How do I re-orient a part in solidworks?

Sometimes I import parts from another file format (my current issue is with an Inventor part file) and they are oriented to planes which make it very difficult to work with the part. For example, one face of the part may be coincident with the Y-Z plane when it would make my world much easier to have it coincident and parallel with the X-Z plane. Or a vertex may be coincident with (or stuck to) the origin. This doesn't usually occur with parts I've created because I generally think ahead to what will be the most practical plane on which to begin a sketch.

Any solutions would be greatly appreciated!


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6 Answers

Hi there.

First of all, you need to make sure that your imported model is fully define. With this I mean that in the feature manager, all the features are named and not just "imported". If not, do an "import diagnostic", try and recognise all the features(right click on feature, then go feature works.)

Secondly, select one of the faces on the model that you want to use as a plane, preferably a flat surface, and create a new sketch. This could also be done using a reference plane.

Now create two perpendicular lines in the new sketch that would be used as your part's new axis. Ensure it is in the correct orientation that you want.

Next, is to create your new coordinate system. Go to "reference Geometry" and in the drop down, select "Coordinate System". Use the intersection of the lines in your new sketch as your point of origin, and the two lines as two of your three possible axis (x, y ,z)

Now to save you model again. When doing this, save the model as a STEP file. Before clicking on safe, click on the "options" button on the bottom left corner of the save window. When the option window pops up, on the current tab you will see a drop down menu with the label " Output coordinate system", it should be on -default-. Just select your newly created soordinate system there. Select "ok", then save

Lastly, just import your newly saved STEP file again, do all the diagnostics and recognitions and all should be a-o-k

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in inventor 2014 i've found the following solution:
This is made on a simple prt

Answered with a tutorial:

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Thanks for all of the help. Shorty after posting my question I found the following post which cleared it all up. (It pays to read ahead in 'similar posts'):

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