How Do You Shell in SolidWorks?

Shell in SolidWorks is a powerful feature that enables users to create hollow parts by removing material from solid models. This functionality is particularly useful in various industries, including automotive, aerospace, and consumer goods. In this tutorial, we will explore how to use the Shell command in SolidWorks and the different options available.

Accessing the Shell Command

To access the Shell command in SolidWorks, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Open your SolidWorks model or create a new one.
  • Step 2: Go to the Features tab on the main toolbar.
  • Step 3: Click on the Shell icon in the toolbar or navigate to Insert > Features > Shell.

The Shell command can also be accessed using the right-click context menu when selecting a face or body. This provides a quick way to access and apply the feature without navigating through multiple menus.

Using the Shell Command

The Shell command allows you to remove material from a solid model while specifying different thicknesses for different faces. Let’s explore how to use this feature:

Selecting Faces

To begin using the Shell command, you need to select faces from your model that you want to remove material from. You can select one or multiple faces by holding down the Ctrl key while making your selections.

Selecting Thickness

After selecting the faces, you can specify different thickness values for each face individually. Alternatively, you can assign a uniform thickness value for all selected faces. SolidWorks provides options for both scenarios when applying the Shell command.

Additional Options

Besides selecting faces and setting thickness, SolidWorks provides additional options to control the behavior of the Shell command:

  • Offset Entities: This option allows you to create offset surfaces along with the shell. It is particularly useful when working with complex designs that require additional structures or mating features.
  • Remove Face on Exit: Enabling this option removes the selected faces after applying the shell operation, resulting in a fully hollow model.

Example: Creating a Hollow Cylinder

Let’s walk through an example of creating a hollow cylinder using the Shell command in SolidWorks:

  1. Create a new part document in SolidWorks.
  2. Select the Front Plane.
  3. Draw a circle with your desired cylinder diameter.
  4. Extrude the circle to your desired cylinder height.
  5. Select the top face of the cylinder and apply the Shell command.
  6. In the Shell property manager, select your desired thickness and choose any additional options if necessary.
  7. Click OK to apply the shell operation and create a hollow cylinder.

Congratulations! You have successfully created a hollow cylinder using the Shell command in SolidWorks. Feel free to experiment with different shapes, sizes, and settings to explore further possibilities!


The Shell command in SolidWorks is an essential tool for creating hollow parts by removing material from solid models. By selecting faces, specifying thickness values, and utilizing additional options, users can achieve complex designs with ease.

Remember to practice and experiment with different scenarios to become proficient in using this powerful feature. Enjoy exploring the possibilities of Shell in SolidWorks!