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How to convert a cavity into a solid body model

Question asked by Michael Gerasimoff on Sep 16, 2018
Latest reply on Sep 19, 2018 by Michael Gerasimoff

Somebody must've figured this out already, but I cannot find it in the Forum or Solidworks documentation. Help would be appreciated!


I have some models with cavities, and these cavities are defined in terms of the outer solid body.  Examples would include the cavity created by the SHELL function, and any type of CUT derived from a sketch with dimensions / geometry referenced to the solid body. For example, I have included a JPG of a lofted body that has been shelled:

shelled volume.JPG

Consider now that (overall) the model is of a hollowed-out item to be cast in a foundry. For those unfamiliar with the process:

  1. The internal Cavity will be formed by a Core, which is itself a solid body (usually compacted, bonded sand), and that Core is molded separately from the mold cavity that shapes the outer surface.
  2. The outer shape of the body is formed by compacting sand around a Pattern, which Pattern is then removed to leave the mold cavity. The cores are then placed within this larger cavity, and the molten metal is then poured into the spaces between the cores and the mold cavity.
  3. It is necessary to accurately and precisely convey the shape of the cavity (ies) to the patternmaker, who must create the Core-Boxes (an entirely separate collection of molds) in which the Cores are molded.

Now, rather than producing drawings of the solid model with a multitude of cross-sections to convey the shape of the cored Cavity (ies), I would much prefer to provide the Patternmaker with a solid-body (i.e, external surface) view of what the finished, compacted-sand Core will look like. I should add here that, in this particular case, the patternmakers do NOT have access to CNC machinery; they rely on their years of experience, paper drawings, and classical woodworking tools. So, please don't suggest that I should just supply them with the solid models, and let them figure it out for themselves!


Given that the cavity is (as I noted above) defined by relationships to the outer surface of the solid model, it's not possible to just 'turn off' the sketches and features of the outer surface, and use cavity-defining sketches to produce, say, an Extrusion instead of a Cut.


So, in short: Is there any Solidworks functionality that will allow me to generate a solid-body from an existing model cavity?

And, how would I go about exporting that solid-body definition to a separate Solidworks part file from which I could generate conventional drawings?

Thanks, in advance, for your help!