Different Mates Constraints Inside 3DEXPERIENCE xDesign

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated November 24, 2022

Article

When creating mates between parts inside of an assembly in 3DEXPERIENCE xDesign, there are different types of constraints that form. When mates are created, these can be found underneath the Design Manager’s Mates tab. I am here to help you understand the different types of mates constraints and what they mean.

Understanding these symbols and constraints is helpful to quickly know how parts are mated inside 3DEXPERIENCE xDesign and fitted together in an assembly. This will quickly let you know how parts move in relation to each other without having to spend time moving each part individually to see how they move.

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The constraints we will be looking at are the following:

  • Planar
  • Point Surface
  • Point Curve
  • Spherical
  • Cylindrical
  • Revolute
  • Prismatic
  • Rigid

Planar constraint

The planar constraint is identified by the symbol of two planes, a white and blue, lying flat on top of each other but not aligned. A planar constraint typically means two planes or faces, from different parts, are coincident with each other.  This means the parts can only move in two directions rather than all three, as in movement along a plane only. Also, parts can only rotate in one direction.

3d drawing of grey box and grey cylinder

Point Surface constraint

The point surface constraint is identified by the symbol of a blue plane with a white point on it and blue revolving arrows. This constraint means a face or plane from one part is mated to a point on another part. This means the parts can freely transition and rotate in all three directions but about the point mated on the face or plane.

cylinder lying down and grey square

Point Curve constraint

The point curve constraint is identified by the symbol of a blue curve with a white point on the curve and blue revolving arrows. This constraint is like the point surface but this time the part can freely transition and rotate about a point selected from one part along the curve of the other part.

grey cylinder on top of grey rectangle

Spherical constraint

The Spherical constraint is defined by a blue and white sphere concentric inside of each other with blue revolving arrows. This constraint is similar to the point curve constraint but now the part can only move about a circular motion defined by a point located on a circular reference. In this case, the corner point of the block with the circular face of the cylinder.

grey cylinder and grey rectangle with circular hole

Cylindrical constraint

The Cylindrical constraint is identified by a white cylinder inside of a blue shelled cylinder with blue revolving arrows. This is typically seen when two cylindrical parts are mated using the concentric mate and no coincident mate is used, unless two edges are mated coincidentally. This means the part can rotate in one direction and transition in one direction.

cylinder coming out of grey rectangle

Revolute constraint

The Revolute constraint is identified by a blue cylinder on top of a white cylinder. This is similar to the cylindrical mate but now a coincident mate is used. The part can no longer transition at all and can only rotate about one axis.

3d image of rectangle with circle in center in 3dexperience xdesign

Prismatic constraint

The Prismatic constraint is identified by a blue C shaped part containing a white block. This is when two parts are mated together so that they cannot be rotated and can only transition in one direction. This constraint is one level below rigid, being fully fixed.

grey cylinder coming out of grey rectangle

Rigid constraint

The Rigid constraint is identified by two parts, a white and blue, that are puzzle pieced together. This is when two parts are mated in a way that has them fixed so they cannot be rotated in any direction or transition in any direction.

grey rectangle with cylinder extending from left side

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TriMech provides thousands of engineering teams with 3D design and rapid prototyping solutions that work hand-in-hand, from sketch to manufacturing. Javelin became a subsidiary of TriMech Solutions LLC in 2021.