3D Sketching Techniques – Multiple Viewports

Article by Rob Greer, CSWP updated October 3, 2011


Although a 3D sketch in SolidWorks does allow us to draw in 3D, we are more or less limited to sketching in 2D planar directions (XY, YZ, ZX) at any one time.  Here’s what I mean: If you have attempted to sketch in 3D in your model using any sort of Isometric view orientation, you’ll know that it can occasionally be a challenge to accurately place your sketch points in space.  A simple solution is to sketch normal to a plane contained within the model.  When you are done sketching in one plane, switch to another as needed.  The sketch is then only created in two directions at a time in this scenario.  This is a much more predictable method.  Splitting the model window into 4 viewports accomplishes the same thing and allows you to click in a viewport that is at the orientation desired for the sketch.  Three of the four viewports can be linked as orthogonal projections to make it simpler.

Viewports Tool

Link Viewports

Sketch in First Viewport


Sketch in Second Viewport

Sketch in Third Viewport

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Rob Greer, CSWP