By now we are all familiar with using the default Reference Planes (Front, Top & Right) within SOLIDWORKS. Whether being used to start a sketch or mating parts with assemblies, the use of reference planes is a fundamental building block of SOLIDWORKS Part Design or Assembly Modeling.So, what if we need a plane in a different location, possibly at an angle or offset at a given distance from the default Reference Planes?
In this blog, we will explain the different options for inserting references planes into our part or assembly models within SOLIDWORKS.
Accessing the Plane Wizard
Select Features > Reference Geometry > Plane on the command manager
Select the Insert> Reference Geometry > Plane from the top menu options.
With our default planes shown, holding CRTL, selecting the screen boarder of an existing plane and dragging a new plane into the model space.
Selecting Reference Items:
Now that the Planes Property Manager is displayed, we can see that we have the option to select up to three reference objects. A few examples of reference items include a Face, Line, Vertex, Axis, Point, and Plane.
Property Manager Options:
Once selecting an object to use for reference, we are given new options for how we would like to orientate the new plane relative to our First Reference selection.
As we continue to select Reference object's, additional menu options become available.
Although we have the option to use up to three separate objects for reference, the majority of reference plane will be created from a single or possibly two references.
The next time you find yourself looking for a new location to create a sketch, inserting a feature not associated with the main body of your existing part, or adding additional constraints when Mating your assembly, try inserting a new Reference Plane into your model.
Do you have a unique method for inserting reference plane? Let us know in the comments below!
Written by Kris Lind
Kris Lind is an Application Engineer at Alignex, Inc. Kris spends his days assisting customers on the Alignex Help Desk and teaching SOLIDWORKS courses. In his spare time, you can find him at the local record store looking thru the used records bins, or outside enjoying a nice hike with his dog.