SolidWorks: Boss-Extrude/Base


In this blog we will be covering the Extruded Boss/Base feature, this is one of the most common and universal features used within the 3D modeling world. This is a handy feature for creating 3D solid models within SolidWorks.

Using the modeled 2D sketch created (see Creating Sketches a how to blog), you are ready to turn the 2D sketch element into a 3D solid feature. The Extruded Boss/Base feature can be found on the features tab in the Command Manager interface as shown in Figure 1.


Figure 1: Extruded Boss/Base Feature

You can also go to the toolbar and click Insert -> Boss/Base -> Extrude to pull up the Boss-Extrude Feature menu as well.


Figure 2: Extrude Insert

Once the Extrude menu appears on the left-hand side of your screen, it will prompt you to select a plane or sketch that will be used to create a 3D model from. The Boss-Extrude/Base feature will project a 3D model with the selected sketch or face.


Figure 3: Selecting a Plane

Using the 2D sketch or plane to create a 3D model, the Boss-Extrude feature button will prompt you to set parameters in the menu shown in Figure 4.


Figure 4: Boss-Extrude Feature Menu


Under the “From” header there is a drop-down list containing a variety of options of where to start the Boss-Extrude from.


Figure 5: From Dropdown Menu

The “From” options mean as follows:

  • Sketch Plane: The plane in which the sketch was created

  • Surface/Face/Plane: A different surface/face/plane than the inital sketch

  • Vertex: A point

  • Offset: An offset distance from the original sketch plane.

The most common is Sketch Plane, and that is what will be used for this tutorial.

Direction 1

Under the “Direction 1” header there is a drop-down list containing a list of options for the distance you wish to extrude.


Figure 6: Direction 1 Dropdown Menu

The “Direction 1” options mean as follows:

  • Blind: A specified distance

  • Up to Vertex: Up to a point

  • Up To Surface: Up to a surface/plane/face

  • Offset From Surface: A specified distance away from a surface/place/face

  • Up to Body: Up to a body within the model

  • Mid Plane: A specified total distance in both directions, normal to the sketch plane

“Blind” and “Mid Plane” are the basic and most common directions selected when using the extrude feature. You can also toggle the direction of the extrude to reverse direction by clicking the double arrowed icon as shown in Figure 7.


Figure 7: Reverse Direction Icon


Within the depth box is where the desired length or “depth” of the extrude will be entered.


Figure 8: Depth Thickness Parameters

Direction 2

There is another heading called “Direction 2” that has the same capabilities as Direction 1, but this will be in the opposite direction, normal to the sketch plane. To choose Direction 2 feature, select the checkbox next to the heading “Direction 2”.


Figure 9: Direction 2 Icon

For example, say we have a feature that needs to be 8 inches long in one direction, yet 4 inches in the other. You could use the Extruded Boss/Base command to set “Direction 1” as a Blind extrude, with a depth of 8 inches, and “Direction 2” as a “Blind” extrude of 4 inches. The part preview of the extrude will, show you what your final extrusion will look like, represented in yellow below.


Figure 10: Boss-Extrude Display

Once the extrude parameters are finalized, click the green check mark in either the upper left or right-hand corners, to create the extrude which creates the initial 3D model.


Figure 11: Boss-Extrude Finalization

Here at Perception Engineering, we will use the midplane extrude feature most frequently to try and keep the origin centered about the part. However, that is not always the case, which is why the Extrude Boss/Base feature is such a handy tool. Whether you need extrude something complicated such as up to a feature of another part, or something simple like creating the block we created today, the extrude feature has it all. Enjoy!

That’s all for now! You now know the basics to create a Boss-Extrude. This is the start of modeling with Solid 3D models with the geometry defined in sketches. If you like the content or have questions, signup for our email list to stay in the loop for solutions or weekly content.

Written By:


Austin Jacobs

Project Engineer at Perception Engineering