An Old Trick For Quickly Creating Reference Planes In SOLIDWORKS

By John Landis on

I love how SOLIDWORKS gives you so many opportunities to quickly perform many functions through on-screen gestures and typical Windows options keys.

This nifty little example has been around for awhile but always generates a buzz when I show it in a SOLIDWORKS training class, demonstration or user group meeting. This technique for creating reference planes in SOLIDWORKS works in part and assembly files. 

Creating Reference Planes In SOLIDWORKS

With no command active, press and hold CTRL on your keyboard and then place your cursor on the displayed edge of any reference plane. Click and hold your primary mouse button, drag your cursor and viola! You are now creating a new reference plane that is “attached” to your cursor.

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The plane property manager pops open, and you will see the value change in the distance field change as you move your cursor. When you release the mouse button, your new plane will be located at the specified distance from the source reference plane.

Edit the value or select additional references to complete the specification of your new reference plane. Click “OK,” and you have your new plane!

how to create a plane in solidworks 2018

how to create a plane in solidworks 2018

BONUS TIP: Before clicking “OK,” select a point or vertex for the second reference to create the parallel plane passing through the point reference.

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