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Solidworks: How To Change Origin/axis?


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#1 cash68

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 08:17 PM

Okay, this has screwed me up for years, and now that I'm getting into animating with solidworks I can't stand it anymore. Sometimes, when using solidworks, I have an assembly or a model where everything is 'turned' 90 degrees. I click on "right view" and it shows the right side, but it's all sideways. I click on front, and it shows me the top. Everything is off by about 90 degrees, which is okay for general modeling, but when you start rendering something or animating something, the shadows start to screw everything up if there is a shadow on the SIDE of the object. It looks stupid. So how do I fix this?

#2 Guest_odd_concept_*

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 10:06 PM

I had this same issue a while back and this is how I corrected it. Find the first part placed in the assembly, right click on it and change it from fixed to float. Make the adjustment needed then make it fixed again. Please note, some of the mates may break. For me it was only 1 mate that broke in a twenty something part assembly. Another way is to make a new assembly file and place the assembly in the new file and place it properly.

Good luck

Note: I was using Solidworks 2006 when I tried this, so there may be an easier way in 2009.

#3 Guest_under-dog_*

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 01:55 PM

Okay, this has screwed me up for years, and now that I'm getting into animating with solidworks I can't stand it anymore. Sometimes, when using solidworks, I have an assembly or a model where everything is 'turned' 90 degrees. I click on "right view" and it shows the right side, but it's all sideways. I click on front, and it shows me the top. Everything is off by about 90 degrees, which is okay for general modeling, but when you start rendering something or animating something, the shadows start to screw everything up if there is a shadow on the SIDE of the object. It looks stupid. So how do I fix this?




This topic has been raised before. I dont believe a true solution was ever reached for completely changing the positioning of the global origin with relation to part or assembly.

As odd concept mentioned, you can create in a bottom up style and reorientate when you create the assembly. The first part in will usually dictate the oriantation of all the parts to follow.

You made a statement that I personally diagree with and is partly cause for your trouble. "everything is off by 90 degrees which is ok for general modeling". If you begin your build with proper orientation then all the pieces will fall into place "literally and figuratively" downstream. Every so often I get a file in from and outside source and think "why would they ever consider orientating this in this position?". Usually makes for a huge hastle to do anything with it. I recommend taking a few moments before jumping in to work out your desired orientation before you ever lay a sketch line down.


As a work around you could do a rotate bodies command in you part files as the final feature after is all said and done so that they are in the proper orientation. But like I have said this is a work around to building in proper position with design intent in mind.

I use a top down approach anyways myself. I have also gotten away from using assemblies unless I really have to(drawings, etc.) I build all bodies in one "master" part and then save out the bodies to child part files. Keeps things much cleaner especially when working through iterations, part to part relations etc. Plus everything is built "in place".

#4 KQD

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 09:28 AM

I take it the problem assemblies come from other systems? SolidWorks uses a Y=up system whereas a lot of rendering/animation focussed systems use Z=up - hence why you get issues on exports and imports sometimes.

Easiest way is to model as under-dog describes - the right way up to start with. Anything you bring in from other systems is easy enough to re-orientate in an assembly using mates. But if you model the wrong way from the start you can still import that part into a new assembly and switch it there.

I think SolidProfessor did a video tip about this a while back.

#5 Guest_KRS_*

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 02:50 PM

File Menu> Insert > Reference Geometry > Coordinate System

Help menu> Solidworks Help topics > keyword search, "Reference Geometry" and "Coordinate System"

#6 Guest_Nephtis_*

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 03:27 PM

It's really simple, the basic problem you have is that your front view or top view is actually your right view, or visa versa. You can change these by doing the following.

Go to the view you want to be your front view, hit space, and click update views. This should make that view be your new front view and also realign your axis.

If you have trouble to make a certain view face you before you hit space. You can select that face and do the "normal-to" command. That may have the result that the top will actually be bottom, you can make sure that the rotation is right by selecting a the face you want to be your front view and then after that also select the face you want to be your top view. Hold control to select more faces. Then do the "normal to" command and use spacebar again to update your views.

I hope this helps....

#7 Guest_under-dog_*

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 05:13 PM

It's really simple, the basic problem you have is that your front view or top view is actually your right view, or visa versa. You can change these by doing the following.

Go to the view you want to be your front view, hit space, and click update views. This should make that view be your new front view and also realign your axis.

If you have trouble to make a certain view face you before you hit space. You can select that face and do the "normal-to" command. That may have the result that the top will actually be bottom, you can make sure that the rotation is right by selecting a the face you want to be your front view and then after that also select the face you want to be your top view. Hold control to select more faces. Then do the "normal to" command and use spacebar again to update your views.

I hope this helps....



This only changes the orientation of the named views in the viewport selection when you choose from the space bar menu. I does not actually reorientates the model withing global position nor does it affect the construction planes. It does not realign the axes.
To test this:. The click on the 3 standard construction planes in the feature manager tree and you will notice these do not change. While you have one of them selected spacebar and normal to and you will notice nothing changes. This solution was explored last time this subject came up.Not a fix just view port realignment

You can achieve the same resuly by just renaming the construction planes to your liking. The model will still be oriented the wrong way when campared against or used in conjunction with other parts that were built the right way.

#8 Guest_under-dog_*

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 05:20 PM

File Menu> Insert > Reference Geometry > Coordinate System

Help menu> Solidworks Help topics > keyword search, "Reference Geometry" and "Coordinate System"



Still doesnt fix the origional mis-orientation just masks it. This one came up as well last time.


The fact is that SW is parametric and every move matters from step one to finish. In a program like rhino it is irrelivent how you got to the finish line......just that you made it

#9 cash68

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 02:48 PM

Okay, this is even weirder. When viewing the assembly, Z is up. The shadow is located UNDER the model. It looks fine. But when I go into the animation tab, the shadow moves to the SIDE of the object..... and then rotating the model looks goofy because this shadow keeps flopping around. Any ideas?

#10 Guest_Bowl of Soup_*

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 06:15 PM

Lol, don't render with SW... gah, go out there and get a free or cheap renderer, it will still be better.

#11 Guest_under-dog_*

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 09:09 PM

Okay, this is even weirder. When viewing the assembly, Z is up. The shadow is located UNDER the model. It looks fine. But when I go into the animation tab, the shadow moves to the SIDE of the object..... and then rotating the model looks goofy because this shadow keeps flopping around. Any ideas?




Did you reorientate the part in the assembly to fix the misalignment?

This is a complete guess...
If so.....I wonder if it has anything to do with shadows from the part file orientation versus the assembly orientation?
When u animate and activate a specific part it is using part file shadowing or something.
Without trying it myself of course.........dont have much experience in this area.

#12 cash68

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 04:13 PM

Lol, don't render with SW... gah, go out there and get a free or cheap renderer, it will still be better.


For renderings yes. But I was doing an animation of an exploding assembly within solidworks. So. Yeah. That is much harder to do in other rendering packages.

#13 Guest_bildder_*

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 07:23 AM

In order to change a part orientation u can use move/copy feature from menu insert > features.
In assembly I did the following: from existing an assembly I make new - next under RMB I changed status from fix info float, and then I can rotate however I need.
Last step is to dissolve Sub-assembly under RMB and overwrite old assembly file using the same file name.

#14 ZachH

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 02:11 PM

So i had this problem several times. I just tryed something different for kicks and I think it worked. I took the part that needed reoriented and I put it in an assembly. I floated the part and mated the planes and origin the way I wanted them and saved the assembly as a solidworks part. it seemed to work because it was a single part in the assembly and when i reopened the saved part it was correctly oriented. I don't know... might work






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