Eight tips for efficient use of Extrude and Presspull commands

Extrude and Presspull Commands are probably the most used AutoCAD 3D tools if not the most used 3D tools. In this article, I will show you eight tips for making efficient use of these commands, let’s start with the Extrude command.

Changing 3D mode:

There are two modes available with the Extrude command, these are Solid and Surface. You can convert any closed geometry into a solid or a surface by selecting the respective mode from the command line as shown in the image below.

If you apply extrude command on an open 2D geometry a surface will always be created irrespective of the mode selected. Extrude command can be used on Regions too, and you will be able to select Solid or surface mode for Regions also.


Extrude along direction:

By default, extrusion will go perpendicular to profile but by using direction option from the command line we can change the direction of extrusion to an angle other than 90 degrees.

For changing direction select a line or use two points, make sure that the reference line for direction is not on the same or parallel plane of the profile which you are extruding. Take reference of the image below for more.


Extrude along the path:

By using this option you can create extruded geometry along a path as well. The path can be created using an arc, line, polyline or spline and it can even be made away from the geometry. In this case, also the path should not be on the same or parallel plane of the geometry with which extrusion is being made, take reference of the image below.

Extruding using taper angle:

You can taper the extruded object with respect to the axis perpendicular to the plane of the geometry. The positive value of taper angle makes taper inside the profile & negative makes it outside and all faces are tapered equally with respect to the vertical axis.

Specifying large angle may cause faces or loop of the object to meet at a point before reaching extrude height so try to add appropriate value to the taper angle of extrusion. In the image below the taper angle of 10 degrees is applied to the pentagon shape.


Extruding using an expression (Formulas):

You can even use expressions for the height of extrusion. To use it, start the Extrude command then select geometry and select Expression option from the command line. Enter an expression like this one  Pi*25^2 or 2(25+5) or log10 and press enter. AutoCAD will calculate the final output and apply the height according to the expression.

Extrude Text:

There is no direct method to extrude text in AutoCAD. In order to extrude text, we need to first convert it into drawing entities by exploding it. Use TXTEXP command which is also known as Text Explode command for exploding text in the drawing.

After Exploding the text use OVERKILL command to remove redundant geometries from the exploded text. Join the text geometry wherever required then apply extrude command on it. The Image shown below shows text extruded after making changes as mentioned above.


The Presspull command:

Presspull can be used to apply height to any face of existing geometry or an island in 2D geometry. This tool can also be used to subtract part of a geometry. You can start the Presspull tool by PRES command or by using the CTRL+Shift+E key from your keyboard.

Start the command and select the island from the geometry which you want to extrude, you can also click on object boundary to extrude the complete 2D geometry ignoring island. If you select an open profile for Presspull then a surface will be created along the boundary similar to the extrude command.

You can click on the planar face or closed areas of existing 3D solids to create holes or pockets and 3D solid extrusions.

Making Presspull along direction:

If you use the Presspull command on an existing face then a simple extrusion will be created but if you press and hold the CTRL key and then use Presspull command on the surface then the extrusion will follow the geometry along the profile of 3D solid as shown in the image below.


Do you have questions related to these tips? Let me know in the comments below.

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About the Author:

Mulkesh is a Mechanical engineer proficient in surface and sheet metal designing, he has worked for Agricultural components manufacturing unit like Sonalika tractors and CLAAS India and is currently working with GE as CATIA designer. He primarily works with CATIA & AutoCAD and loves to fumble around with other CAD software's too.


  1. Bharat October 30, 2018 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    how do I make multiple holes at a fixed pitch on sheet metal.I mean after creating array, how to extrude or remove the material?

  2. Sandeep April 3, 2018 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    can any one help me with PRESSPULL Command, please

  3. Sandeep April 3, 2018 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    I am not able to use PRESSPULL Command easily , if suppose i want a hole dia of 20 mm on a Plate of 1000x200x3thick, hole can be anywhere for example, also i cant copy that hole to another distance

  4. samy March 20, 2018 at 2:05 am - Reply

    can i make extend of an edge to be perp to the surface this edges belongs to like in SolidWroks

  5. Patrick Kirby August 10, 2017 at 12:32 am - Reply

    Is there a way to extrude a solid to another surface or solid that is not perpendicular to the start surface of the solid being extruded. It would be like the extend command, but in 3D and with the ability to trim itself and conform to the target surface/solid?

  6. vishal singh October 3, 2016 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for this amazing facts about Extrude and Press Pull command.

    • Jaiprakash Pandey October 15, 2016 at 8:45 pm - Reply

      Welcome Vishal

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