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SOLIDWORKS Tips: How to Animate Rotations in SOLIDWORKS Visualize

Wednesday June 21, 2023 at 8:00am

Pivot points hold the key to unlocking awesome animations in SOLIDWORKS Visualize.

Let’s walk you through how to move pivot points and group components to create engaging and dynamic animations.

Pivot points are what we control when creating animated rotations of models in SOLIDWORKS Visualize. Components can share the same pivot point, and these can be adjusted easily and precisely.

When you import a model into SOLIDWORKS Visualize, the model tree will look something like this.

Each model, group, and part has their own pivot point around which they rotate.

If we want multiple components to rotate about the same point then, before we do any animating, we need to group the components so that they share the same pivot points.

If we were to animate the components first and then regroup them, the positioning would be distorted during the animation.

Any component that doesn’t base is fixed in place so doesn’t need regrouping.

Make the most of existing pivot points and identify components with the desired pivot point. These can then be used to group components.


Select all of the desired components and drag them into the group previously identified.

Double check that all the correct components are included in the group by hiding the group and seeing if anything is left behind. Drag any missed components into the group.

To make sure we’re moving and rotating components relative to their own axis, we need to clear the checkbox for absolute in the object manipulator tool.

The object manipulator tools have absolute ticked by default, so double check this is cleared.


Pivot points can be moved by using the transform options. The group option under Pivot Center will place the pivot point at the centroid of the group.

We can also manually alter pivot points using the object manipulator tool and dragging the point along the XYZ axes.

Once you have your pivot points accurately positioned, it’s time to animate! Hit T on your keyboard to bring up the timeline, then drag the red end marker to the end point of your animation.

Position the yellow marker at different times and alter the appropriate rotation value. A keyframe will then be created at each point in time.

Learn how to create awesome animations just like these and enhance your skills with our SOLIDWORKS Visualize Pro training course. Attend online or in a classroom near you!

Take the Next Steps...

To learn more about SOLIDWORKS Visualize and how you can create stunning realistic product renders, why not book on to one of our CPD-accredited training courses?

Whether you’re a beginner or already intimately familiar with CAD, our friendly and expert trainers are ready to help you get the most out of SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Visualize, either online or in a classroom local to you.

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