I am always on a mission to find the fastest way to do things in SOLIDWORKS. One of the workflows that had me questioning my technique, was how I moved or rotated a component with a specific value inside an assembly. In the past, I would go into the move component command, select delta XYZ, and type in a value. However, being spoiled by all the heads-up interaction that SOLIDWORKS provides, I set out to see if there was a more efficient way.

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After further investigation, I remembered the ability to move components in assembly using the triad. This can be found when you right-click on a component and select Move with Triad. This tool definitely could be invoked with very little movement of the mouse.

There were still two things I didn’t like about this approach, though. First, I have to find the command in the long right-click menu. Second, moving the component precisely using the resulting ruler takes A LOT of precise zooming to adjust the ruler increments.

So my next step was to make accessing the triad faster and easier. To do this, I setup a hotkey for the command. This can be found under the Tool menu -> Customize and selecting the Keyboard tab.

The fastest way to find it is to use the Search for box. I searched for “Move with Triad” and found nothing… so I typed in triad, and voila!

The actual command is called “Show Triad Manipulator.” I set this to the keyboard shortcut U. Now I can access the triad in one key stroke versus three clicks!

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I have now removed one of the barriers to using this command more often. However, I still can’t move components in a very precise translation or rotation. That is when I right-clicked on the triad and found this.

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When you make a selection from this menu, the software remembers it. Now the translate Delta XYZ box shows every time I hit my keyboard shortcut U. If I want to rotate by a delta XYZ or translate from the origin, all I have to do is right-click on the triad and select from the very short menu.

The resulting box is live and values can be entered directly without leaving the area.

That is why SOLIDWORKS is AWESOME!

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