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How to Make a Sphere in SOLIDWORKS

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Want to learn how to make a sphere in SOLIDWORKS? You’ve landed in the right place.

SOLIDWORKS is a computer-aided design (CAD) solution that simplifies design with intelligent features that power innovation and enable hassle-free collaboration. Equipped with specialized tools for various projects, it supports industries like automotive and electronics.

Whether you’re creating complex parts or basic products, SOLIDWORKS helps streamline your process, improve accuracy and increase productivity. Its user-friendly interface makes it easy to take a project from idea to production—maintaining precision and efficiency all the while.

Below, we break down how to create a sphere step-by-step.

Solid vs. Surface Geometry in SOLIDWORKS

Before you learn how to make a sphere in SOLIDWORKS, it’s important to understand the difference between solid and surface geometry.

Both start with a simple sketch and use a feature called Revolve. However, they are quite different.

What Is Solid Geometry?

In SOLIDWORKS, solid geometry means creating objects that have volume and mass, just like real objects you can hold. If you create a sphere using solid geometry, you make a ball that could, in theory, be weighed and measured.

You achieve this by spinning a closed 2D sketch around an axis, which turns it into a three-dimensional object with substance.

What Is Surface Geometry?

You can use surface geometry to create objects that are only surfaces with no thickness. They don’t have mass. For example, if you’re designing a sphere as a surface, you make only the ball’s outer shell.

Surface geometry is helpful at the start of a design. It lets you play with the shape more freely. You can stretch, cut or connect surfaces without worrying about the inside of your model.

It’s also powerful when designing complex and detailed objects that demand a lot of control.

When to Use Solids and When to Use Surfaces

In most cases, you will work with both solids and surfaces.

  • Use solids when designing objects that will be manufactured in real life, like parts for machines.
  • Use surfaces when you need to make an object look just right before turning it into a solid.

Here’s How to Create a Sphere in SOLIDWORKS

Now, we can create a sphere in SOLIDWORKS. This quick and easy process involves sketching, trimming and revolving.

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown:

Step 1: Create a New Sketch

First, you need to create a new sketch. Choose the Front, Right or Top plane.


  1. Draw a circle: Place the center of your circle at the origin point.
  2. Bisect the circle: Use a straight line to cut the circle in half through the center point.

Try using mouse gestures to speed up the sketching process.

Step 2: Trim and Convert Your Circle

Once your circle is bisected:

  1. Trim the circle: Use the Trim Entities tool on the Features tab to remove one side of the circle, leaving you with a semi-circle.
  2. Convert to construction geometry: Change the straight line you used for bisecting into construction geometry. You will use this as the axis in the revolving step.

You can modify your keyboard shortcuts so pressing “C” switches on the Construction Geometry conversion tool. This makes it easier to switch modes without interrupting your workflow.

Step 3: Revolve the Sketch

With your semi-circle ready, it’s time to make a sphere.

  1. Activate the Revolve Boss/Base tool: While still in the sketch, open the Revolve Boss/Base tool. SOLIDWORKS might prompt you about creating a non-thin revolution. This is about choosing between a solid and hollow shape.
  2. Choose to create a solid: Click “Yes” to create a solid sphere. The software will usually automatically select the construction geometry as the axis of revolution, but you can also pick it manually if needed.
  3. Set the revolution: Ensure the Direction1 is set to 360° to complete the sphere.
  4. Finalize your sphere: Click “Accept” to finish your sketch and view your sphere.

Modifying Your Sphere to Create a Hemisphere in SOLIDWORKS

Once you’ve mastered creating a sphere in SOLIDWORKS, modifying it to create a hemisphere is straightforward. Follow the initial steps to create a sphere. Then, make a simple change in the revolution settings.

Instead of setting Direction1 to 360°, set it to 180° to create a hemisphere. Click “Accept” to finalize your sketch.

What About Other Curved Shapes?

What if you need more complex or organic curves?

First, try the Ellipse and Spline tools. If these don’t cut it, consider creating curves defined by mathematics using the Equation Driven Curve tool. Find it in the Spline menu under the Sketch tab of the command manager.

How to Use the Equation Driven Curve Tool in SOLIDWORKS

Equation-driven curves are curves in a sketch whose path and curvature are defined by a mathematical equation. You can input specific expressions to shape your designs.

The tool provides two options to create a curve:

  • Explicit: Here, the curve is defined by an equation where “x” is the independent variable and “y” is the dependent variable. This correlates x-values with y-values to form the curve.
  • Parametric: This option uses a set of equations, “x(t)” and “y(t),” where “t” is an independent parameter. These equations define the horizontal and vertical coordinates for each point along the curve. This allows you to create more flexible and complex shapes.

For both methods, you’ll specify mathematical expressions and start and end parameters to define the curve in your SOLIDWORKS project.

Expand Your SOLIDWORKS Skills

Keen to learn more about the full capabilities of SOLIDWORKS? Check out our comprehensive range of SOLIDWORKS courses today.  

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Hawk Ridge Systems Resource Hub

It often takes a team to solve a problem – and sometimes it takes a team to write about it. The Hawk Ridge Systems Engineering Team is comprised of our Product Managers, Applications Engineers, and Support Engineers. They've collaborated on this article to bring you the most accurate information about the solutions you use for design and manufacturing.
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