surface – Options

“Trim and knit” automatically trims and knits the surfaces.

Trim and knit connecting surfaces

Trim and knit connecting surfaces

“Connecting surface” refers to surfaces created between sharp corners. The image on the left has “Connecting surface” checked and the image on the right has “Connecting surface” cleared.

Check out more SOLIDWORKS Tips on our blog.

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John Lewis

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