How Do You Create an Offset Plane in SolidWorks?

Creating an Offset Plane in SolidWorks

SolidWorks is a powerful 3D modeling software that offers a wide range of features to create complex designs. One useful feature is the ability to create offset planes, which allow you to work on different levels within your design.

In this tutorial, we will learn how to create an offset plane in SolidWorks and explore its various applications.

Step 1: Open a New Part

To begin, open SolidWorks and create a new part file. This will serve as our workspace for creating the offset plane.

Step 2: Create a Sketch

Next, select the plane where you want to create the offset plane. You can choose from the top, front, right, or any other existing plane in your design.

Once you have selected the desired plane, click on “Sketch” from the toolbar at the top of the screen.

Note: Remember that you can always create new planes using other sketch tools if needed.

Step 3: Draw a Reference Line or Shape

In this step, we need to draw a reference line or shape that will be used as a guide for creating the offset plane. You can use any sketching tool like lines, circles, rectangles, or splines based on your requirements.

For example, let’s draw a simple rectangle as our reference shape.


Draw a rectangle by selecting the “Rectangle” tool from the Sketch toolbar and then clicking on two points in your workspace to define its size and position.


You can use dimensions and constraints to ensure accuracy and control over your reference shape.

Step 4: Create the Offset Plane

Now that we have our reference shape, it’s time to create the offset plane. To do this, select the “Offset Entities” tool from the Sketch toolbar.

This tool allows you to create a parallel plane at a specified distance from your reference shape.

Note: You can find the “Offset Entities” tool under the “Sketch” dropdown menu or by right-clicking on your reference shape and selecting “Offset Entities.”

Click on your reference shape to select it, and then enter the desired distance for your offset plane in the input box that appears. For instance, if you want to create an offset plane 10mm away from your reference shape, enter “10mm” in the input box and press Enter.

You can choose to create multiple offset planes by selecting multiple reference shapes or using different distances for each offset plane.

Step 5: Modify and Use Offset Plane

After creating the offset plane, you can modify its position, size, or orientation if needed. To do this, select the offset plane by clicking on it and use various sketching tools like Move/Copy, Rotate, Scale, or any other relevant features.

Once you are satisfied with your modified offset plane, you can start sketching on it or use it as a reference for creating other features like extrusions, cuts, or patterns.

  • Create sketches directly on the offset plane.
  • Use extrusion features to add depth based on your sketch.
  • Create additional planes using existing geometry for complex designs.
  • Use the offset plane as a reference in assemblies.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to utilizing offset planes in SolidWorks. They provide flexibility and allow you to work on different levels within your design, enabling you to create complex and detailed models with ease.

Summary: In this tutorial, we learned how to create an offset plane in SolidWorks. We started by opening a new part file and creating a sketch on an existing plane.

Then, we drew a reference shape and used the “Offset Entities” tool to create the offset plane at a specified distance from our reference shape. Finally, we explored various applications of offset planes in SolidWorks and how they can be modified and utilized for creating complex designs.

Now that you have mastered the art of creating offset planes, you can take your 3D modeling skills to the next level by incorporating this powerful feature into your designs.