Home » How to change or redefine Isometric View in SolidWorks?

Sometimes after making a component or an assembly you find that the model is facing in the wrong direction. It may also happen when you are importing a file that you received or downloaded from somewhere as imported files sometimes have flipped axes.

Flipped axes mean a wrong isometric view in SolidWorks and since the Isometric view plays an important role in drawings you may have to change the orientation of the model.

Also, take a look at this BLDC Motor assembly which is upside down. Notice the ground shadow, it doesn’t seem normal.

In order to change the orientation of the geometry, you can either use the Move/Rotate Component tool to align the geometry if you are in an assembly or you can use the Move/Copy Bodies tool if you are working on a part. These tools can work their magic when used on an imported geometry but the Move/Rotate Component tool can’t always be used to perform the job (like when a component is fully defined or fixed in an assembly) and the Move/Copy Bodies tool only affects the geometry when it’s applied and doesn’t affect any of the features present in the Feature Tree above the Move/Copy Bodies Feature. Also if you want to change the Move/Copy Bodies feature, it may have a catastrophic effect on all the features made after applying this tool.

So what are you going to do if you made the very first sketch on the wrong plane and then completed the model? You certainly are not going to change the plane of the base sketch and then correct all the child features and sketches. To help overcome this problem you can use the Orientation tool to change how you view your model. Using this tool you can change the Isometric, Dimetric, and Trimetric views as well as their constituents i.e. Front, Back, Left, Right, Top, and Bottom views.

Note that this tool does not change geometry, it just changes the way you view the model.

For this example, we are going to orient the motor so that it’s lying on the ground. To do so we are going to make the base of the motor face back.

1. First of all, you have to go normal to the face that you want to assign to the standard view. There are various ways to do so. Three of them are shown below:

  • Click on the face that you want to go normal to and select the Normal To icon.
  • Click on the face and select the Normal To icon from the Standard view toolbar. If this toolbar is not visible go to View-> Toolbar-> Standard View.
  • Click on the face, press Spacebar on your keyboard, and select the Normal To icon.

You can skip the above step if you want to directly change the isometric/dimetric/trimetric view. Once you have set the orientation, there are 2 ways to assign it to a standard view.

1. Using the Orientation Tool

1. In order to change the standard view, click on the View Orientation icon present in the heads-up view ribbon.

2. Next, Click on the More options arrow to bring out the Orientation Dialog Box.

Tip: Alternatively, you can either press Spacebar on your keyboard or go to View-> Modify -> Orientation to activate this orientation dialog box.

3. Click on the Update Standard Views icon.

4. Select the Standard View in the Orientation Dialog Box that you would like to assign your current view to. You can choose from all the standard views (Top, Bottom, Front, Back, Left, and Right as well as Isometric, Dimetric, and Trimetric views).

Caution: Be advised that if you select the Isometric, Dimetric, or Trimetric view to assign the current view to, you may notice that the resulting view is not accurate and is deflected by a certain degree. So it is recommended to not directly change these views.

In this case, we are going to assign the current view to Back.

5. A SolidWorks warning will appear stating that the Standard view will change. Click Yes.

6. And now your Isometric view will change. You may need to Rebuild the model to update and see any changes. To rebuild the model, click the Rebuild icon present in the Standard toolbar or go to Edit Rebuild or press Ctrl + B, or press Ctrl+Q.

Notice the motor is now lying on the ground.

2. Direct Method

To change the Standard View, right-click in the graphics area and click on the expand icon to view more options. Now select Set Current View as.. and choose whichever view your current would you like to represent. This method can’t be used to directly apply the current view to isometric/dimetric/trimetric views.

Now, we would like to orient the motor so that it’s sitting on the ground. So we have to assign the base of the motor to the Bottom view. To do so, first, we go normal to the base and then select the Bottom option from the Set Current View As.

A SolidWorks warning will appear stating the Standard view will change. Click Yes and now we have our motor sitting on the ground.

So in this quick tutorial, you learned how to change the Standard Views in SolidWorks. If you are not satisfied with the changes you made or if you want to restore the isometric view to its original orientation, click the Reset Standard Views icon present in the Orientation Dialog Box.