Hide Table of Contents

Error Message - Shell Errors

Potential Error Messages

  • The shell operation failed to complete. One of the faces may offset into an adjacent face, a small face may need to be eliminated, or one of the faces may have a radius of curvature which is smaller than the shell thickness. Use Tools > Check to find the minimum radius of curvature on appropriate faces. If possible, eliminate any unintended small faces or edges.
  • The Thickness value is greater than the Minimum radius of Curvature. The shell may succeed, but could cause undesirable results, such as bad geometry. To find the Minimum radius of Curvature, use Tools > Check.

Potential Reasons for These Error Messages

Exceptions permit some shell errors to succeed. See Shell Exceptions.
Shell Error Examples

Face offsets into adjacent faces.

Shell fails with 1mm thickness setting. The model thickness at point shown is less than 1mm. The inner face offsets through the outer face.

Shell thickness exceeds the minimum radius of curvature.

Shell fails because the shell thickness setting exceeds the minimum radius of curvature for the model.

Some three-sided surfaces do not shell properly because of problems solving shells at the vertex.

Shells can fail when swept cuts using an existing model edge produce small faces along the resultant edge.

Potential Fixes and Tips

Potential Solutions:

  • Decrease shell thickness so it does not offset into adjacent faces or exceed the minimum radius of curvature. Use the Check tool on the Tools toolbar to find the minimum radius of curvature.
  • Add an extrude feature that covers the area where the shell offsets through an exterior face. Recreate the shell, removing all the extrude feature faces plus any model faces.
  • Remove unintended small faces or edges.
  • Use the Offset Surface tool on the Surfaces toolbar to offset surfaces you plan to shell. If you can offset the surfaces, you can probably shell them. In most cases, offsetting surfaces is testing the minimum radius of curvature.
  • Cut away areas of the model to pinpoint the problem area.
  • Work with the shell suppressed. Shelling complex parts requires a long time. Suppressing a shell lets you add and subtract faces from the shell without regenerating it. Work with the shell suppressed if you know it is going to fail, but you need to work on other parent features. Unsuppress the shell when you have fixed the problems with the parent features.

Provide feedback on this topic

SOLIDWORKS welcomes your feedback concerning the presentation, accuracy, and thoroughness of the documentation. Use the form below to send your comments and suggestions about this topic directly to our documentation team. The documentation team cannot answer technical support questions. Click here for information about technical support.

* Required

Subject:   Feedback on Help Topics
Page:   Error Message - Shell Errors
*   I acknowledge I have read and I hereby accept the privacy policy under which my Personal Data will be used by Dassault Systèmes

Print Topic

Select the scope of content to print:


We have detected you are using a browser version older than Internet Explorer 7. For optimized display, we suggest upgrading your browser to Internet Explorer 7 or newer.

 Never show this message again

Web Help Content Version: SOLIDWORKS 2013 SP05

To disable Web help from within SOLIDWORKS and use local help instead, click Help > Use SOLIDWORKS Web Help.

To report problems encountered with the Web help interface and search, contact your local support representative. To provide feedback on individual help topics, use the “Feedback on this topic” link on the individual topic page.