Tag Archives: Sketch Plane

Solidworks Basic – Choose Sketch Plane

The 1st step when creating a part in Solidworks (…and other 3D CAD Software) is to identify and choose the best profile.  Once the profile is decided, next step is to decide the plane for sketching the basic shape.

Figure 1 - Solidworks Default Planes

Figure 1 - Solidworks Default Planes

There are 3 reference planes, names by default… Front Plane, Top Plane and Right Plane shown in Figure 1.  Each of this plane is infinite, but you can see the screen borders for viewing and selection.  Each plane passes through the Origin position and perpendicular with each others.  Even though these planes are infinite, just imagine and think of them as forming an open box, connecting  at Origin as shown in Figure 2.  With this analogy, think of the inner faces of the box as the potential sketch planes.

Several things need to be consider when choosing the sketch plane.  The most important things in the consideration are appearance and the part’s orientation in an assembly. 

Figure 2 - The Plane Analogy

Figure 2 - The Plane Analogy

The appearance will dictates how the part will be oriented in standard views such as the Isometric view.  This plane selection will also determines how you will spend most of your time looking at the model while you create it.

The part’s orientation in an assembly dictates how it is to be positioned with respect to other mating parts. 

How the model will appear on the drawing when you detail it – the part should be build so that the Front view in the model is the same as the Front view in the drawing.  This can saves time during the detailing process because the predefined views can be use.

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