SOLIDWORKS Mate

Are you using the SOLIDWORKS Mate Pop-up Toolbar?

Mating components together in a SOLIDWORKS assembly?  Frequent use of the SOLIDWORKS mate pop-up toolbar can often save you much time and mousing! The mate pop-up toolbar is not quite as intelligent as the mate manager.  For example, the mate manager will usually predict when a Parallel mate is appropriate instead of a Coincident mate, when clearance is required between the selected entities.  As of the time this article was written, the mate pop-up toolbar is not as intuitive as the mate manager, and may suggest a Coincident mate anyway, even though that may cause an over-constraint in the assembly.  However, that often doesn’t matter if, as the designer, we are aware of the assembly constraints and design intent, and would know to use a Parallel mate instead. How to use the mate pop-up toolbar: Select the entities for which you want to create a mate, from among multiple components….

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Add feature tree items to a SOLIDWORKS favorites folder for quick access!

SOLIDWORKS Favorites Folder

Want quick access to a feature, sketch or mate without having to scroll or search the SOLIDWORKS feature tree every time? Simply right-click the item from your feature tree and select Add to Favorites. Note: Ensure you have the option to show the favorites folder from Tools > Options > FeatureManager. This creates a SOLIDWORKS Favorites Folder listed at the very top of the feature tree with your selected items nested inside.  This way you can grab access to a master sketch or a commonly reviewed mate within seconds! You can also build sub folders within the parent folder to group certain features together. To do this, select the features again, right click and click Add to New Favorite Folder.

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SOLIDWORKS Animation Control using Mates

SOLIDWORKS Animation Control

SOLIDWORKS Animations have an option called Autokey.  This can be useful for simple animations where you enable the option, click somewhere along the timebar and then drag components.  It will add keys for all components that moved for its final position at that time step.  You need to be aware of the initial position of the component at the key before in the timebar.  This is the transition period where it moves between the initial and final positions of two keys. This can cause headaches in larger more complex assemblies if many components are moving.  Accidentally dragging a component can add new keys or affect existing ones.  If you want to update the position of a component earlier in time, you need to ensure you have the timebar selected in the same position as the existing key.  If the timebar is selected at a slightly different location, it will automatically…

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How to Group SOLIDWORKS Assembly Mates and Fasteners into Folders

In SOLIDWORKS 2019, you can group SOLIDWORKS Assembly mates by status and separate fasteners into folders. You can group the mates by their status, such as Solved mates, mates with Errors, Over defined mates, Suppressed mates, Suppressed mates that reference missing components, and Inactive (fixed) components (mates that reference fixed components). Group mates and separate fasteners: In the FeatureManager design tree of an assembly, right-click Mates and click Group Mates. Click By Status to sort mates by status. If you have fasteners, the option to separate fastener will be active. Click Separate Fasteners to show fasteners in separate folders. This option separates mates that reference a Toolbox component into a Fasteners folder. If you edit a mate to include a Toolbox component, the mate moves to the Fasteners folder after you save the changes. In front of each mate folder, the number of mates contained in each folder is displayed. This number includes the number of mates and the fastener…

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SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Lock Rotation of new Concentric Mates to Components

In SOLIDWORKS 2019, any new Toolbox components can have their concentric mates rotation locked automatically. In order to activate the SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Lock Rotation for concentric mates option, you need to go to: Tools > Options > System Options > Hole Wizard/Toolbox and under Toolbox Mates, check the Lock rotation of new concentric mates to Toolbox components option. Once you have this option enabled, any new Toolbox component that you insert into your assembly and apply a concentric mate, will have its rotation locked. You can still right-click on the mate and Edit Feature and clear Lock Rotation under the Concentric mate to unlock the rotation. Here is an example of how you can use this new functionality: Insert the toolbox component into your assembly by drag and dropping it to the face where it is going to be mated to (creating an automatic concentric mate). Verify that the concentric mate has its rotation locked by looking at the…

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Redundancies in SOLIDWORKS Motion Analysis

We know that each unconstrained body in space has six degrees of freedom (DOF): three translations and three rotations about X, Y and Z axes. Each mate removes a certain number of DOFs from the system. The table below shows some of the mates in SOLIDWORKS and how many DOFs that they restrict. Mate Type Translation DOF Removed Rotational DOF Removed Total DOF Removed Hinge Mate 3 2 5 Concentric (2 cylinders) 2 2 4 Concentrix (2 spheres) 3 0 3 Lock Mate 3 3 6 Universal Mate 3 1 3 Screw Mate 2 2 (+1) 5 Point to point 3 0 3 What Are Redundancies? Redundancies are when multiple mates remove the same DOF on a part. For example, if we create a pin joint we most likely use a concentric mate between the cylindrical faces of the pin and the hole and a coincident mate between the flat…

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SOLIDWORKS Smart Components are a Big Time Saver for Repetitive Assemblies

If you have to assemble many clamps to your base plate, or if you have some custom parts to be bolted or riveted into place in your SOLIDWORKS assembly, then this SOLIDWORKS Smart Components article is for you. In SOLIDWORKS you can make your part files act smart upon inserting them into your assembly files. You can make smart components to carry bolts, rivets, or any custom components with them when you assemble them to your top level assembly file. In addition, instead of creating bolt holes in the assembly environment to use the inserted component as reference, you can get smart components to carry over their required holes into assembled component. In this article we will walk you through making smart components. Make SOLIDWORKS Smart Components In this article, a case study is demonstrated to show the necessary steps. However, it can be easily expanded for your particular applications…

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SOLIDWORKS Mate References are a Huge Time Saver when building an assembly

Imagine you are creating an assembly with many components in it. Each component you insert into the assembly requires three mates. It will be a tedious job making these kinds of assemblies over and over again. Repeating mating process many times in a row. Now, imagine you could drag and drop each component into your assembly, place it close to the right location, and then components snap to their correct spots; and all the mates are added automatically. This is possible using SOLIDWORKS Mate References. In this article, a sample model is used to demonstrate how to use Mate References. The same method could be used for any SOLIDWORKS part file. How to Run Mate Reference Command In the following, it is shown that Mate Reference are found under the Features CommandManager tab > Reference Geometry. The mate references have to be added to both the part models that are going…

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