So many of my first-time students get confused on the difference between the depth options of up to plane versus up to surface because in some situations, they can be used interchangeably. Let’s take a deep dive on when you can use either and when you must specifically choose one.
In scenario A, I have a shape (the circular sketch) which I want to extrude up to the yellow surface. Note that the yellow surface happens to be perfectly flat (i.e. planar). Since this surface is flat and would also completely intersect with the entire circular shape, you can use either up to surface or up to plane.
Now let’s focus on the up to surface option. In scenario B, we are wanting to extrude up to the wavy blue surface. Because the blue surface is not flat, we must use the up to surface option. However, when using this option, the surface that you are selecting must intersect through the entire shape. This is why the hexagonal pad feature works yet the circle extrudes past the blue surface enough though you specify it as the surface to extrude to.
Finally, in scenario C, up to surface is used. This depth type requires the surface selected to be perfectly flat (could be a reference plane also). However, with this method, the selected surface does not have to intersect fully the entire shape. This is demonstrated in this scenario with the pink surface. Notice both the hexagonal and circular extrusion stop at the pink surface even though it only partially intersects with the circle sketch.
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