Discover the Magnetic Mate in SOLIDWORKS Assemblies

Article by Malak Souissi, CSWP updated November 4, 2022


SOLIDWORKS is a robust CAD software when it comes to simulating how your assemblies are going to look in real life. Choosing the right type of mate for your design is important. You might want to consider using the Magnetic Mate when building assemblies. Lets discover what magnetic mates are, and how to implement them in three simple steps!

1. Definitions before using the SOLIDWORKS Magnetic Mate:

The Ground Plane is a plane which is considered a floor for the two objects (we will be referring to them as assets moving forward) to be level with one another so they can snap together.

In an assembly you go to Insert Reference Geometry > Ground Plane

Assembly level: Reference Geometry - Ground Plane

Assembly level: Reference Geometry – Ground Plane

A Ground Plane Folder is created in the FeatureManager design tree.

Ground Plane Folder in Feature Tree

Ground Plane Folder in the Feature Tree

2. What is an Asset?

An Asset is simply the part (or sub-assembly) that we would like to snap to other Parts/Ground Planes magnetically. Think of it like a Lego, it has a connection side (Connection point) and a base side (Ground Plane).

Example Asset

Example Asset


3. What is a Connection Point?

It is the point that we define in the asset so it can snap into position relative to another asset.

Connection Point in the asset

Connection Point in the asset

How to define magnetic mates?

Three simple steps to follow using the Tools > Asset Publisher tool on the part level.

Step 1: Defining the Ground Plane & Connection Point (For Assets only/ Part Level)

The Ground plane has to be defined in both the Assets on their part level and in the assembly level for the “Floor” Asset.

This can be done using the Asset Publisher: Tools > Asset Publisher (On Part level).


Part Level: Asset Publisher

Part Level: Asset Publisher

Defining Ground Plane Point

Defining the Ground Plane & Connection Point (and Face)

This has to be done for both the Parts we want to mate.

Step 2: Defining the Ground Plane (For Floor Asset in the assembly)

After defining the ground plane and the connection point on a part level, a common ground plane has to now be defined on an assembly level.

First by inserting the “Floor” Part.

Floor Part Inserted Into Assembly

Floor Part Inserted Into Assembly

Second, by defining the Ground Plane in that part.

Defining Ground Plane in assembly

Defining Ground Plane in assembly

Step 3: Mating the Assets Magnetically

In an assembly Three parts should be inserted ( 2 x Assets to be snapped magnetically + 1 x Floor Asset), parts added in this order: First the Floor Asset, then the two assets, they will all be able to snap together.

The Part with Ground Plane & Connection defined when trying to insert will automatically mate to the ground plane of the floor.


Automatic Ground Floor detection by Asset when inserted

Automatic Ground Floor detection by Asset when inserted

When inserted, you can move the objects closely and they will automatically snap to each other magnetically just like how they would in real life.

Learn more about SOLIDWORKS functionalities!

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Malak Souissi

Malak Souissi (CSWP) is a MSc. Mechanical Engineering specializing in Mechanical Design & FEA. He has over 3 years of experience in the Mechanical Design & Process engineering of industrial equipment. He also has a background in Marine Systems Engineering with on-board ship experience.