Electrical Rotary Switch


This is a 3D model of an Electrical Rotary Switch.

3D Model Annotations

Rotary Switch

Rotary switches allow for making or breaking a single electrical circuit, or multiple electrical circuits, simultaneously. For example, a three-speed fan may have a rotary switch that moves from positions 1, 2, and 3, with each position changing the speed of the fan incrementally. Rotary switches may also be used for making or breaking multiple electrical circuits, rather than a single circuit. For example, for simultaneously turning off a cooling pump and turning on a cooling fan. Rotary switches may have up to 16 positions and up to 75 different terminal connections.

Detent Switch

Springs and ball bearings provide a detent switching operation; this means that each position change is met with a definitive ‘snap’ as the switch moves from one position to another.

Terminal Screws

Terminal screws secure the external wiring to the contact board terminals.


One solid metal shaft is installed axially throughout the length of the rotary switch; it is rotated by an actuator. Terminal boards are mounted around the shaft.


Actuation occurs manually or electrically. This rotary switch is manually operated and has four possible switching positions.

Knife Switches

Knife switches slide onto each of the stationary terminal board contacts. As each rotating knife switch contacts each stationary contact, an electrical circuit is closed (if the associated terminal screws are connected to an external electrical circuit).


Terminal screw connections are spaced apart to reduce the likelihood of leakage current or short-circuits occurring between the contacts. If terminal screw connections are installed close together, an insulating barrier/plate may be installed between each screw.

Position Indicator

A typical position indicator will indicate a colour e.g. red, green, or a number e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4 etc.

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