Working with planes in SOLIDWORKS is the foundation of creating sketches. You can create planes in addition to the grid planes with the help of as little as one and up to three reference points. In this online training, you will learn how to create planes using a line and a point, two lines or another plane. You will then learn how to use these new planes to create sketches at new angles that you can use to cut holes in your geometry.
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When a new Solidworks part is opened and we have three predefined planes to start building our model. To start a sketch we need to choose either a face or plane. But when you first get started, there is no faces so you have to choose one of those three fundamental planes. So what happens when I need a plane that's other than the ones located at the origin? Well, lucky for us Solidworks gives us the ability to create planes wherever we want. Planes are infinite in all directions. So there's no perimeter or boundaries. In order to create a plane, we need a series of three points, a line and a point or an existing plane in a distance. To go through this, first let's go up here to Features, and come over here to Reference Geometry, and click on drop-down arrow, and choose Plane.
From plane, notice I have three different options. My First Reference, my Second Reference, and Third Reference. Depending on the power of the reference you choose, you might not need more than just one. For instance if I choose a plane itself For instance the top plane here. That's all I need to define another plane, because the plane again is in, infinite in all directions. So, all I need to do is tell it how far away from the existing plane, that we want to make it. So, if I click on this, I can just move that plane up, above to wherever I want. And when I'm happy with it, go ahead and click on OK.
Now I have plane one directly above the top plane and I can use that to start a sketch just like I would on anything else. So giving an example, just choose that plane, go over to Sketch, start a Sketch and maybe we'll just draw a circle and maybe we'll extrude it out. Okay, that's built on that plane up above the top plane and then I've got these other planes up here as well. Really neat way, quick way to design and build new planes really quickly just by adding an offset from existing planes. Another way to do an offset plane is to grab an existing plane like this top plane here.
Hold on Ctrl, and then just drag out a plane. And notice I'm dragging this down below the existing plane. It's just a quick way to get into that Plane dialog box. Type in the number you want, maybe 3.0, and click OK. Also, I can make multiple planes if I want to. So by clicking this number here, I can expand that out so I have multiple planes in the same direction, all with that same offset. If you're happy with that, click OK, and you're done. Now let's jump over to 6.1-2. In this one here, I've got a couple other sketches laid out here.
So I've got a sketch with this line here. I have another sketch with this little center line over here. And I want to make a couple of planes that are actually going to be through there. Before we do that, though, I'm just going to start with a rectangle. On the top line here, I'm going to choose that plane, click on Sketch, start a sketch, and I'm going to just go ahead and choose a Corner Rectangle. Click on the Spacebar so I'm looking normal at this. And we'll go ahead and just draw out a shape. And go to Features > Extrude, I'm just going to drag that up to about that size there and click OK. And we probably should be entering dimensions and things of that nature.
But in this case here, I'm just providing an example to show how to create the planes and actually use them with real geometry. So now what I want to do is, I want to create a hole through this block here at an angle. So what I want to do is I want to create a plane between this line here and this point up here. To do so, go ahead and Click on Reference Geometry, and click on Plane. And for my first reference here, I'm going to actually choose this line. And notice as soon as I choose that line, you can see there's a plane sitting on there. And then my second reference is going to be this point here. And notice that point, now you have a plane actually going through the line and the point.
Keep in mind, you need at least three points, if you choose a plane itself, that actually has four points, for the four corners. If you choose a line, there's a point on either end of the line, plus a third point, is all you need. If you choose points alone, you need three individual points, a line, a point, or a plane itself. So that's how those three references all work together. When you're happy with what you have, go ahead and click OK. And now I have this new plane at an angle. Then I can choose that plane itself, start a sketch, and this time I'm just going to make a little circle. And if I click on the spacebar so I'm looking normal at that, I can click it so I'm looking across this way.
Let's just go ahead and draw something out. This time, we're going to skip ahead a little bit. I'm going to show you a preview of one of the features called Extruded Cut. So, I'm going to go ahead and cut a hole through this part, flip the direction and I'm going to make it cut all the way through the part. Click OK. And notice because where I started from, I was actually partly inside of the part. It actually didn't cut all the way this way. So, I have two options there, I could one, I can go back to the original sketch. Move that sketch up a little bit then click OK. Now I've got a hole at an angle through the part. And you can see you can get, get some pretty complex geometry, with a pretty simple circle and a plane at a special angle.
Next let's create one more plane. Go to Reference Geometry, click on Plane. This time here, I'm going to choose the point on the top here, the point on the bottom here, and then the point at the end of this line over here. And those may look like three points needed to create that plane. So, I've got point two, one, and two from these different sketches. That creates a new plane at that angle. And go ahead and click OK. And then again, I can choose that plane to draw on. Click on there and you can start a sketch right from there. Click on it. Maybe this time we'll create a rectangle. I'll draw a rectangle out.
Go Features, I'll say Extruded Cut. In this case here, it's starting in the middle of the part. So maybe I'll instead of just going in one direction, let's go ahead and go in both directions. And I'll say Through All and Through All, click OK. And there's my cut cutting through that part, at that angle with that new sketch, on that new plane. Planes are the foundation of sketches, and in order to build a complex feature, or higher level features like lofts and sweeps. We need to understand the basics of creating new planes. There are up to three reference values used to create planes. However, we can use as little as one, depending if we are choosing either a point, a line, or a plane as our reference value.
For instance, a line already has two end points, so that counts as two references.
- Creating your first part
- Starting a new sketch
- Adding and removing relationships and dimensions
- Sketching polygons
- Creating offset geometry
- Moving, copying, and rotating elements
- Working with planes, axes, and the coordinate system
- Using Revolve and Loft to create 3D objects
- Trimming with the Revolve, Loft, and Sweep cuts
- Creating smooth and angled corners with fillets and chamfers
- Designing with sketch blocks
- Working with subassemblies
- Creating threaded parts
- Integrating Excel to manage design tables
- Adding dimension notations to a drawing
- Rendering an image of a part or assembly