When I import a 3d solid file from another program it always places it in the wrong orientation relative to the xyz axis. In other words it calls the top what i would call the side. Im definitely new at this but i cant get the xform rotate to move it to a new orientation. What would be the procedure for changing what it refers to as the top?
You need to study WCS. You don't have to actually move/transform the part to get working planes...in fact...you normally don't want to.