Working with the SOLIDWORKS Mirror Feature

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated August 20, 2021

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The SOLIDWORKS Mirror Feature makes adding symmetry to your 2D and 3D sketches a breeze and facilitates fully capturing your design intent.

There are a number of different ways to mirror sketches, features and assembly components in SOLIDWORKS. Knowing all of these methods will enable you to work faster and more efficiently; watch the video to learn how to add symmetry:

Mirroring in a Sketch

Mirroring in a sketch is the easiest way to mirror. First, I want to sketch a centerline. Next, in the sketch toolbar, I will select the Mirror function. With the Mirror function selected, I will then select what I want to mirror and what I want to mirror about. In this case, I want to mirror about the centerline I just sketched and hit OK.

Centerline Mirror

Centerline Mirror

A quick time-saving tip – if I highlight the centerline AND the geometry all at once and proceed to click on Mirror, SOLIDWORKS will automatically fill the dialog box and clicks OK for me. I won’t see the dialog box at all.

Also, when mirroring in a sketch, there is the Dynamic Mirror option found under Tools > Sketch Tools > Dynamic Mirror. What the Dynamic Mirror allows me to do is when I highlight a centerline, anything I sketch on one side of the line is automatically mirrored over to the other side. Sort of like a mirror as you go – very efficient.

Mirroring a Feature

Mirroring a feature is a little different. Features in SOLIDWORKS require a plane to be mirrored. To create a plane, I will highlight two faces in my sketch, then select Reference Geometry Plane. SOLIDWORKS will automatically add a MidPlane between these two faces. No math needed!

Mirror a Sketch

Mirror a Sketch

By selecting the Mirror function, I can also mirror a feature by selecting the mirror function under the Linear Pattern icon in the toolbar. When I mirror about the MidPlane and select the feature that I want to mirror, SOLIDWORKS will add the same feature to the other side of my part.

Adding a Plane

Adding a Plane

One important thing to note is that a Mirror exists in the Feature Manager. If I add a fillet to my original feature, it doesn’t apply it to the mirrored feature. Why? Because the fillet occurs after the mirror in the Feature Manager. When mirroring in SOLIDWORKS, be aware of feature order. But wait, there’s more! If I drop and drag the mirror below the fillet, it’s still not there. Why? Because I still need to tell the mirror that I also want the fillet included in my mirror. Once I do that, the fillet appears on the other side.

SOLIDWORKS Mirror Feature for an Assembly

With the Assembly tab active, I will find Mirror Components in the Linear Component Pattern tab in the tool ribbon. This allows me to mirror all the parts I choose in my assembly. Here, I will select some faces and components. I will mirror about the Front Plane as you see in the image to the right, and within the dialog box, I can choose whether I want the same part of the version copied, or a right- and left-hand version. I can also choose whether I want the Mates to transfer as well. And lastly, I can rename these parts as part of the mirror process.

SOLIDWORKS Mirror Feature for an Assembly

Mirror an Assembly

Learn more about Mirroring

Attend a live online SOLIDWORKS training course to get more mirroring tips and tricks.

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TriMech Solutions, LLC

TriMech provides thousands of engineering teams with 3D design and rapid prototyping solutions that work hand-in-hand, from sketch to manufacturing. Javelin became a subsidiary of TriMech Solutions LLC in 2021.