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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Assembly mates in SolidWorks–advanced mates

Advanced mates in SolidWorks….

List below shows the advanced mates…


As stated earlier in previous post, the advanced mates are used to assign limited motion to components, reducing degrees of freedom further. Say you can assign limit for a part so that it’ll move within the define limits only, or you can make a part follow certain path, and likewise.

(To use the following examples appropriately you need to first assign the standard mates so that the parts will be in proper alignment as shown in the respective images.)

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Assembly mates in SolidWorks–standard mates

Creating assembly mates/constraints in SolidWorks is as easy as it sounds. Let’s add some!

Mates in an assembly do nothing but reduces degrees of freedom, and in particular inside SolidWorks, they also create mechanisms. Thanks to the capability of SolidWorks to make mechanisms ‘always on’ in graphics window. This simply means that to visualize any mechanism, you only need to click-drag a part, and rest of the parts will move according to the mates assigned.

In SolidWorks, mates (or assembly constraints) do two functions – they define relative placements of components and they create mechanisms as well. Whereas in other 3d CAD tools like (CATIA and Pro/E, to name as few), you first need to define assembly constraints/relative position of parts and then convert these constraints into joints to create mechanism as required.

Let’s see how to do so inside SolidWorks.

There are three types of mates in SolidWorks…

  1. Standard mates – used for positioning
  2. Advanced mates – used to assign limited movement
  3. Mechanical mates – used to create mechanisms

The post is split in three, with each containing one of the above mate type.

Standard mates, stated above, are used for positioning only, and are generally used in support to the mechanical mates. E.g., you want to create a gear mechanism, then first position the gears such that the only free degree of freedom remains is the axial rotation, and likewise.

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