Adjusting Models with the SOLIDWORKS Freeform Feature

Making adjustments to a surface or model is easy with the SOLIDWORKS Freeform feature.

Users can manipulate control points while original surface geometry can be retained in the feature manager. The video tutorial below explains how to do this.

The Freeform tool can be activated from within the Insert dropdown menu, under Features, selecting “Freeform.” After users select the face they would like to adjust, a display mesh is applied with control callouts along the outside edges.

Users can add curves to the face of a surface to define where control points will appear. Under the “Control Curves” menu box, click “Add Curves” and drag the mouse pointer over the face. Click anywhere on the face of the surface to position the curve and drag the mouse to the next location to create another.

To change their direction, users can press the Tab key or, directly under Add Curves, select “Flip Direction.”

To add the control points after adding the necessary curves, with the Control Points menu box, select “Add Points.” After adding all the points required, right click or deselect the Add Points button. Users can adjust the position of the face at each point by clicking on and dragging them.

Triads will appear at each point, and orientation can be changed within the property manager located at the bottom of the Control Points menu.

With features in the “Display” option menu beneath Control Points, the surface face can be made transparent, the mesh can be adjusted as needed and users can apply zebra stripes or curvature combs.

Adjustments can also be made along the outside edges of a surface.

The type of curvature found along the edges of a surface can be modified under the callouts dropdown menu. Users can add control points to that edge, clicking and dragging them to make adjustments. Users can also click on tangency handles and delete points as required.

Users can mirror their changes within the “Face Settings” menu by checking “Direction 1 symmetry.” When making adjustments with curves and points, changes are mirrored around the center plane of the surface.

As seen in the video tutorial above, “Direction 2 symmetry” should be checked to mirror these changes over two planes.

To find more tutorial videos like the one shown above, visit

About Author




Edwin Alan Gavidia, EIT has a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Colorado and is a SOLIDWORKS Subject Matter Expert and Technical Writer for i GET It with 8+ years of experience. In his free time he enjoys fixing iPhones, laptops, building computers and fixing anything that comes his way.