Reset the SolidWorks Planes to Z axis up — and call that the Top.

From those of us that are accustomed to working in ‘Machine Space’, the Z-Axis is always UP.   So why on earth does SolidWorks insist that Y is up?

Rather that ask and then answer the question, I’d would rather show you how to change it.  What we will do in the steps below is reset the default views and rename the default planes for both parts and assemblies and save the changes into the Part and Assembly templates.


Open Solidworks and create a new PART

The default view is most likely trimetric view and look like this.

We will be using the Triad to change and verify the views we want in several steps.




First, change to the Front View.  Use Ctrl-1 or the Heads-up menu or Spacebar
The Triad should look like this.






Now use the Spacebar to get access to Update Standard View.   This will set our current orientation 6 standard views.








When you click the button, you will be asked to select the view it should be.


Select the ‘Middle’ as shown.






Yes –( this is why we are doing it )




Now we need to – change the names of the Planes.


Right-Click the Front Plane and select properties.  We want the Change the Name (and description) to refer to ‘Top’ but we can’t have two ‘Top’s at the same time (while renaming at least).  So, if the ‘Front’ was called ‘Front Plane’  change it to ‘Top’ (just top).

Now Right Click the old ‘Top Plane’ and go to properties.  Here, Change the Name to ‘Front’.


Last step is to save this orientation to be the default for all new parts.


File–> Save As –>    Select the Save as Type to be “Part Template” type,  then select the part.prtdot file.






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