How to flip a SOLIDWORKS Section View Direction

Article by Mehdi Rezaei, CSWE updated May 16, 2017


As a designer or drafter we need to know the correct projection of the orthogonal views in drawings. There are two projection methods: First Angle and Third Angle. Depending on where on the globe we are living the projection direction will be different. For North American designers, the third angle projection is used, whereas, the first angle projection is mostly used in Europe and Asia. The following image shows the difference of the projections. For more information refer to this guide

Drawing Projection

Drawing Projection

To help readers of a drawing understand which projection method is used for each specific drawing, there is a common symbol  used in the drawing title block. The following image shows the two symbols used for the two projection method.

Symbols of the Projection Methods Used in Drawing Title Blocks to Guide Drawing Receivers.

Usually companies have their specific templates and the projection method is correctly assigned to them. Also, if you create your own template have this in mind. The following image demonstrates where you can set the projection method under Tools > Options.

Set the Correct Projection Method in Tools > Options

Correct Projection for the Section Views

This becomes more critical when section views are added. The assigned projection method for the drawing template defines the correct side to place the section view. If you are an experienced user, you would probably put the view on the correct side without thinking. However, this could be automated in SOLIDWORKS to work correctly for any users.

When the section view command is selected, there is an “Auto Flip” item available to be checked off. If this option is selected, SOLIDWORKS will correct the side of the arrow pointers showing on the section line itself and also the resulted drawing view.

SOLIDWORKS Section View Auto Flip

Auto Flip Options Corrects the Pointing Side of the Arrow and Also the Resulted Section View.

The following image demonstrates how Auto Flip helps in placing the section views on the correct side of the parent view. This example is done with Third Angle Projection. Note that the arrows direction and the resulted view change by placing the section view on different sides of the parent view.

Image on the Left Shows Placing Section View at the Bottom of the Parent View, whereas, Image on the Right Shows Placing the Same Section View on top of the Parent View.

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Mehdi Rezaei, CSWE

Mehdi is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert (CSWE) and works near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada