SolidWorks Challenge: Can you Mate a Sphere Tangent to Multiple Faces?

Article by Alin Vargatu, CSWE updated October 11, 2012


I have a new SolidWorks challenge for you.

  1. Create a spherical part. Save and exit the model
  2. Create a new part containing an extrusion of a sketch made of tangent entities (arcs and lines). Save and exit the model.
  3. Introduce both parts into an assembly
  4. Mate the sphere in such a way that will be tangent to the faces of the extruded component.

Note: Feel free to “cheat” by approximating the geometry (let’s say +/-0.010″ tolerance).

Do you think it is an easy task? Try it first or watch this video, for a possible solution:

Many thanks to Jory S on SolidWorks forum for the inspiration for this article.

Do you have a better solution? Please share it with us.


Update (2013.Oct.01): This workaround is no longer needed starting with SolidWorks 2014. The tangent mate works as expected.

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Alin Vargatu, CSWE

Alin is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and an avid contributor to the SOLIDWORKS Community. Alin has presented multiple times at SOLIDWORKS World, Technical Summits, and User Group Meetings, while being very active on the SOLIDWORKS Forum.