SOLIDWORKS Defeature Tool Explained

Article by GoEngineer on Oct 26, 2016

The SOLIDWORKS Defeature tool, found under Tools > Defeature, creates a new file and can also simplify or remove detailed geometry.

Defeature Tool Basics

The Defeature tool can be used on SOLIDWORKS parts or assemblies. Let’s use it on a part just so we can get an idea of how it works.

SOLIDWORKS Defeature Tool Explained

This part has a few features that would be cumbersome depending on the design intent. Using the Defeature tool, we can make a simplified copy of the part. We can also remove some of the geometry.

When going to Tools > Defeature, a dialog box appears on your left as shown below.

SOLIDWORKS Defeature Tool Location

In this example, let’s say we want to get rid of the long curvature plug to start but keep everything else. In the Auto Select area, select the All Holes button.

SOLIDWORKS Select All Holes Option

Notice all the holes and everything associated with them are selected. Now, we want to select the rest of the part without selecting the long curvature plug.

SOLIDWORKS Defeature Tree Part Selection

Let’s say we want to make sure we got all the features we needed.

Under the Section View area, select the plane which best meets your needs or, you can even do an angle. 

SOLIDWORKS Section view

It looks like everything was selected. Click the Blue Arrow at the top of the Defeature dialog box. 

SOLIDWORKS Defeature Dialog Box

It will automatically process and then have a preview of your process.

SOLIDWORKS Defeature Tool Preview

Notice that now it is asking us for Items to Remove. In my example, I went ahead and selected the feature I did not want to keep.

Select Unwanted Features in SOLIDWORKS

I selected Next from the Blue Arrow. It processed it again and shows the preview of what you have.

 SOLIDWORKS Preview Defeature

Now that we have a simplified model, we have three choices:

  1. We can save the model as a separate file and/or link it to the original.
  2. Publish the model to 3DContentCentral
  3. Store these settings for future use. 

Simplified Model SOLIDWORKS Options

I will save the model as a separate file without it being linked to the other. To do this click the green check to finish. It will bring up a Save As window where you can name it and save it accordingly. 

Now, this was just simple removing a feature but let’s say we wanted to get rid of the fillet in the counterbore and leave the chamfer. We would repeat the process as just illustrated. Likewise, you can make it as simplified as you wish for your own design intent.

More SOLIDWORKS Tutorials

SOLIDWORKS Combine Feature Tutorial

Working with Exploded Views in SOLIDWORKS

Inserting Model Dimensions into a SOLIDWORKS Drawing

Scaling a Part in SOLIDWORKS 2 Different Ways

SOLIDWORKS Wrap Feature Tutorial



About GoEngineer

GoEngineer delivers software, technology and expertise that enable companies to unlock design innovation and deliver better products faster. With more than 35 years' experience and tens of thousands of customers in high tech, medical, machine design, energy and other industries, GoEngineer provides best-in-class design solutions from SOLIDWORKS CAD, Stratasys 3D printing, Creaform & Artec 3D scanning, CAMWorks, PLM, and more

View all posts by GoEngineer