How to Change Orientation of an Existing SOLIDWORKS Part

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Yesterday I covered how to change the orientation of an imported part (http://blog.cati.com/2011/02/how-to-change-the-orientation-of-an-imported-solidworks-part.html) so today I thought I would cover how to change the orientation of a model created in SolidWorks.

There are 2 ways to do this on a feature based model and both have their pitfalls. The first method is probably the one with the most potential for failure of other features in the part and that is changing the Sketch plane that the base feature is created on.Import-5 The reason this can be bad is because you need to think about the other features in the model and how their Sketches were defined. If they were all defined off of other model faces then everything may work out OK but if anything was based off of a plane it more than likely blow up on you and could cost you a lot of rework time. Also do not forget about the potential issues if you already had a drawing file created for the part as you will have to go in and do some cleanup work on that as well. 

Import-6 The second method is a little sounder and that is using the Orientation Dialog Box, this is an older version of the View toolbars that are used today but can have its benefits.To get to this all you need to do is hit the Space Bar while in SOLIDWORKS, this lists all of the Standard view with an * next to them and has 3 buttons across the top New View, Update Standard Views, Reset Standard Views. New View does exactly what it says creates a new view in the exact orientation and zoom of a file, this is a good way to save off obscure views that you may want to put on a drawing or an area of the part that you want to work on later.

The Update Standard Views button will allow you to redefine the Standard Views of your part and the way it works is as follows:

  1. Rotate, Zoom, select a face and view Normal To, to get your part in the orientation you want it.
  2. Select (single click) on one of the Standard Views listed in the Orientation dialog box.
  3. Select the Update Standard Views and it will now make the Orientation you set in Step 1 to the Standard View you selected in Step 2.

Import-7 
Just like in the previous method discussed above do not forget about the potential issues if you already had a drawing file created for the part as you will have to go in and do some cleanup work on that as well.

The great thing about the using the Update Stand Views method is that you can always go back to the original view orientation by using the Reset Standard Views button to reset everything back to the way the part was first modeled.

Import-9 
Have a great weekend,

Josh Altergott

CATI  Support Team Leader

2 comments on “How to Change Orientation of an Existing SOLIDWORKS Part

  1. This was very helpful even for SOLIDWORKS 2016. I can not tell you how many times a component was oriented in a different position than the assembly. This helps reduce any confusion and creation of models and drawings much cleaner.
    Thank you

  2. I had a part that was sitting weird after sheet metal flattening. I modeled a new flat part on the top plane. Then I opened a new assembly, inserted the weird part and the new part, and did a coincident mate. Delete the new part, save assembly as part. Easy.

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