Get Oriented – Tricks for Orienting Your 3D Model Views in SOLIDWORKS

It’s no secret that a 3D model makes conveying your concepts, ideas, or designs easier than ever but, navigating around the 3D space can sometimes prove tricky. It can even sometimes seem borderline impossible. So, here are a few tips that can help you orient your 3D models with ease. With these tricks you can save yourself from the tediousness of manipulating views and get back to conveying your concepts and designs.

Default hot keys 

Use the default hot keys for quick access to the standard views:

Get Oriented - Tricks for Orienting Your 3D Model Views in SOLIDWORKS


Normal to

  1. Press normal to a second time to flip the view 180 degrees
  2. Press normal to when not in a sketch and the view will orient to the closest orthogonal view
  3. Customize your “normal to” orientation by selecting a second face which will define the “up” direction


Use the Triad

  1. Clicking the triad will orient the view normal to the axis you select
  2. Rotate about the axis 15 degrees or 90 degrees using the shift or alt keys



If you like a view, you can save it to your model or even “globally” to your SOLIDWORKS system

Stephen Petrock
Since 1998, TriMech has helped our clients design better products by partnering with them and offering, not only CAD, CAE, PDM, FEA, CAM software products, but also by engineering solutions involving full-time and temporary staffing, contract design, analysis and drafting services, rapid prototyping, custom programming and implementation services. TriMech is a value-added reseller of SOLIDWORKS and Stratasys 3D Printers in the Mid-Atlantic and South-East including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Stephen Petrock