When it comes to modeling in SOLIDWORKS there is nothing more fundamental than navigating around the 3D space. It is probably the first thing you ever looked to do when you used SOLIDWORKS for the first time. Typically, navigating around the modeling environment is done with two tools, pan zoom or rotate. In this week’s Video Tech Tip, we are going take it a step further and share with you some advanced functionalities of the rotate tool that give you more power and control when rotating around 3D space.
By default, to rotate your model you press and hold the middle mouse wheel and move the mouse around. Your model will move as it sort of tumbles around in space. For 99% of modeling, this is enough. But for those few times where you need more control over the movement of your model, there’s a trick to set the axis of rotation. This is great because it enables you to define a specific axis or face for rotation.
To do it is easy. It just takes one additional step of clicking an entity with the middle mouse wheel and then rotating as you normally would. Clicking on an entity first defines it as the point of rotation. You know it’s set because the face turns pink and the mouse icon changes to show a dashed line going through the rotation icon. Remember, just click the middle mouse wheel and then rotate. With just this one additional step you can easily define the rotation point in your models, so you have more control in navigating through 3D space.
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