Reorienting Parts and Coordinate Systems in SOLIDWORKS

By Mark Peterson on

With every SOLIDWORKS part, there are front, top and right planes. But what do you do if those don’t line up with exactly what you want? In this week’s Video Tech Tip, we’ll show you step by step how to change the orientation of your part file to line up exactly how you want. 

Changing Part Orientation



There are many reasons why you might want to change the part orientation. Some of the most common ones we hear are to line up with a CNC machine’s coordinate system or to simply line up the standard views with the orientation you want. For example, you want the view named “top” by the top of the part.

In the first example in the video, you need to leverage the reference geometry feature and add a new coordinate system. You can add a coordinate system that is anchored at any vertex and then leveraging sketch geometry you can define the direction of the axis to go in any direction you choose. This coordinate system can now be used to define the orientation of the part when you export it to another system like your manufacturing system for machining.

In the second example in the video, you can orient the part how you’d like by using the move/copy bodies command. This allows you to move and rotate the solid body around the 3D space. Typically, you’d rotate the body to get the exact orientation you wish. With the part oriented correctly, you can then use the “update standard views” command to define the orientation you want to set up as standard views. Essentially, this is a way to customize the top view.

As you can see, it’s not that complicated. Like everything in SOLIDWORKS, it’s simple and straightforward once you know the features you need to use and how to use them.

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