Creating Opposite-Hand Versions of Parts in SOLIDWORKS

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated January 25, 2023


We are all familiar with creating multiple configurations of the same part for parts that vary in sizes and dimensions – but what about opposite hand parts?

In SOLIDWORKS, we can create opposite-hand parts derived from the original models without having to recreate the geometry or use the mirror pattern tool.

In this example we have a simple model of a fiddle:

3d model of a fiddle

3D model of a fiddle

The side panels or the “Ribs” on this fiddle are symmetric on both sides of the models and must be formed the same way on either side. For the BOM it also needs separate part numbers for the opposite-hand side, so let’s create a derived part from one side for the other.

3d model ribs on fiddle versions of parts in solidworks

From the subassembly we are going to show how we created the rib components, focusing on the lower ribs.

To mirror parts in SOLIDWORKS, we use the tool “Mirror Part” that creates a mirrored derived part.

  1. In an open part or document, click a model face or plane to use as the reference to mirror the part.model face plane on solidworks
  2. Click Insert > Mirror Part. (Tip: Use the S-Key and search function to find the command)

    property manager for fiddleA new part window appears. The Insert Part PropertyManager will appear.insert part in solidworks fiddle

  3. Under Transfer, select any combination of items from the source part to be included in the opposite-hand version. You can include items such as custom properties, cut-list properties, sketches, and model dimensions.

  4. Optionally, if you want to independently edit the features of the mirrored part without affecting the original part, under Link, click Break link to original part.

    You can also break the link to the original part later by listing the mirrored part’s external references and selecting Break All.

    Note: Once you break the link to the original, you cannot restore it.

  5. Click OK.

    The mirrored part will appear. Now you have the ability to easily create a mirror part in SOLIDWORKS for your next project.

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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.