How Do You Rotate an Imported Part in SolidWorks?

Rotating an imported part in SolidWorks is a crucial skill that every designer should have. Whether you need to align a component properly or simply adjust its orientation to fit your design, knowing how to rotate an imported part can save you time and effort.

Importing a Part

Before we dive into the details of rotating an imported part in SolidWorks, let’s first understand how to import a part into the software. To import a part, follow these simple steps:

  1. Step 1: Launch SolidWorks and open the assembly or part file where you want to import the new component.
  2. Step 2: Go to File > Open, and browse for the file you want to import. Select the file and click on Open.
  3. Step 3: Choose the desired import options from the dialog box that appears. You can select options like unit system, geometry repair, and tessellation settings.
  4. Step 4: Click on OK, and SolidWorks will import the part into your current assembly or part file.

Rotating an Imported Part

Now that we have imported our desired component, let’s move on to rotating it within SolidWorks. Follow these steps:

  1. Step 1: Select the imported part by clicking on it in the graphics area or by selecting it from the FeatureManager design tree.
  2. Step 2: Go to the Mate/Mate References toolbar or the Insert menu, and click on Mate.
  3. Step 3: In the Mate PropertyManager, choose the type of mate you want to apply for rotation. For example, you can select Angle, Cylindrical, or Spherical.
  4. Step 4: Select the entities you want to use for rotation. These entities can be edges, faces, or axes of other components within your assembly.
  5. Step 5: Specify the desired angle or distance of rotation in the Mate PropertyManager.
  6. Step 6: Click on OK, and SolidWorks will apply the rotation to your imported part based on the selected mate and entities.

Tips for Rotating Imported Parts

To make your experience smoother while rotating imported parts in SolidWorks, keep these tips in mind:

  • TIP #1: Before applying a mate for rotation, ensure that all necessary dimensions and constraints are properly defined in your assembly or part file. This will help you achieve accurate results.
  • TIP #2: Take advantage of the various mate types available in SolidWorks.

    Experiment with different mates to find the one that best suits your needs.

  • TIP #3: If you need to rotate an imported part multiple times or at different angles, consider creating a configuration for that specific orientation. This allows you to easily switch between different orientations without repeatedly applying mates.


Rotating an imported part in SolidWorks is a fundamental skill that enhances your design capabilities. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can confidently rotate any imported part within your assemblies. Remember to pay attention to detail and leverage the available mate options for accurate and efficient rotations.

Now that you have learned how to rotate an imported part, go ahead and explore the endless possibilities of design in SolidWorks!