How Do You Change the Plane in 3D Sketch in SolidWorks?

Changing the plane in a 3D sketch is a fundamental skill that every SolidWorks user should know. It allows you to sketch on different planes within a 3D space, giving you more flexibility and control over your designs. In this tutorial, we will explore the various methods of changing the plane in a 3D sketch using SolidWorks.

Method 1: Using the Plane Selector

If you want to change the plane while creating a new 3D sketch, SolidWorks provides an easy-to-use tool called the Plane Selector. To access it, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the “Sketch” tab in the command manager.
  2. Select “3D Sketch” from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click on the “Plane Selector” button located in the toolbar.

The Plane Selector tool will open up, displaying a list of available planes in your model. You can choose any of these planes to start your sketch on by simply clicking on them. Once selected, your sketch will be created on that plane.

Method 2: Changing Planes Mid-Sketch

Sometimes, you may need to change planes while working on an existing 3D sketch. SolidWorks offers multiple ways to accomplish this:

Method 2.1: Using the “Normal To” Tool

If you want to align your view normal to a specific face or plane during sketching, you can use the “Normal To” tool. Here’s how:

  1. Select any line or point within your existing sketch.
  2. Right-click and choose “Normal To”.

Your view will automatically align normal to the selected element, allowing you to sketch on a new plane parallel to that face or plane.

Method 2.2: Creating a New Sketch Plane

In some cases, you may want to create a completely new sketch plane while working on an existing sketch. SolidWorks provides a straightforward method to achieve this:

  1. Select any face or plane where you want to create the new sketch plane.
  2. Right-click and choose “Insert Sketch Plane”.

A dialog box will appear, allowing you to specify the orientation of the new sketch plane. You can define it by selecting references or using specific angles. Once created, your sketch will be projected onto the newly created plane.


Changing the plane in a 3D sketch is an essential skill for SolidWorks users. By utilizing tools like the Plane Selector and techniques such as using the “Normal To” tool or creating new sketch planes, you can easily switch between different planes within your model and enhance your flexibility in designing complex parts and assemblies.

Remember, practice makes perfect! So don’t hesitate to experiment with these methods in your own SolidWorks projects and see how they can improve your workflow.