Welcome back to my “how-to” blog series, where I’ve been answering some frequently asked questions from new users of SOLIDWORKS. In this final installment, I demonstrate how to mirror a part in SOLIDWORKS. In my previous blogs, I talked about how to make a screw, how to make a helix, how to make threads, and how to change material in SOLIDWORKS which all used the same model as the one in today’s tutorial. Let’s take a look.
In SOLIDWORKS, we often run into situations, like in the situation with this hex cap screw, where we need to make both a left-hand and a right-hand version of the part. If that’s the case, what we can do is we can go into our SOLIDWORKS environment and choose a plane that we want to mirror the part.
For example, I’m going to choose the Right Plane. Once I choose the Right Plane I’m going to go into the command Insert > Mirror Part. (Note: If you don’t choose a plane and go to Insert > Mirror Part, Mirror Part will be greyed out so make sure you choose the plane you wish to mirror).
Once we choose the mirror part command, SOLIDWORKS is going to bring up a dialog box where we’re going to choose our template, and then we’re going to choose what we want to bring with it from the original part.
We can bring in solid bodies, any surface bodies that we’ve created, cosmetic threads, you can even bring along sketches and dimensions from the original model. Most of the time, however, we just want to bring over the solid body and maybe some of the properties from the original model such as the custom properties that we’ve assigned such as the material, the vendor, or any other custom property - those are examples of what we’d like to bring.
In my example, I’m going to bring over the solid bodies from my original part file. I’m going to hit the green checkmark and I can see that my part has been dropped into my new environment (which is a new part file) and I’m going to save the model as ¼ 20 hex cap screw which as the right-handed thread - and that’s all there is to it! That’s how you mirror a part in SOLIDWORKS.
One additional point to note about this mirrored part is that it is linked back to the original, so any changes I make to the original model are automatically going to show up on the mirrored part.
I hope you’ve found this “how-to” blog series helpful. For a video demonstration on this tutorial, check out the video below.
About the Author
Toby Schnaars began using the SOLIDWORKS Software on the ’98 plus release, in October of 1998. Toby is currently a Technical Sales Manager at Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS. He has fielded over 10,000 tech support cases and been the head instructor for over 200 SOLIDWORKS training classes. Toby is a regular presenter at users groups, technical summits, and SOLIDWORKS world. In 2003, in Orlando, FL, Toby won first place in SOLIDWORKS MODEL MANIA a modeling contest based on speed and accuracy.