Create a Reference Plane

Reference planes can be used with the Sketch, Slice, and Mirror tools to create or modify geometry, or to create section cuts.

  1. On the Geometry ribbon, select the Reference Plane tool.

  2. In the guide bar, choose a plane creation method from the drop-down menu.

    Previews for planes based on the selected option will appear as you move your cursor in the modeling window.

  3. Follow the directions in the workflow help text underneath the guide bar to define the plane.
    What you need to select in the modeling window varies based on the plane creation method you chose in the previous step.
    MethodWhat to Select
    Three Points Select three points to preview the plane.
    Offset Select a plane and enter the offset value.
    Midplane Select two planes and enter a ratio.
    Normal to Edge Select an edge and enter a ratio.
    At an Angle Select a plane and an axis on the plane.
    Normal to Edge at Point Select an edge and a point.
    Cylinder Tangent Select a cylindrical face and a point.
    Parallel to Screen Select a point.
    Unreferenced Select a plane or planar face.
    Note: To reverse the direction of the reference plane's normal, in the guide bar, click the Reverse Normal button ( or ).

    To reverse the direction of the offset plane’s position, click the Reverse Offset Direction button.

  4. Optional: If you selected Offset or At an Angle in the previous step, in the microdialog enter the # of planes. When you enter a value other than 1, you won't be able to define a variable.
    Warning: Be certain of the desired number of planes, as you won't be able to change this value after you complete creation. A construction feature will be created for each plane.
  5. Click Apply on the guide bar or microdialog.

    The plane is created in the modeling window and is also available in the Model Browser’s References directory.

  6. Right-click and mouse through the check mark to exit, or double-right-click.
    • Double-click a reference plane to edit it. Resize a reference plane by selecting a corner point or an edge and dragging it with the Move tool. Other options for editing a reference plane will vary based on how the plane was created.
    • Any referenced plane can be converted to an unreferenced plane by clicking the icon in its microdialog or by right-clicking the name of the plane in the History browser and selecting Break Reference in the context menu. Once a plane's reference is broken, it becomes an unreferenced plane and cannot be re-referenced to the model’s geometry. Unreferenced planes can be repositioned with the Move tool option in the microdialog.

Video: Reference Planes

Three Points



Normal to Edge

At an Angle

Normal to Edge at Point

Cylinder Tangent

Parallel to Screen