Solidworks: Alternate Coordinate Systems

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Introduction: Solidworks: Alternate Coordinate Systems

This is a basic Solidworks tutorial on how to create and use alternate coordinate systems. I used a simple project of mine where I wanted to determine the moments of inertia for a grip I designed. My goal was to determine the mass properties from the center of the top of the cylinder.

Step 1: Create a Reference Point

If the part or assembly does not already have a reference point (either part or sketch geometry), one needs to be created. For my part, there was no reference point where I wanted my coordinate system to be, so I created a new sketch and placed a point in the center of the top circle.

Step 2: Creating a New Coordinate System

Navigate to the reference geometry option in the feature tab and click the drop down arrow. Select Coordinate System.

Step 3: Moving the Newly Created Coordinate System

Once a new coordinate system is created, it will default to the origin of the part. This is obviously not where we want it, so click on the reference point where we want the coordinate system to be.

If you want, the axes of the new coordinate system can be moved by clicking on part geometry to define their direction.

Step 4: Use the New Coordinate System

Since I wanted to determine the mass properties of the part from the end of the cylinder, I went into the mass properties section and selected my newly created coordinate system.

That's all there is to it.

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