Fixing "Wrong" Orientations

A question I get from time to time involves working with imported models that come in at with the “wrong” orientation. Often this occurs with models made in CAM, where the Y and Z axes are reversed from the typical CAD Y and Z definitions, but can also be for other reasons.

Regardless, there’s a pretty easy way to fix this problem once the model is imported into SOLIDWORKS, and that is Move/Copy body.

In the example provided next, the part is not oriented the way we’d like it to be in SOLIDWORKS. To fix this, go to Insert, Features, Move/Copy.

Example of reorienting a part with steps selected such as Insert, Features, Move / Copy

In the PropertyManager, make sure you are in Translate/Rotate mode and not Constraints mode. (See button at the bottom of the PropertyManager). Type in the angle of rotation desired in the proper box to rotate the body about the X, Y, or Z axis. In this case, we type -90 (follows right-hand rule) in the X axis rotation box, seen in the next example.

Example of continued part rotation with degrees in the X axis rotation box

Click "OK" and now you have a reoriented model!

Fully reoriented model example