3 Replies Latest reply on Nov 15, 2012 9:54 AM by Kelvin Lamport

    Changing SW Coordinates arrangement


         Before I get to my question I will provide a little backround information. I work for an aerospace company so all our models are in what is called Aircraft Coordinates (i.e. Water Line, Butt Line and Station). These are directly releated to the X, Y & Z coordinates in soldiworks. But in real aircraft coordinates as used by other companies and mostly all FEA software. These coordinates do not adhere to the standard.

         So what I want to know is it possible to change the default direction that the X , Y & Z icon currently sits? I have a attached a quick snap shot of what I am talking about. Currently the "Z" is in the direction that I want the "X" to be in and the "Y" is in the current direction that I want the "Z" to be in. See where I am heading.

          Can anyone tell if it is possible to change this and if so how would I go about doing so?


      Thanks allot for your help.





        • Re: Changing SW Coordinates arrangement
          Troy Peterson

          You can create your own coordinate system, the following is from the help file, search coordinate;


          Coordinate System

          You can define a coordinate system for a part or assembly. Use this coordinate system with the Measure and Mass Properties tools, and for exporting SolidWorks documents to IGES, STL, ACIS, STEP, Parasolid, VRML, and VDA.

          To create a coordinate system:

          1. Click Coordinate System on the Reference Geometry toolbar, or click Insert, Reference Geometry, Coordinate System.

          2. Use the Coordinate System PropertyManager to create the coordinate system.

          You can amend your selections:

          • To change your selections, right-click in the graphics area and select Clear Selections.

          • To reverse the direction of an axis, click its Reverse Axis Direction button in the PropertyManager.


          1. Click OK .

          You may need to locate a coordinate system where there are insufficient entities available to define the coordinate system. In this case, you can define a coordinate system someplace on the part or assembly that does provide the entities you need. Then you can move the new origin to the desired location. The new location must contain at least one point or vertex.

          To translate a coordinate system to a new location:

          1. Click Coordinate System or Insert, Reference Geometry, Coordinate System.

          2. Define the coordinate system at a location on the part or assembly that provides the entities you need to control the angle and direction of each axis.

          3. Click in Origin, then select the point or vertex to which you want to translate the origin.

          4. Click OK. The origin moves to the location that you selected.

            When you create a coordinate system, it is a good idea to give it a meaningful name to explain its purpose. Click-pause-click the coordinate system’s name in the FeatureManager design tree and enter a new name.

          To toggle the display of coordinate systems:

            Click View, Coordinate Systems.

          To hide or show individual coordinate systems:

          1. Right-click the coordinate system in the graphics area or in the FeatureManager design tree.

          2. Select Hide or Show.

            Individual coordinate systems always are highlighted when you select them, even when hidden.

          • Re: Changing SW Coordinates arrangement
            Dennis Schuette

            I know this topic was posted awhile ago but I am currently wondering the same thing. Were you ever to solve this?