SOLIDWORKS How-To: Reorient an Imported Part

Fixing “Wrong” Orientations

A question I get from time to time involves working with imported models that come in 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 this can also be for other reasons.

The good news is that once the model is imported into SOLIDWORKS, there is an easy way to fix this problem, and that is with the Move/Copy body function.

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

A part not oriented in a preferred way in SOLIDWORKS

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 desired angle of rotation in the proper box to rotate the body about the X, Y, or Z-axis. In this case, we type -90 (follows the right-hand rule) in the X-axis rotation box, seen in the next example.

Move / Body / Copy feature

Click “OK” and now you have a reoriented model!

Final, reoriented SOLIDWORKS model

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Meet the Author

John Setzer

John discovered his love of teaching early in life. He worked his way through college as a youth coach, umpire, and referee before earning his bachelor’s degree in Education. As Training Product Manager at GSC, he has been sharing his SOLIDWORKS wisdom with GSC customers ever since – over 20 years! As the only CSWE with a state certification in teaching, John is well-versed is teaching all types of learning styles.

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