When working in a 3D space like the SOLIDWORKS modeling environment, the view orientation and model manipulation are two of the key fundamental concepts. It’s the first thing you learn when starting to use the software. One of the most important view orientation tools is Normal To. Normal To is when you’re looking directly at the model and everything is straight and oriented properly. What’s great about this is that it makes it easy for us to visually understand the model. In this week’s Video Tech Tip, we share with you some of the more advanced functionality of this fundamental tool to help you better take advantage of it and easily understand your model.
The Normal To View
When you press Normal To once it orients the model with the positive orientation on the screen. Positive or negative orientation refers to the green or red sides of the reference planes. If you want to look at the other side, you can press Normal To a second time, with every subsequent click of Normal To you will be flipping the orientation from positive to negative. This is a convenient tip to keep in mind to help orient your model properly.
A tip only true SOLIDWORKS power users know is that you can define the up orientation of a Normal To view. This means you can determine the way you look at the model at any angle while still being Normal To a face. This works by selecting a second face. But it’s important to note that you need to select the second face while holding the shift key, not the control key! The second face will define the vertical direction essentially giving you the freedom to orient your model how you want.
Now you know how to take full advantage of the Normal To command!
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