SOLIDWORKS Assembly Components Copy with Mates

Article by Prasadh Annalingam, CSWE updated October 30, 2020


Copy with Mates is a fantastic ability available in SOLIDWORKS that allows you to copy a component and paste them along with the mates that were used.

Let’s imagine that we have to mate a spacer over a select amount of hole locations and a pattern just isn’t possible. You might have previously sighed, then inserted the desired amount of spacers and applied mates to them one by one.

With Copy with Mates you can save time to take lunch without sighing (yes, this is from personal experience). Below is an example that will be used to demonstrate how to use Copy with Mates.

Copy with Mates Design Example:

  1. Square spacer needs to be mated at 4 locations (circled in Red below).

    SOLIDWORKS Copy With Mates

    SOLIDWORKS Copy With Mates Design Intent 1 of 2

  2. Spacer holes need to be concentric with those on the plate, spacer needs to be mated flush with the plate surface and positioned parallel to the sides.

    SOLIDWORKS Copy With Mates Design Intent 2 of 2

    SOLIDWORKS Copy With Mates Design Intent 2 of 2

Copy with Mates Procedure:

To use Copy with Mates we will first need a component mated and ready to copy.

First Component Mated

First Component Mated

Now, instead of inserting the spacer component three more times and applying mates to each component, we will take advantage of Copy with Mates. Start by right clicking the component and choose Copy with Mates (bottom left) and choose Next in the Property Manager (bottom right).

Choose SOLIDWORKS Copy with Mates, Click Next

Choose Copy with Mates, Click Next

We are now ready to choose the new entities to apply these copied mates to. The mates (concentric, coincident and parallel) used from the original component will be available to be copied to the next spacer component. Select them in the order you see in the Property Manager. First; what will be concentric to the hole on the Square Spacer. Second; what will be the mated to the back surface of the Square Spacer. Third; what will the surface of the Spacer be parallel to.

Copy With Mates Process

Copy With Mates Process

Advanced: In the Property Manager when we are choosing the new entities for the new components, we have two additional options:

  1. We can select/check the “Repeat” option which will use the same mate reference as used with the original component.
  2. We can click on the mate icon in the Property Manager (to deselect it) and this will omit that mate from being copied.

Click the check mark to confirm and repeat as many times as required!

Copy With Mates Completed

Copy With Mates Completed

Important Note: The components that are inserted with Copy with Mates does not maintain any link to the original component, unlike patterns. If you delete or modify the original component it will not affect the copied components in anyway.

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Prasadh Annalingam, CSWE

Prasadh is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert and Technical Applications Analyst based in the Javelin Oakville head office.