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How to Specify a Rotation Point

t_dbt_db Member Posts: 2
I'm new to engineering-oriented CAD software, and am having trouble with something embarrassingly basic.

Rotation in OnShape using the right mouse button spins my part, but in an extremely unhelpful way.  I have read that it spins the planes around the cursor's position when the right mouse button is clicked.  I find the feature, as it currently functions, completely unhelpful because my views constantly drift off the desired axis.

Is there a way to set a point and axis of rotation, like origin and Z-axis?  Or can a hot-key be set to lock the rotation to an axis?


  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,381
    @t_db - hello!

    Lots of good news.
    1) Here is how the rotation algorithm works - when you select the rotation button on your mouse (which one depends on how you setup Onshape), a ray is fired from your cursor infinitely into the screen. If the ray intersects a face, the intersection (if the first face and the ray) becomes the center of rotation. If the ray doesnt hit any face, then the center of the screen is used. So, the moral is to start the rotation with the cursor over the desired point of rotation.
    2) To lock the axis of rotation to the Z axis, simply hold down the ALT key as you rotate (undocumented kb short cut ;))

    I hope this helps :)
    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 3,783 PRO
    @t_db correct my if I'm wrong.

    But it sounds like you may have rotate confused with actually turning the part model in 3D space.
    Remember you are spinning the camera around the part, not the part itself.

    Another trick you can try is, Click a face and press "n" on the keyboard. It will snap your view "normal to" that face
  • Jake_RosenfeldJake_Rosenfeld Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,646

    Have you tried using the view cube? Sometimes when you drift off of alignment a little bit it's nice to use the view cube to bring your view back to something more normal.  The cube is documented in the 'View Navigation' section of this page:

    Jake Rosenfeld - Modeling Team
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 3,783 PRO
    Also the arrow keys on your keyboard
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